Tuesday, August 26, 2014

i love bread.

photo courtesy of the nytimes.com

from time-to-time, i like to issue myself a baking challenge. over the years, cheesecake, granola, and blueberry muffins have been stepped up and while they were backed with lofty regard, i came out on top, pleased to share the tasty results. 

now it's time for a new challenge: bread.

i've been inspired lately by bread. not normal sandwich bread but hearty bread you bake without a pan, with a crunchy crust and soft middle that melts in your mouth. bread that when it's saturated in olive oil it evaporates on my tongue and pairs perfectly with a hard white cheese, kalamata olives, crisp apples, and peppered salami for a french-influenced country supper. 

my first thought is a french loaf and then perhaps i'll have enough courage to try my hand at a grains bread like rye or a sturdy brown walnut loaf. i want my apartment to smell like fresh bread, the aroma of the bread baking but also that initial scent of yeast. 

i'm too green to feel up to trying out tartine's incredible bread recipe that is so long they turned it into a book, but it's definitely on my christmas wishlist. i want to turn those pages and allow my awe to grow at the man of flour, chad robertson. (his loaves take two days to rise. whoa.) and maybe he can teach me something, like to not try so hard to own the dough but let it do its thing. 

photo courtesy of vogue.com

i think after bread, homemade butter should be my next challenge. imagine--fresh, homemade butter on warm, home-baked bread. sounds heavenly.

if you have any tips for the bread-baking newbie, drop 'em in comments. i'd be happy to receive them.

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