I like to think of myself as a baker, for it was through baking that I came to enjoy the process and science of cooking. I make cookies and cakes that are so good that friends and family request them, or at least hint at them, around their birthdays or other special occasions. However, I had never made bread, aside from cornbread, until the other day.
You see, I started this blog upon our move to a new state for my job, which doesn’t start until September. I have just finished graduate school, a long period in which I had no time for hobbies, and I decided to take this free time to take on new projects. Projects like learning photography, taking up running and cycling, and learning how to bake bread and pastries. Inspired by the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge at Pinch My Salt (food blogs were something I discovered the week after I graduated … what a delicious way to spend time on the computer that I used to spend writing about research), I picked up Peter Reinhardt’s book and started with the Anadama bread this past Thursday. Since it was the same day that I also brought home my beautiful specialized bike, I forgot to take pictures. But it was just as well. I didn’t have bread flour and had to use all-purpose instead and I felt like the mollasses called for was just too overwhelming. As a result, I didn’t like the Anadama bread. I may make it again after I buy some bread flour, but I was just a little disappointed, to be honest. I was set on baking some bread that I could use for sandwiches, and never one to give up, I decided on Friday to skip ahead in the challenge and make the white bread on page 250(?). I had still not yet made it out to the store to buy bread flour, so again, I used all-purpose, but this bread turned out much better. I made a loaf, which I forgot to take a picture of (but take my word it wasn’t very interesting looking, being white bread and all), and with the other half of the dough, made a few giant hamburger buns.
Finally, I had made bread that I was excited about. They looked so round and perfectly golden. I even added sesame seeds for the hell of it, and am very glad that I did! I mean, they actually look like hamburger buns and they tasted like … well, like flour. It was in baking, and eating, this bread that I realized just how important having the right kind of flour is; while we had some delicious turkey burgers this weekend on these buns, they were far too dense from all the extra flour I had to add to the recipe to make it less sticky.
So, before I attempt another recipe in the BBA Challenge, I need to stock up on the proper ingredients! Still, I made bread this week. Bread that was edible and quite beautiful.