Sunday, November 11, 2007

On making bread.

It's a magical thing, to make your first loaf of bread.

After reading about how easy it is, I couldn't help myself. Making my own home-made loaf of bread would be this weekend's project.

I followed the recipe's directions to the T, with a few left-turns here and there. For instance, I used a bit of brown sugar and some honey in place of the five teaspoons of plain sugar. Also, I found downing several cups of coffee in the process helps the mind focus on step-by-step instructions.

The recipe ended up making two more loaves than I was expecting, but that gave me the chance to give one away as a present and to take one to work tomorrow for lunch.

Watching the dough rise is an amazing process, but not a new one for me. After all, watching a giant metal bowl mix an entire bag of flour at Hometown while making pizza dough was all the experience I really needed. The yeast-y smell, the sticky dough - it brought back a lot of memories.

Letting the dough sit also gave me time to tackle other projects around the apartment, and listen to "A Prairie Home Companion."

But at the end, it was a beautiful finished product. And, together with the homemade chicken noodle soup I made for Thursday's dinner party, it made for a heckuva dinner.

Now I have all kinds of ideas about the type of bread I'd like to make. I'm a wheat/grain kind of guy, so I'd like to add some more fiber and flavors to the mix. Also, maybe try some dessert-style loaves.

It ended up being a fun, lazy-Sunday project. I always seem to have more time for cooking in the winter (and maybe more of an appetite, too), so I can imagine making more with a big pot of chili or something.

In the meantime, it's another check on my always-wanted-to-do list.

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