Home baked loaves, that is!!
And you thought I might be thinking of taking a break, didn't you?
Well, since the Christmas decorations are stowed away
and the house is back to baseline again,
I have spent a little time perusing two cookbooks
that I ordered last year on the subject of baking bread.
I suppose I should call them textbooks with recipes.
If you are anything like me, a well baked, crusty, tasty loaf of bread
is something akin to a fine bottle of wine....
meant to be savored, appreciated.
I have to admit that until now I have been completely intimidated
by the thought of baking bread without the use of my bread machine.
However, I have also come to the conclusion that
I have never truly had a great loaf of bread from that trusty bread machine.
So.......my New Year's resolution for 2010
is to work at perfecting the art of bread baking "sans machine".
I sat down yesterday morning with my two texts
and began to seriously read about the scientific and artistic process
of baking a loaf of bread.....a quality loaf of bread both in flavor and looks.
Then I set out to try the steps that I had read about.
I mixed and kneaded and fermented and proofed.....all by hand.
The results were a less than appetizing, pale loaf that tasted,
as Hubbs said "a little like peanut shells".
(Not what I was striving for......that loaf went to the chickens and they loved it!).
Arming myself with a little more reading....
broadening my knowledge base,
I baked another loaf today.
I must say, this loaf is much more appealing to the eye.
It is cooling now, so I will report back to you on the taste.
Hint: never cut a loaf of bread while it is still warm!....(I learned this today.)
I think it is going to be a good one....
Pierre is obviously smiling as he holds up his slate!
This loaf is an organic whole wheat loaf with sunflower seeds,
flax seeds, wheat bulgar and sesame seeds throughout.
Hubbs likes a grainy, nutty loaf, so that should satisfy him.
If you are considering tackling bread baking,
I would highly recommend the two books that I have pictured here.
My plan is to work my way through these books in the coming year.
Stay tuned for more loaves.
I am sure the chickens will benefit highly from this venture!
And, until next post, I will just be loafing around!
7:30 PM....Post Script: Mmmmmmmm, I have had two pieces....it is the best! Very yummy, crunch, but not hard, crust....sweet, chewy insides. This is one recipe I will make over and over. If you are interested in the recipe, I would be glad to post it....just let me know!