December 22, 2008

Bakin’ Bread- My First Attempt

Posted in food tagged , , , at 10:12 am by allisonwonder

Baking bread just seemed to make sense for me. Simon is addicted to toast with butter, and though homemade bread is a bit heavier than the store-bought kind, it’s got fewer preservatives and ingredients that I can’t pronounce, and it’s cheaper (in theory)*. Might even be something Simon could help with.

I came across this recipe on The Simple Dollar a few weeks ago, and it got me thinking about all this stuff- enough that I decided to give it a try. What follows is the ups and downs (or rising and punching-down, if you will) of my first attempt at a loaf of white bread- with pictures!

10:00 a.m.- so far, so good; yeast mixed according to directions on jar (1/4 c. water, 1 tsp. sugar, 2 3/4 tsp. yeast).

yeast 1

10:10- add flour as described in recipe… seems flaky, definitely not glommy enough, even though I only added the minimum amount of flour. Looks nothing like his picture. Re-check ingredients, but everything looks good. Guess we’ll keep going…

flaaaake

10:20- after beating the sh*t out of this lump for almost 10 minutes, the damn thing is still too hard- something is obviously wrong with the solid/liquid balance here. Another look at the directions reveals that his yeast apparently calls for 1 FULL CUP of water… that would do it. We’ll set this one aside and see if it’ll rise, but it doesn’t seem likely**.

dry

Back to the drawing board, then. If I don’t try again right away, I might not do it at all- and I’ve got a whole jar of yeast in the fridge to use up.

10:30- Attempt number two looks better so far- good and glommy after the first bit of flour is added.

better batter

10:35- more flour added, equalling 3 cups. This looks a lot more like the TSD photos.

dsc07466

10:50- bread has been kneaded for 10 minutes; it was much easier with softer dough! I had help, too…

My little helper

Time to let it rise… this means waiting for an hour. Waiting’s no fun, and Simon wants to beat up some more dough, so we start on another loaf, just for the heck of it.

No warming area on our stove, but my bedside lamp gives off a bit of heat, so I move that to the kitchen to keep the dough all toasty-like.

dsc07474 < Yeah, it says 1987. We’re warming it old-school today.

12:00- Time to punch, flatten, roll and put ‘er in the loaf pan…

dsc07475

… and wait AGAIN…

dsc07479

1:15 p.m.- into the oven she goes! Hmm… maybe I should lower that rack next time, eh?

dsc07478  <after a few minutes in the oven

1:45- BREAD! Yeah, like I’m going to wait for it to cool completely before I cut a slice for each of us…

dsc07481

Mmmmmmmmm! Bready goodness.

VERDICT: I will definitely do this again, and once I’ve mastered white bread, I’ll try some different flours. I’m not saying I’ll be able to make all of our bread, but we definitely won’t be buying as much in the future. I’m going to need to be careful about how much I eat, though. :S

 

*This does not take into account, for example, that I will eat WAY more homemade bread than store-bought.

** No rising for this bread. Rest in Pieces, un-glommy bread

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