Look, I've got progress bars! I'd wanted to add them for a while now, but didn't know how. Thanks to The Moebius Sock for sending me these instructions - thanks Ellen! I'd better start some new projects so I'll have something to update.
I was sad to leave behind all that delicious bread in Paris, and came back with a renewed interest in home bread-baking. Thinking that baguettes were a bit out of my league at the moment, I decided to make something called 'White Bread 101' from the King Arthur baking book - it is hopefully healthier than Wonder bread, and D needs something for his sandwiches anyway. Then I remembered why I'd been putting off trying this recipe. Who has potato flour and dry milk lying around the house? Dry milk appears everywhere in this book, so hopefully I'll make my way through a shoe-box sized container, which happened be the smallest size they had. Looks like I'll be making a lot of white bread and its variations.
Ever since my first no-rise experience with old yeast, I get super excited whenever the yeast kicks in. D will attest to my running about the kitchen yelling, "It's rising, it's actually rising!" Anyhow, the bread was a little dense on the bottom, and I'm assuming it was because my loaf was too big for the pan and it fell on itself. Otherwise, a yummy sandwich loaf. I'll reduce some of the sugar next time, and figure out something with the pan size. It became some french toast the next day:
Of course, haveing successfully baked White Bread 101, the baguette seemed less threatening. Yes, I am impatient. But a minimal-kneading baguette recipe is hard to resist! This one was also from the King Arthur book, and required a poolish to be made and later incorporated into the dough. I have never made a starter before so it was quite fun. After mixing, the dough itself just sat there and rose for a lonnnnnnggg time, and I folded it over onto itself a few times to help it develop glutens. Hmm. If you recall from my first baguette experience, I was kneading forever and ever, trying to get my gluten windowpane. Very odd instructions indeed. Would it work?
Sort of. It created an interesting chewy texture inside, but definitely different then the kind I'd munched on in France. I think I sprayed too much water on it, so the crust turned out a little ugly and dull, and beige-looking. For a minimal-work recipe it wasn't so bad, especially considering I was baking it at 11pm, and feelings of tiredness and could-care-less-at-this-point were kicking in (I didn't know if I could stick it in the fridge and wait 'til the next day.) Tomorrow I will send it to school with D in the form of a sandwich.
I'm only a little big ugly, but I taste good. Eat me.
The other fun part of tomorrow is that we'll be having dinner at Alana's Food & Wine, which I am so looking forward to. I've read endless great reviews about her restaurant and how amazing the food is...more on that to come!