Before familiar readers wonder, “Hey, hasn’t she shown us freshly baked bread here before?”, the answer is “Yes, yes I have”. However, this time, it is I who baked the bread, as opposed to our resident baker, Nick!
This was my very first time making bread of any kind that used yeast, kneading and dough rising. I did it because I was challenged as part of Shakti Dove’s “Blog Partner for the Month” Series. One of the things we decided to to together was bake some bread from scratch, following this beginner recipe. Shakti made hers with orange peel in it, which you can check out here.
The idea was to use the basic recipe and jazz it up somehow, so I turned mine into herbal twisted loaves, by using olive oil and adding 1/4 teaspoon each of dried oregano, basil, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. I just mixed those in with the flour and when it came time to raise (rise?) the dough, I left it in the bowl covered by a wet tea towel. Then I shaped my loaves by rolling the dough into long strips and twisting them. Then I let them raise a bit longer for an extra 1/2 hour. Note, that I made 1/2 of the recipe and it yielded two foot-long loaves.
I’m so glad I tried this. It was fun and though I didn’t have high expectations, it magically made some decent bread! I honestly thought there was some sort of trick to making your own bread, but it really is as easy as those who have tried it say it is. The reason I thought it would be hard to do was a story that has stuck in my head since I was young. It was about the bread making efforts of a friend and his family … the loaf they made together turned out so hard that they couldn’t even slice it, and the joke was that they used it as a doorstop instead!
But I am here telling you now that bread making really is not a hard thing to do at all. I think the key is that your yeast has to be fresh so that it rises properly. Check out the picture of what the yeast looks like … it’s shaped like little balls.
We actually got a bread making machine recently, but to prove that I followed the ‘rules’ of the challenge and made this bread all my myself, I have included photos of some of the process!
Also here are some photos of serving ideas, one being olive oil and balsamic vinegar with fresh rosemary and another being chevre (goat’s cheese) and hot pepper jelly. We still have some left and Nick is turning it into garlic bread to serve along with our pasta lunch today.
Thanks to Shakti for motivating me to try something I’ve never done before. Next time, I’m going to try making cinnamon rolls!
Happy Saturday to all!
ps. Anyone here looking for ‘Saturday is Caturday’, please come back tomorrow, to check out Eddie the Seat Stealer. In the meantime, here is what he was doing while I was taking the shots for this post … Seems that I was stealing his sunbeam!