Sunday, June 15, 2008

Baking Bread For The First Time

Baking bread has always been something that I've wanted to learn how to do. It's one of those "life goals" of mine similar learning to drive a car (done) or learning to play the bassoon (not actually on my list). This weekend, I decided to actually give it a try. On Life as a Banquet!, I read a while back that @jpostonday, whom I'd met at a couple of conferences, had been making the same bread weekly for the last 10 years and she posted her detailed recipe, so I thought that would be a good choice.

As many of you have read, I bake yeast rolls and pizza crust now and then, so baking bread wasn't actually that daunting a task. One of the things I always worry about is whether my dough will actually rise or not. In this case, it rose incredibly well. In fact, next time I put the dough in a slightly warm oven, I'll be sure to move the top rack to the bottom. It's a good thing that I put the plastic wrap on top, as she suggested, or it would have been a real mess.

This is what it looked like after I split the dough roughly in half.

It's a neat recipe in that you stick the loaves in a cold oven, set it to 425F degrees and then turn it on for 45 min. That gives the dough a chance to rise some more as the oven heats up. How well his works has to vary from oven to oven, though, since the speed at which ovens heat up is variable. In this case, I think my crust was a little darker than the "golden brown" that it was supposed to be, but it still tasted good.

I resisted the urge to cut into the warm bread before this morning, so it had a chance to cool thoroughly. It looked good to me, but I didn't know what it was supposed to look like.

The important thing is that it tasted good! I look forward to experimenting with this and other bread recipes in the future.


  1. Aw, if you took up the bassoon, you could get one of those cool "cantina band" t-shirts from think geek!

    (Disclosure: I've played many instruments in my life, but never could master the reeds. I'm sure if I'd kept up the oboe just a little bit longer, I could have taken up a hefty collection as an incentive to quit.)

  2. Valerie9:54 PM

    It looks beautiful. I am quite surprised this is your first loaf!