Monday, January 11, 2010

Bread Day

For Christmas I gifted my husband with a bread book, Local Breads by Daniel Leader. I just started making our bread within the last several months, and we do love to expand our bread repertoire. So the book was given with the understanding that if he found recipes that looked fun or delicious or interesting, I would try to make them for him. There is a lot about bread-making that I don't know, but I thought this could be a fun way to learn more. I mean, as a gift to him...

This weekend, he went through the book and picked out those recipes that looked yummiest, and thus topped his list of those that he wants me to try first, and I promised I would make one today. But then we also ran out of sandwich bread, and I realized I would need to make more of that, also. Not wanting to back down from my promise, I decided I would make both.

The sandwich bread came first. I now have a standard, go-to recipe for white bread that is absolutely delicious. I did, however, come across a different recipe recently that I wanted to try, so I figured I might as well go for it today. The recipe is straightforward, and I followed the advice given in the notes regarding lengthening the rise times and shortening the cook times. Very helpful hints.

This bread came out really well - my helper and I sampled it at snack time today. I am always so proud when bread I make rises well, slices well and tastes good. And this one did all three. I don't think it will replace my go-to recipe, but I do think that it will be added to the bread rotation here.

Once the sandwich bread was made, it was time to tackle Daddy's request - baguettes. While it is a relatively simple recipe, the author is very serious about his bread. As well he should be, considering that bread is what he does for a living. I, however, am not a professional, and don't have bread peels and stones and all of the things that he specifies. But we did our best and tried to make do.

Since this bread didn't require any punching, my helper did some measuring and mixing for me. And other than measuring and mixing, the main thing we had to do with this recipe was wait. So we filled our time as best we could.

Playing dress up, doing some ballet, playing silly felt board games...

And after all that waiting, we actually baked some bread. I gotta tell you, That Daniel Leader does know what he is talking about. These baguettes really tasted like... well, baguettes! With a good texture and crust and a nice soft inside... all with only four ingredients. Yum.

So now that we have way too much bread in the house, I think we'll be having French Toast for breakfast tomorrow... Stay tuned!

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