Cooking is an art. Baking is a science. I’ve always heard that but didn’t realize quite how true it was until I made bread for the first time last weekend. I’m a darn good cook and I’m a pretty good baker of cookies, pies, and sweet breads but a loaf of white bread? That was an adventure for me.
In all honesty I’ve had the cookbook that I used for this project for some months now but I’ve been nervous and busy so I was slow to get around to actually baking something. I won’t say that my first attempt ended with the best bread I’ve ever eaten but it wasn’t bad. Here are some of the things that I learned:
- My oven runs hotter than it should, I need to turn it down about 25 degrees next time.
- My liquids (milk and water) need to be slightly hotter next time before I add them to my dry ingredients.
- Give my dough longer to rise.
- I need a bread (dough?) knife.
- Kneading bread is going to work muscles I didn’t realized I had.
- I really like fresh, homemade bread.
I read my recipe book before I did anything…several times.
Mixing in the flour 1/2 a cup at a time.
Kneading the dough.
Shaping the dough after it has risen once.
Dough rising number two.
We had my bread for dinner that night along with:
- Chicken fried steak with from scratch gravy
- Red beans (the kind you have to soak over night)
- Salad (with homemade dressing)I spent a lot of time cooking last Sunday but I love it.
If you are curious here is the name of the cookbook that I used: Bread Made Easy: A Baker’s First Bread Book. It is an older book that I found at the best used book store: Recycled Books. If you have questions or advice please feel free to leave them in the comments below.