Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Holy Mary Mother of God... I Made BREAD!


Yes.. I made bread. I made bread from absolute scratch. I made bread from NOTHING but flour and water. Hell, I made the YEAST! I have been nursing a starter for 4 days or so, just patiently waiting for the day I could bake. How wonderful that I could FINALLY bake bread on the very day my new mixer came in the mail..... FATE. It has been a truely gratifying baking day, today. I left work early when I got the word that the mixer was in ( I know, I know... pitiful), made a quick stop by the grocery and jetted home. I was in baking mode.
I got her out of the box... admired her, washed her bowl and got started! I started by mixing my bread with the starter and flour with a bit of salt. As that rested I decided to "whip up" a cheesecake. I made one from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook..... The Raspberry Marzipan Cheesecake. This was my first attempt at a cheesecake and I have to say I was impressed! It wasn't nearly as difficult as I had expected. It takes a while to bake ( 80 long minutes and another hour cooling in the oven with the door adjar.) but other than that it was no sweat. Really. It is a georgeous cake and I am eating a piece as we speak. Delicious.


But back to the bread....
After the dough took a rest I mixed in the remainder of the flour and changed from my paddle to my dough hook. Man, that baby flew! That big bowlof dough was no match for the KA.... She whipped that dough right into a lovely smooth elastic ball...
I let it rise, shaped it, let it rise AGAIN and finally was ready to bake. My recipe calls for a pan of water in the bottom of the oven as it bakes and also for a few squirts of water in the stove as the bread is cooking. The steam makes for a nice crust. I couldn't find a water bottle to squirt with so I had to use one of my daughter's bath toys that squirted. A rubber ducky with a santa hat on....

The bread has a very hard crust to it... I think that will get better with practice , but the inside is soft and fluffy. I haven't tasted it yet.... I will let you know tomorrow.
Thank you to Linda who helped me through the entire process and who gave me the "sourdough" starter....
Cheers!

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