bread love

I love bread. Doesn’t everyone? Clearly, or else “doctors” wouldn’t have felt compelled to create diets centered around avoiding it. Foods only become the enemy when too many people love them. Ever hear of the No Lima Bean diet? Of course not. Nobody likes lima beans. And anyone that says they do is lying to sound healthy or non-conformist or achieve some other hip foodie status – yeahhhh, lima beans are so in, man. Bread on the other hand…I don’t know that I’ve ever met someone that doesn’t like bread, at least some form of bread, and generally many many breads. Sure we all have our favorites and some folks are more bread batty than others, but a person that is simply grossed out by all things flour and yeast? Hrpmh. My good buddy Kevin B., the inspiration for my bread making adventure, says “bread is one of life’s simple pleasures.” And it truly is. The most delicious loaf can be crafted from just a few basic ingredients – flour, yeast, water, salt, honey. And yet you can create an entirely new experience with just one additional ingredient or tweak in the making process. There’s an unfathomable feast of bread fodder out there, books and blogs galore, and I can’t wait to explore more…

I took the first step this weekend. We’ve been privileged to live just a block away from one badass bread buff and for some time now have aspired to emulate his doughy deftness. It took a little time to take the plunge, but Saturday just felt like the day and with some super generous lending by Mrs. Bread Buff – The Bread Bible, yeast, and bread flour – I was on my way. I’m not going to lie, I was less than sure of myself and rather intimidated. I don’t do well with failure. If I was going to make bread, it better damn well be good. My past baking blunders didn’t help my staggering confidence, but my determination overcame my doubt and I went for it. A simple hearth loaf was suggested and agreed upon as an excellent (and likely safe) starting point. From start to finish it took about 6 hours, with much of that time spent waiting for rise, but in the end the bread was bangin’ and I couldn’t help but beam as Pete mmm mmm mmm’d over every little bite. What an amazing amount of joy and fulfillment I felt from this success. My only sadness was not having enough time Sunday to do it all over again. This could very well become an every weekend affair and as I get better at the basics, I would delight in trying my hand at something wild like sourdough! Oh, behave.

Snappies:

lumpy dough pre-rise

second rise...t-minus 30 min to oven time

BAM!

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