New Things: Bake Bread

Every year I make a list of new things I want to try and do.  Some of those things are challenging, some are shockingly mundane.  You can check out previous shenanigans here.

Despite being a fairly experienced (and may I say good) cook, I’m not much a baker.  I resent having to follow a recipe so closely.  Sometimes I just want to add more delicious stuff, you know?  And that works when you’re adding garlic and cheese to your lasagna.  Less so when you’re doubling the peanut butter in your cookies.Eff you, recipe.  YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME.

So my forays into baking have been limited by my bad attitude and apparent issues with recipe authority.  Good thing my buddy Benjamin offered to teach me.  Benjamin went to culinary school and works as a food stylist so he knows what’s up.  And is not deterred by baking’s rigid expectations.

Using this recipe, we made two loaves – one of traditional white bread and one of sun-dried tomato basil.

 
 
 
 Apparently, I think bread baking is hi-laaaaarious.
Baking bread is significantly more involved than I thought!  I guess I thought it just involved a bit of kneading and then tossing your lump of dough in a square pan.  Not so!  Or, at least, not so if you want your bread to look good and slice nicely.  There is kneading and rolling and tucking and egg wash and all sorts of things.But all the work is (mostly) worth it when you tucked into that warm, fresh bread in the company of funny, wonderful people.Have you ever baked bread?  Any awesome recipes to share?

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16 Comments

  1. LC

    I don't even wanna talk about the cookies that I baked for Christmas. Repeat after me: one TEASPOON of baking powder, one TABLESPOON of baking soda.

    The bread looks yum tho, fo' sheez. I'd eat the whole thing with a brick of cheese and a mug of english breakfast tea.

    Reply
  2. Kate Rowan

    I used to work in a bakery….the only place in the whole world that could make you never want to eat a cookie again. Weird. Also, baking bread is back-breaking work, but I love it! Good looking loaves, BTW!

    Reply
  3. Jenny

    Y'all, get the books "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day" and "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.

    It's crusty, chewy real bread without the kneading or bother! It's master recipe dough you let cure in the fridge and has tons of ways to use the dough.

    Reply
  4. Rocquelle P.

    I have never baked bread, but it surely seems like something I might try, being that I rathe glove bread :-).

    Reply
  5. Katie

    My mother-in-law gave me a breadmaker for Christmas and it's genius! (Bread making was on my Year 32 list). Easy peasey!

    Reply
  6. Maria

    Well, doesn't that just look like the most fun ever…I am determined to become an awesome baker. And this involves baking lots of awesome cakes and some such. I never even considered making my own bread though.

    When you think about all that you can do with it (add basil, sun dried tomatoes, olives, cheese, nuts, etc) it's actually quite exciting!

    Maria xx
    http://www.cheekypinktulip.blogspot.com

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Here's my recipe (it's metric, unfortunately, but easy to convert):

    500g self-raising flour
    340ml beer
    Pinch salt

    That's it! Mix and bake and you're ready to roll! For something tasty, add cheese / olives / onion soup powder / mushrooms / anything, really 🙂

    Enjoy

    Reply
  8. Angeliki

    I've only recently started baking bread myself and I totally understand your frustration. Cooking is creative, baking is science. You have to be extremely precise and accurate. Therefore, I took the easy way and bought myself a bread making machine, so little things to worry about now. OK, yeah,I know this is cheating:)

    Reply
  9. Cate

    I love baking bread! It's one of my favorite things about cooler weather, because it's insanity to do it in July, but even then, nothing compares to the taste of homemade (warm) bread. Nothing.

    Reply
  10. shelbyisrad

    I have not! But its on my list to do this year 🙂

    Reply
  11. Hannah

    Baking certainly isn't easy but it's so satisfying when you pull the final product out the oven. Well done you for giving it a go! I tend to stick to one recipe that I know and love … perhaps this year I should branch out a little 🙂

    Reply
  12. Soul-Lift

    Love your 33 things list. Definitely something I want to start up on my next birthday! Cute blog!

    Reply
  13. jillybeansisme

    It was fun to read about your bread baking experience. I bake bread, bagels, muffins, cookies, more bread, more bagels and even doggie treats . . . all the time. Eventually it will be my career. I don't find baking bread that hard because I have a few tricks up my sleeve, which you can read at http:www.BakingBread-101.com. Anyway, you have a fun style.
    Jill

    Reply
  14. Sheila Bocchine, pinhole photographer

    This is so exciting!!! I also have a list, in a side column, of things I'm going to do before I turn 33. I did the same thing last year too. I didn't realize other people were doing it as well!

    I've always wanted to try baking bread, maybe I'll put this on my list of things to try next year.

    Reply

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