Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Baking, and other pursuits of happiness....

I am in love with anything related to food tv. Not just the Food Network, but all the cooking shows on PBS as well as the food extravaganzas on the Travel Channel. Sometimes, you can find me watching QVC because they have hours of great food and equipment that I am sure I need and can not live without. Thankfully, I stop myself before buying anything because Jeff would have a coronary.

Now, let's keep in mind that watching food tv of any sort does not equal cooking at home. Up until James was born, I cooked, but I cooked Hamburger Helper on a regular basis and Cream of Mushroom Soup was a staple. Ok, not a staple, THE STAPLE. I still implement the use of these wonderful inventions every once in a while and they do have a prized place in my pantry, but I actually cook now. I bake. I truly enjoy my kitchen time.

This all started when James was about six months old. Prior to that I didn't know which way was up and the kitchen, was that a room in the house? When he emerged from his please kill me with forks in the eyeballs and bamboo underneath my fingernails stage of life, I learned to embrace my inner Julia. Stretching it a bit, but yes, I LOVE cooking. My kitchen isn't great, my equipment gets better each time I get a present of some sort for either aging or via Santa Claus!

Since January of 2009, this has been my go to for everything baking. I write ad nauseam here about how much I love ATK and Cook's Illustrated. Their no nonsense recipes and cookbooks really are my kitchen bibles. Now today, thanks to Pioneer Woman, I discovered the Ivory Hut, and a recipe for simple, artisanal bread. At this very moment I am attempting to recreate this pillowy goodness. If it works, I will be irritated. Good irritated, but irritated none the less. I have spent hours making bread. Days creating sponges and starters that gave me really good bread, but I was so exhausted, I didn't enjoy the results. Instead of baking, I could have spent hours reading, her, her, or her and even her! Oh wait, I also have a job which could use some attention and my children. I think my husband is around here somewhere. So this is why I love the internet. It takes me to the brink then brings me back with good ol' homemade bread in under a day!

A step by step update on the bread making process....

6:51 - dough not so easy to handle. Not looking good. Have to wait 40 minutes. YACK, very nervous.

6:58 - oh wait, not ready yet

While we wait, let's ponder my foray into the business2blogger arena. I have nothing to report, but in my humble opinion, this is a great thing. I have not been inundated with nonsense emails trying to sell me things or have me do more. Looks like this isn't a trick. It is a real chance for bloggers to get advertisers that are appropriate for their content and this is good for everyone! I am excited for the next step!

Back to the action...

7:08 - Timer goes off and I realize I didn't set the time for this part, so I reset the timer for the amount of time I think is left in this step!

7:18 - Dough in oven. Tad bit of a fight getting it in there, but I am excited to see if this works. We shall all sit on the edge of our seats for the next forty minutes. Or, we shall all go fold clothes and return when the timer beeps!

7:30 - Just yelled at dryer because clothes aren't dry and it must be broken, or I forgot to turn it on when I put the clothes in it. Either way, the clothes are still wet.

7:42 - Is time even moving?

7:54 - Woot Woot

7:59 - Are we still cooking bread?

8:00 - Timer, and it looks like BREAD!
I can't believe it actually worked. So many things were working against me, like I didn't exactly have the right amount of all purpose flour, so I substituted Bread Flour, and I didn't have regular yeast, only rapid rise yeast. But still. I got beautiful bread. Thank you, The Ivory Hut. I will try this again soon with ALL the right ingredients and kitchenware.

Now I am off to eat bread and not fold clothes because the clothes ARE STILL WET!


Business 2 Blogger


Anonymous said...

this is some good looking bread.
Wow - with all the parts to this
recipe, it is a wonder people make
bread, but, the results are fabulous! Enjoy!

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