On my last weekly grocery shopping trip, I eyed a sale on packets of yeast and thought to myself, “Why have I never baked with this before?” Three packets of yeast later, I was at home and looking up recipes for Santa Lucia Day rolls, telling Matt about how awesome they were going to be. And today, 6 days later (decidedly not Santa Lucia Day, and using an English version of a French recipe), I finally got around to cutting open one of those packets and praying that my bread would not turn out as a flat, lifeless brick.
I’ve been party to bread baking many times over the years, but never done it by myself and for myself (and my husband… does he count as a separate entity these days?). I followed the recipe for French baguettes out of the Joy of Cooking (complete with a baking pan of steaming water… highly technical stuff!) figuring I could add it to my list of 101 things if nothing else.
10 minutes of figuring out how to use the bread hook on my Kitchen-Aid mixer, 2 hours of rising, a brief trip to the laundromat, and 45 minutes of baking later, I had what resembled two small and compact loaves of French baguette.
Matt said, “Pretty good”. Rachel asked for seconds. And I ate at least three sizable hunks of it. I always feel that the quantity eaten is a better review than the actual words said, so I’ll deem this a beginning success.
Maybe bread-making should happen more often? It’s fairly time consuming, what with having to punch things (seriously, the directions say “punch down the dough”!) and check on it at hourly intervals. But it was pretty delicious, and certainly a lot cheaper than buying a loaf at the store.
Either way, I can officially say I’m a bread baker!