Date Cooked: November 1st, 2008 Page: 727 Rating: B
I’m not really sure what possessed me to make a loaf of bread in the evening. For some reason I kept thinking it wouldn’t take too long, probably because when I read the recipe I missed the part telling me to let the dough rise a second time for an hour. I missed it when planning but fortunately not when making the bread. I would like to point out at this time that bread-making is a first for me. But based on this experiment and the fact I am a carbaholic, I will definitely be trying this more frequently. It is rather simple to make.
First the dry ingredients of salt and flour got mixed together. Then I mixed the milk, warm water, melted butter and honey together with yeast. The book recommends using warm milk and water and unfortunately my milk wasn’t really warm when I started. It didn’t help that the milk I had just purchased was expired and I had to run out to return it. At least I didn’t open it and use it. So with the wet ingredients mixed, I fired up the KitchenAid Stand Mixer and slowly added the wet ingredients, turning up the speed I let the dough mix for a short bit. Once the dough no longer stuck to the sides but still stuck to the bottom I transferred it to a floured work area. I’ll be extremely honest here. This dough may no longer have stuck to the sides of the bowl but it stuck to EVERYTHING else. I really don’t get why that is the stopping point. In the future I will add some more flour until it is a little less sticky. This dough was like when you get a little sticky bit of glue on your finger and you can’t flick it off because it keeps sticking to your other finger. Damn annoying.
So I worked the dough into a ball and put it in a lightly oiled bowl… or I put it in a bowl that was supposed to be lightly oiled. So I removed the dough and then oiled the bowl and put the dough back in. The dough was still not getting any less sticky. Covered it and placed it in a warm oven (the oven was heated and then turned off). At this point I started to watch a movie.
The timer goes off and I pull the dough out. It had risen to double it’s size, which is a good thing I guess. I then flattened it, rolled it into a log and placed it in a loaf pan and let it rest for 50 minutes… well actually it rested for about 30 minutes when I realized I hadn’t greased the loaf pan. I was torn. Do I disturb the dough in order to grease the pan or do I suffer trying to remove the loaf from the pan after it has baked… I disturbed the dough. I tried to be very gentle but I am sure I knocked a bunch of the air out of it. I greased the pan and then carefully placed the partially risen loaf back in. I let it rise for a bit longer before putting it in the oven to bake.
Regardless of the airiness of the loaf it smelled great while baking. When the timer went off again I checked the internal temperature and it was perfect. I removed the bread from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack. I really do love the smell of fresh baked bread. When it had cooled enough, or more accurately when I could no longer resist cutting into it, I sliced it up and ate probably half the warm loaf with just butter or peanut butter.
Rating: B. Excellent first attempt at bread but I am certain it was not as fluffy as it could have been because of my over handling of the dough. I will definitely be making more bread in the future though.
I am a husband to a loving wife that shares my same interest for food and cooking. I am a father to two sons (and a newborn son) that have an aversion to food. I'm also a pretty bad cook... which could be their problem... but I'm working on it.
I'm attempting to cook-through 'The New Best Recipe' for two reasons. I want to educate myself on the culinary arts a little and I want to provide better and hopefully more interesting meal options for my family... oh yeah plus I find food photography real exciting so it gives me a chance to justify why I take pictures of food!