Monday, July 2, 2012

How to be a Baker in 2 Easy Steps!

Long time, no blog y'all! I wanted to share with you my latest adventures attempting to really make bread for myself on a regular basis. I know, crazy escapade to take on, but it summertime, and what is summertime for if not to try things you never thought you would do. Isn't that why we all attempt to sleep outside in a tent at least once in these hot months, even though we know that we are going to wake up sore and cold?

I won this amazing cookbook from TasteSpotting, a blog that I religiously follow that have beautiful noms and great suggestions for other blogs you might like to boot. (Check it out if you haven't already clicked!) They have give away's every now and then and I always enter, not necessarily expecting to win, but just to play the game. But lo' and behold, I won! "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day" is now mine and I have been devouring it ever since (pun intended.)

What a great addition to my ever growing cookbook collection!
I highly recommend this book if you are even remotely interested in baking your own fluffy, fresh, and healthy bread! The authors, a baker and a doctor, teamed up to come up with methods and recipes to make scrumptious bread without breaking the bank and without draining you energy. With a little planning, you can have bread baking in the oven while you shower and get ready in the morning (as I am now.)

Place holder of champions!
I chose to start simple and easy, mixing up a batch of the 100% Whole Wheat Bread. Now, I have done quick breads all my life, and I can somehow manage to make a decent dinner roll or cinnamon roll for the occasional Thanksgiving or brunch, but I really am not that talented of a baker. I find that I am way too impatient for all that rising and waiting, simply because there is no action! I have a few recipes which I have perfected, such as my Whole Wheat Pizza dough recipe that I grill outside, or the banana bread recipe I have imprinted on my brain from constant use, but yeast and I are still getting to know each other. I have a feeling that this book will help us get though the awkward introductions. 

This is basically just a mix and dump kind of recipe. Mix your wet and your dry (this book has some great tips and fascinating insight on the true life of yeast, liquid, and dry ingredients) and let raise.

Here is my dough right before it went into the oven!
 In the end, I was left with a not-too-terrible loaf of whole wheat pecan honey loaf, which was delicious when slathered with my homemade Strawberry Jam. I have been anxiously awaiting another day when I can again dive into this book and pick something else out that I want to try.

So here are my two steps to becoming an expert baker:
1. Buy an awesome book to help you out! (such as this one)
2. Be patient. (and be willing to start over...)

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