I made bread.
I’m excited about this (and you should be too) because I have never voyaged solo into the non-breadmaker territory of awesomeness. It was daring. It was adventurous. And heck, it even turned out tasty!
Did I mention that I’m stoked?
It happened Sunday in the wee hours of the morning… For whatever reason I slept most of Saturday. I mean like 7 hours of sleep between 10am and 7pm – it was fairly impressive. But, it meant that later on after our activities, I found myself wide awake at 2:00AM with an inkling towards making an unassisted batch of bread. I picked a recipe after much deliberation and got to work. (It was a “country loaf” which means very little to me, but later on Heather seemed to think that it’s some type of common knowledge to experience that particular variety of bread.) I opted for the wheat conversion, naturally; it gives the impression of being “healthy” bread. Mostly I liked the fact that the cookbook said that it was good for dipping in parmesan and garlic olive oil. Mmmmm!
Here’s an interesting tidbit about Cody: I find that in the world of leavened bread, I’m deathly afraid that my yeast won’t do the trick and I’ll be left with a solid, brick-like loaf of carbohydrates. I’m not sure why I have this fear, but there it is.
This one seemed to work. The first mixture was good and bubbly after it’s 45 minutes of hanging out on the counter, and after some KitchenAid mixer auto-kneading amazingness, it seemed like it was doing well. I was thankful that in the second round of rising I got a chance to use my tupperware container with a piece of scotch tape on the side to prove that it had actually doubled, (because looking at a blob in a bowl is a poor way for an analtyical guy like me to figure if it’s really, in fact, “doubled”). Call me silly if you must, but it worked like a champ. (The hat-tip for that idea goes to Bread Master Extrordinare, Michael Ciri.)
Well, it’s hard to explain my bread making in a way that gives it the impression that it was exciting, but between episodes of 24 (2nd season), I made the magic happen. Mixing ingredients and letting it sit made bubbly goop, more ingredients, a bit of kneading and more resting made a blob of dough, and then the blob grew after another sitting on the cookie sheet. It was neat to see the process. I think I picked the longest possible recipe in my cookbook because it took a while to rise, and then it took a while to bake (when compared with other recipes). I think the bake time was affected by the fact that I was to also keep a pan of water to make for a humid cooking environment. I’d bet the water helped lots, but all I could really tell was that it was a great way to give myself a steam burn to the face if I wasn’t careful.
Anyhow, it came out of the oven looking beautiful and I finally made it to bed around 6am. Rather than cut into it right away, I left it for morning so Heather could admire my handiwork too. 🙂
In the morning, after some photographic documentation of the results, we cut in, sampled and approved the loaf. It indeed was tasty, had a good texture, and well, was bread! Heather decided on french toast for breakfast, and she made some of the best homemade French Toast with fresh fruit that I think I’ve ever had. Mmm!
If you have the chance, make a country loaf and then have yourself some breakfast, it really is quite worthwhile.