Happy Birthday Bread!
I suppose it’s technically not really bread’s birthday, since people have been making bread long before I started, but it is a milestone for me. 🙂
When I first started, it felt like I would never get the hang of it. I started to think that I would have to just cough up the extra money to buy bread that doesn’t have any weird ingredients in it. There were a lot of flat breads because they just didn’t rise. I had quite a few ‘flying crusts.’ That’s when there’s a huge gap between the loaf and the crust. I also had some over risen bread that fell while it was baking. Others had huge gaps throughout the loaf. Some were really crumbly, some were really dense. Some tasted bad. Most at least tasted good, but depending on the consistency, many became croutons or breadcrumbs instead of sandwich bread. However, it got a lot easier as I made more bread. Once I got a feel for what dough should look like for sandwich bread and what it should look like for buns or for pizza, I had a lot more success. It also helps to understand what a recipe is saying when it describes the dough as loose or elastic.
It also felt like it was taking a lot of my time when I first started baking. Now, I just work it into whatever else I’m doing. Start dinner, mix bread, let it rise while I eat and then bake it. I really only spend a lot of time baking it if I’m trying something new. And for the weeks I really don’t feel like baking? Well, there’s an easy answer for that… We don’t eat bread for a week.
It does take time to learn and get comfortable with baking bread. It also takes time out of my day, even though I’m more used to dedicating time to it now and fitting it in to where ever it will fit. It is totally worth it. I don’t even want store bought bread anymore, the taste cannot compare to fresh bread and never will.
Next on the list is really learning how to cook a real sourdough loaf…