I used to think making bread was scary, until I tried. The whole, yeast being alive thing…Anyways, Joanne Chang’s cookbook is extremely instructive and I’ve had really good luck with the Country bread and Potato bread recipes that she has but today was my first trip outside of the Flour cookbook.
I used a recipe for Hearth Bread off of the King Arthur website, with some accidental modifications. This was the first time I hand kneaded a loaf of bread and it might sound weird but it’s really meditative!
It turned this…
After rising for 2 hours, I punched it, even though it did nothing wrong,
,and split it into 2 loaves. I shaped them in what I consider…Italian. The website gave me 2 choices, French or Italian, and there were no pictures! The width makes me decide Italian.
I love my food processor for so many things (it shredded that zucchini for pizza take about 3 seconds), today I’ve definitely decided that hand kneading makes better bread. By “today”, I mean about 2 minutes ago when I bit into the beautiful loaf and it knocked my socks off.
I don’t think baking bread is nearly as difficult as people might think and I think it opens up a huge door. I might be a bit biased because I’m a bread fanatic (seriously, I’ve had to bring food home from restaurants on more than one occasion because they had a phenomenal bread basket) but I can’t be the only one who enjoys having fresh baked bread around. And buying it is EXPENSIVE and you miss that fresh out of the oven warmth anyway.
Bake Bread. Today.