Thursday, January 10, 2008

Warning

I'm currently obsessed with baking bread. And I'm working my way through The Joy of Cooking's bread recipes, while searching for more recipes to try. This means that you'll be hearing more about this obsession in this space.

It started yesterday with the Milk Bread recipe, chosen because of its simplicity (we had the ingredients on hand!) and because the recipe formed the base of a bunch of the other bread recipes (especially Cinnamon-Raisin Bread and Herb Bread). The loaves turned out beautifully (and so golden!), but small. Today, I decided we needed to have some real sandwich bread, and so I tried out the Whole Wheat Bread recipe. The loaves turned out to be comically ginormous, especially because apparently the recipe was for three loaves and I made two loaves out of it. But they baked quite nicely (after I removed the middle rack of our tiny oven and let them bake on the bottom rack -- they were starting to squish against the broiling element) and turned out to be a good size and consistency for sandwiches, and so I think I'll continue making that mistake in the future.

It's just lovely, at least right now. (Just wait until we've run out of bread and I start procrastinating from making more.) I far prefer this over running the breadmaker: I get to play with the KA mixer, be a total control freak over the whole process, and I get to work out some of my aggressions with the dough. It's also easier to read when the house smells like bread. It's all so satisfying.

So: what should I make next? I think I'm going to get some sourdough starter going right away, and I'll also try out that no-knead recipe that wolfangel shared ages ago.

9 comments:

lifexhistory said...

Foccaccia is a fun bread to make! And it's an easy one, which you will need to help soothe your bruised ego with your sourdough... if my husband's experience is any indication. He did at last have SOME success with the sourdough-- but the starter was short lived.

Ky said...

Dude, I really wish you had pictures of the comically large loaves pressed up against the rack.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

lifex: How did he make the starter? Did he use yeast at all? I've made sourdough with my friend Karl before (his family keeps starter on a pretty regular basis) and it didn't seem so bad. But I don't know if I'll be able to do it myself, without Karl telling me what to do!

Ky: I wish I'd had the presence of mind to take that picture.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

lifex again: Wow, I just looked up a sourdough recipe...and I think I'll stick with wolfa's no-knead recipe for now. I'll work my way up to that kind of effort. But I'm totally going to try making Foccaccia!

The History Enthusiast said...

I love baking bread too! I have a cookbook with 100 bread recipes. If you run out of good recipes, drop me a line and I can email some to you!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

100 bread recipes??? What's the name of the cookbook?

The History Enthusiast said...

I got it at Barnes and Noble about three years ago, and it is called 100 Great Breads. It is by Paul Hollywood. I think I've tried probably four or five of the recipes, and my favorites were the naan bread and the milk bread. It has lots of different kinds, like focaccia, brioche, challah, etc.... Someday I will get through all 100, but it will take quite a while! Good luck finding a copy!

lifexhistory said...

He did use yeast. He also finally bought the expensive flour, which apparently helped... but then he killed it. How he killed it, I just don't know. But some of his loaves of bread were HILARIOUS. I wish you luck. Other people we know have had much better luck than J with the sourdough.

Kate said...

No-knead bread is lovely. I also suggest you try your hand at an egg bread, since they're so yummy!