Monday, February 11, 2013

resolute: baking bread

- learn more about baking bread (to begin: read the lovely book Laura got me for Christmas)

120 pages into this book, the recipe section commences. Having read every one of the warnings against industrial bread (some of which I found reasonable, some slightly hysterical), nodded along with the author's defense of the pleasures and advantages of baking bread at home, and closely attended to the sections on bowl material, types of flour, water temperature, and kneading techniques, I felt the only thing to do was to start with the first recipe. 

So I did. "Basic Bread" came out of the oven yesterday, and I have a page of notes on it, and a small knob of dough sitting in the fridge, waiting to be incorporated into the next recipe, for "Old Dough Bread".  I aim to pull a Julie Powell, and, by the end of the year, bake every recipe in the book. (Thereby, I will translate a vague, qualitative resolution into an accomplishable, concrete sort of resolution.) Tim likes this plan a lot.  

At the same time, experiments on my own with the already-established sourdough:

Also: do you see that sun?

There is nothing like pausing every couple of hours to dissolve yeast in warm water, measure flour, punch down a cushion of dough, preheat the oven, pat and shape the loaves, check on their proofing, peek into the oven. (I don't want instant food--I want to coax glue to turn into bread.)

Happy Monday you all! 


  1. It is one of the greatest joys of my life to bake bread. A girl after my own heart :) xoxoxo

  2. I bet he does!
    Now that wheat isn't on the menu I want to bake more than ever...I will live vicariously through your adventure.

  3. Allison - Mine too. Tim and I have been doing it almost as long as we've known each other, but lately I've felt like I never really put the effort and the research into baking really, really good bread. I've mostly just gone for fast + whole grains.

    Dee - I'm glad you're feeling better, but a life without gluten can't help but be a little sad.

    I've eaten my share of Tim-baked bread. Besides, I really don't think I could keep up with two or three loaves a week . . .

  4. I love baking bread too as you well know, actually, I think of you pretty much every time I begin a batch with my sourdough (because you set me the starter in a letter last year) and I remember how it came at exactly the right time; oh and today I made sourdough pizza dough (its very delicious), and tomorrow I plan to bake a loaf of rye & caraway (my favourite)... happy reading & baking & savouring fresh bread my dear xx

  5. I love that you used the word "hysterical" -- it's definitely one way of describing Whitley's state as hippie, philosopher, and purist in the realm of bread making! I'm so glad you're utilizing the book and I'm excited to hear further tell of your Julie Powell-esque adventures with it.

    Sigh. You're such an inspiration, Lizzie. Kudos! ♥


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