2008 was the year of bread-baking for me. I had always wanted to try it, but it seemed like a huge time commitment and mucho planning. It took me until last spring to get there. It all started with the No-Knead Bread recipe from the NY Times. Mix up the ingredients and then just let it all sit. What could be easier? It came out so great and looked professional, I think it may have been the first food item I felt compelled to be document with a photo (though I wish I had taken a photo of the inside—next time):
With the move to Ann Arbor, I have had some time on my hands while job-searching, and have delved whole-heartedly into the bread-baking world. The boy really wanted to try making bagels (No, not some clever euphemism. Really, making bagels)—so we did. It was a trial of nerves as I am one to follow the recipe to a T on the first go round; he is not.
I had also been reading what we have come to call the Nazi bread book. I complete guide to whole wheat bread making that is uber-strict to say the least. You MUST do this, and heaven-forbid you do NOT do this… etc etc. I took it all a little too much to heart and was whipped into a perfectionist frenzy. That soon passed. What the heck do I care if the coloration of the bread isn't exactly even over the whole loaf — it tastes good? Great. That's enough for me. Regardless, the bagels turned out pretty rockin' in the end — I wish I had taken a few pix. Next time.
Then, on to baguettes. Yum. Much easier than I thought they would be (perhaps it was my overzealous book training) though I don't think my subsequent efforts have been quite as good as that very first one (you know what they say…).
I had been buying King Arthur flour and started noticing the recipes on the back of the bags. I tried their Oatmeal Bread and loved it so much that I've gone on to try a bunch of their recipes. This bread smells so good with the best ting of sweetness and perfect density for toast or a super-hearty sandwich. Yum!!
What shall I try next…