Baking #1: 42 projects in 52 weeks- “Everyday Bread”

***This was originally posted on 1/2/15***

So… yesterday was the first day of 2015. I had planned to start the new year with a hike or a picnic in the park or something outdoorsy and embracing all things beginning again. Then this happened:

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As one of my best friends put it when she texted me this picture: “What the f is this?”

For those of you who aren’t Phoenicians… this is basically ungodly cold for us. Any weather that does not allow the semi-comfortable wearing of flip flops, no matter what month it is, is not OK.

So… instead of trying to bundle my kid up and take him outside (how do you Midwestern families do it?! I mean baby snowsuits are cut and all but I can barely get my son into a single layer of clothes with all the wiggling.) I put him in his high chair, put on our favorite youtube videos to dance to, and decided that the best way to warm up was to turn on the oven and to try my hand at baking bread. This also meant it was time to bust open the giant brick of yeast I had purchased for my 2015 goal:

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It was pretty fun to watch the yeast explode out when I cut the vacuum seal…

I figure now that I’ve invested in this much yeast, I HAVE to bake bread/pretzels/bagels/etc, right?

For my first batch of bread I decided to try the first recipe in this book:

image3It claimed it was easy,  and the 2-3 hours the bread needed to rise was a good opportunity to get some new year’s cleaning done. AHAHAHHAHA just kidding. My baby is teething and getting over an ear infection so he’s still on the fussy side of life which meant most of that time was spent trying to get him to nap, putting him in the baby carrier so I could put away some Christmas stuff (we STILL haven’t put away Christmas gifts. I guess today is the day), and listening to Amy Poehler’s audiobook pretending she and I are best friends.  When I left the bread to rise it did not look very pretty and I thought for sure I had messed it up and straight away I would have my first utter failure to blog about… but I patiently waited. And it seemed to rise just fine.

yup, our oven is a hot mess… literally… but doesn't the bread look good?!

yup, our oven is a hot mess… literally… but doesn’t the bread look good?!

And after it had time to bake,  it came out looking pretty good:

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It tasted alright too! At first I thought it was just ok… then I melted some butter on a slice and it  becaome something I definitely will eat again and my husband said it was the best bread he’d tasted in a long time. There’s a pretty thick crust on it but the inside is really soft, and the crust was actually baby’s favorite part because he could gnaw on it like a teething toy!

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For round one of baking, I am going to call it a win. But hopefully the next loaf will be even better.

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