November 1, 2011

Rise {Again}

On the weekend, I finally attempted my first loaf of homemade bread. It's something I've always wanted to try, but have been afraid to actually do. There was just something about the yeast, the kneading, the rising, the waiting, and the baking that seemed a little complicated. Yes, I can find my way around a kitchen fairly well when it comes to cooking up a delicious meal or a sweet treat, but the balance of exact measurements and perfect timing required for a loaf of bread to come out just right always intimidated me.

I'm also surrounded by women who make excellent bread, including my mother, my grandmother, my sister, and my mother-in-law, but despite my best intentions and many a "I've got to get someone to show me how to make bread..." I never seemed to get around to it. So yesterday, I got over the fear and got around to it on my own. I figured what's the worst that'll happen? It won't rise. I'll over knead. It'll bake up too heavy, or too dense, or too flat. I decided if all of that was the worst that'd happen, I 'd be OK. I'd be out a few cups of flour and a packet of yeast and I'd be in some learning experience.

With a fresh packet of yeast in hand, I pulled up this recipe that I'd pinned a while back on Pinterest. It looked like a nice balance of healthy grains and white flour. Hey, if I'm going to go through the trouble of making bread, I wanted it to be something I could feel good about eating. The white breads of my kin are divine for the lips, but disaster for the hips. Grainy goodness was a must for me. It also looked fairly straightforward and had clear directions. Measuring cups. Check. Ingredients. Check. Loaf Pan. Check. Oven. Check. Let's get this loaf on the road.

what, you don't bake in your burberry scarf? I may be in the kitchen, but I can still be in style!
After some yeast mixing and blooming, some dough kneading and rising, some loaf baking and waiting, I ended up with this beauty.

fresh from the oven...

all buttered up and ready to eat
Looks like bread. And better yet, it tasted like bread. Like honest to goodness, warm, doughy, homemade bread. Smeared with a little butter, it made the perfect accompaniment to my glass of red wine on Sunday evening. Hey, I figured I went good grain on the bread, I did good on baking the bread, I needed to celebrate the bread ;)

It was even better with a cup of coffee yesterday morning. Mmmmm.

And after all was said and done, what was the worst that happened? I might have burned the motor in my Cuisinart food processor, despite it coming equipped with a bread blade and instructions that say it has a motor efficient enough to process multiple batches of dough in a row. I haven't had the heart to turn it on since, so we'll see.

Nonetheless, I think my bread dough will rise again, even if I have to knead it all by hand.


Tricia Warford said...

Good on ya, mate!

Mountain Mama said...

looks delicious!!!

cheryl said...

congrats on the bread. it looks like it was delicious (fun photos)! i love fresh bread...