Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bread? Easy!

I'm really enjoying my new baking adventure. In the past two weeks I've made two batches of basic sourdough/whole wheat boule dough, one batch of limpa (a honey sweetened and cardommom spiced dough from Sweden), & one batch of olive oil dough.

I've baked foccacia, peasant loaves and sandwich bread. So far I've learned just how easy it can be to fill your home with mouthwatering aromas and oodles of delicious baked goods.

So now, that's easy, to simply get tasty bread on the table. But as I bake, I have more questions: How do I make my breads a bit lighter but keep them healthy with whole grain flours? How can I get them to rise higher? How can I perfect the slashing across the top technique?

I've ordered the second book by the same authors of "Artisan Bread in 5 Mintues a Day", which is titled: "Healthy Breads in 5 Minutes a Day" and I look forward to diving into the new recipes. I'm also hoping for more bread baking tips and techniques.

All in good time. For now, I'm enjoying each baking experience, one loaf at a time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My first loaf

A full year after purchasing "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day", I'm finally getting started on my dough odyssey.  I've mixed up a huge batch of dough and it's maturing in my fridge. The methods in the book are quite easy, as expected, and I'm already looking forward to branching out to the more interesting recipes.

Today I pulled off a hunk of dough to create my first loaf.  I'm fairly pleased with the results, although the shape is a bit bulbous, it has taught me a valuable lesson.  When slashing the top of the bread just before baking, make sure the cuts are uniformly deep.  I must have cut deeper on one side and the dough expanded more, creating the swelling.

It's still cooling or I'd describe the taste and texture.  I'll save that for later!