Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Starting From Scratch


I've been baking bread for a couple weeks now. It's just not something I ever thought I would be doing but to be honest, it's one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. I don't have a breadmaker. I don't even own a mixer. Just me and the dough (ok, I do have an oven). But kneeding the dough, the delight when I see that it has risen (even after half a dozen loaves, I still don't expect it to work), the mouth-watering aroma that fills my house, and ultimately, the taste of fresh bread with just a little butter and jam - well, it's just too much of a wonderful thing.

I took on-line lessons at The Fresh Loaf. (This is a great resource!) And the recipe in the second lesson is by far my favorite (leave it to me to like the one with the fat and sugar). I'm in the process now of experimenting with different types and quantities of flour, using a bread pan vs. free-form on a cookie sheet, etc. Today, I decided to substitute the sugar in the recipe for some local honey I bought at the farmers market a couple weeks ago. This latest experiment is pictured above. Looks good, huh? Tastes even better! Let's just say, the first slice is always eaten before the loaf is cool.......

In other news: My dad stopped by for a visit today with some asian pears from Chile (asian pears from Chile sounds weird to me too, but stay with me here). He knows all about my eating local experiment and, in fact, was my personal hero last week when he brought over some local watermelon and blueberries. (I hadn't had any other fruit than grapefruit for the previous 2 weeks so I was drooling when he called to tell me what he was brining over). Anyway, so he happened to see these pears at the grocery. They are not available often and he knows I just love them, so he bought a package of four, crossed out the word "Chile" on top and wrote in "Texas" so that they would be local! We laughed and I gave him a big kiss of thanks. What a wonderful reminder that in our effort to live simply, green, and frugally we will never be perfect. That's not the goal. The goal is to do what we can and enjoy life fully. That being said, I'm off to slice one of those pears........


1 comment:

Marius said...

Check out this fantastic bread -- Diann & I love it - the big heavy dutch oven is a requirement, though:

http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2007/09/10/no-knead-bread-revisited/