3 Months of Homemade Bread for Alex (Part I)
One of Alex’s birthday presents was a 3-month supply of fresh homemade bread. That means that for 3 months, I’ll make sure there is always fresh homemade bread in the house.
(There were some terms and conditions on this present, including an out clause for when I’m on business trips. I utilized this out clause for two weeks the day after giving the present. Not intentional, I swear!)
This has been a fun present to give. So far we’ve made:
- Cornbread from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (not pictured)
- Merrill’s Irish soda bread from Food52
- Rye pretzels from Good to the Grain.
- Quinoa Butt Buns (they are 1/3 quinoa dinner rolls that had an unfortunate resemblance to butts), adapted from the fast baguettes recipe in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Great flavor and excellent paired with goat cheese.
- Challah from Smitten Kitchen. Kneading 10 cups worth of dough was hard work after two days of water skiing!
- Farl from 100 Great Breads by Paul Hollywood
Some lessons have emerged from all this baking:
- Breads are accessible. It’s amazing how quickly you can step across worlds in baking, moving from a German pretzel recipe to an Irish soda bread to a traditional Jewish bread.
- Kneading really does matter. I used to take pride in telling people that I barely kneaded my bread at all. But kneading until the dough is elastic really does result in fluffier bread. If you find it fun, as I do, there’s no reason to short-change it.
- Quick breads are great in the morning. If you’re an early riser like me, try throwing together for breakfast a soda bread or something else that doesn’t need to rest and rise. It’ll make your cereal taste like cardboard by comparison.
More to come on this front.