Fresh Baguettes, a Simple Comfort of Life
I love food. I find myself going to Food Blogs and opening Cookbooks far more often than I ever hit CNN.com or flip through the Washington Post. I should feel ashamed, and I do at times–especially living in Washington, DC. I am a little slow on the news intake, but food…I got that. Not just the eating part, but I love the creation, the science, and the composition of food. Most of all I love watching people enjoy food and enjoy one another’s company. Ok, ok, I’ve shared this already.
On a more personal note with food, I am a dessert girl. I, in an unhealthy manner, turn to anything involving chocolate for those times of comfort. Yet while I have a seemingly unquenchable sweet tooth, my real “comfort food” (aside from popcorn, apples, and chocolate) is fresh bread.
I find comfort in the process. I enjoy the investment of time, the smell steaming from the oven, and the chewy crunch. Just like any nerd, I enjoy that when yeast reaches the perfect warm temperature it begins to swell, and grows as you add sugar. I like kneading. Even though my Kitchen Aid sitll resides in Oregon, I honestly don’t mind kneading for the necessary 10 minutes. I enjoy that as you leave it to set over night it develops a deeper flavor. I anticipate the hours before baking as it doubles in size and is punched down. I really like the flour.
(Have I bored you yet?) I do like flour and how there is specific bread flour that makes bread taste soooo much better! And I like the feeling of flour in my hands and dusting it on top of the loaf before it bakes. And homemade bread is always delicious! And who doesn’t enjoy eating fresh bread? I love the gift of homemade baked goods, especially bread. Fresh bread is also one of two ways I will actually eat butter (on real popcorn as well). And, oh, do I love melted butter on a good piece of bread.
I started falling in love with bread baking Winter of 2009. One of my favorite men in the world, my Grandpa, was extremely ill Fall 2007-2008. He was unable to enjoy some of his favorite foods for almost a year. (Can you imagine?) Among many, one of his favorites is fresh bread, especially artisan bread. At Thanksgiving 2008 I told him that I was going to find a recipe to make him the bread that he so dearly loved from Fred Meyer. That is what began my hunt for the perfect Artisan Bread Recipe. I’ve tried many and was blown away with Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes–I used that recipe for almost a year. I’m not sure if there is anyone I enjoy feeding more than my Grandpa. I guess I’ll know I’ve found the right man for me when he enjoys my baking as much as my Grandpa does. Anyway–Christmas 2009, when I was home from college and could not fall asleep, began this recipe at 2am. It is now my favorite go to bread recipe. A few weeks ago when my friend came over for dinner after church, we had the joy of breaking this bread together (I don’t have a bread knife, so we literally broke it).
Please check out this Recipe. It is now my favorite :) P.S. I am now working on my slim photo skills.