Monday, August 22, 2011

The Bread Saga, Part 1: Italian Bread

I have this vision of me sending my future kids off to school someday with a healthy, tasty lunch,  pb+j made with fresh baked bread, homemade jelly, and that fancy-pants peanut butter made with just chopped up peanuts. My charming husband gets one too, as he goes off to his job as a doctor or a lawyer or something, all dressed up in a suit and fedora. Also, everything's in black and white.

Then I remember that my life's not a 50's sitcom, and I'm not going to have time to bake bread or make jam on a regular basis between soccer practice and ballet and girl scouts and whatnot. Oh yeah, and I suck at baking bread.

I mean, I'm awesome at banana bread and poppy seed bread and whatnot, I can make a decent pizza crust, but basic, boring, yeast bread? Not so much. But I had to tackle this head on! If I can't send my fictional kids off to school with fresh bread, I can at least get good enough to bake some for myself! That and I wanted to finally use the dough hook on the kitchenaid mixer. And I had all that cream leftover from the apple cake, and it needed to go away, in this case, as butter.

I found a recipe online, Emeril's Basic Italian Bread. I mean, It had basic right in the name!

First, the dough wouldn't get to the right texture. I kneaded, and kneaded, both with the mixer and by hand, but it wouldn't get "smooth, firm, and elastic." Whoops. It'll figure itself out, right?

Then the rising. It rose...but it didn't quite double. But I mean, really, who's measuring? It'll be fine!

So as you can guess, the bread didn't turn out quite right. It tasted...special. Yeasty and dense. Eatable, but not great. I blame me, not the recipe. Even the artsy little slices in the top didn't look right, and the crust was all bubbly. Maybe I should actually learn how to bake bread...

To Be Continued!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Honey...You are an amazing writer..I LOVE reading your postings..I also prepared prickly pear fruits..& may still have some spines in my body..I made juice & it's worth the effort.. & so healthy..I'm so pleased you found old cookbooks How exciting & wonderful you were the one to get them & pass them on when you have an attic sale many years from now..ha..You are so talented ..I think after your Music Masters, you ahould attend an upscale cooking school,you are that talented..I wish I could have tasted your cactus cobbler... Can't wait for your next trip to AZ.& have you bake for us..Good Luck in school, Dear, & stay in touch..I LOVE YOU & look forward to more of your writings..You're just exceptional, & so humorous..I won't miss any..Stay in touch..Bless YOU..Gram B..