22 Sep


Have you ever wanted to be friends with someone really bad but it just never seems to work out between you?  That’s my relationship with bread.  People who can make their own bread impress the hell out of me.  Mainly because I can’t.  Oh, I’ve tried. 

My first foray into the world of leavened yeast was after college.  I was cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my grandmother and I thought it would be awesome to make rolls.  So I followed the steps in the recipe, convinced that it couldn’t be THAT hard.  Boy, was I wrong.  My dough never rose.  Good thing gra’ma had those Brown and Serve rolls squirreled away in the freezer.

My bread baking aspirations were shelved.  And then last year everyone was talking about the No Knead approach.  I thought, finally, someone understands that I don’t have time to babysit bread dough.  I’d have to say that technically it was a success but it just didn’t rock my world.  Once again, bread had bested me.

Then we went all South Beach so I figured any future interest in bread making was futile.  I mean really, I can’t get white bread to work…how the hell am I going to figure out wheat bread?  And then I read this post from Smitten Kitchen .  The words “bread that doesn’t require you to dote on it or force you to adhere to an unforgiving schedule” jumped off the page at me.  I had to try this.

Now, I won’t say that I didn’t have my doubts along the way.  My dough was kind of dry which made kneading it challenging.  And I thought it would never start to rise.  But after letting it sit overnight, I was greeted by a lovely ball of (still kinda dry) risen dough.  After more kneading and a second rise, it was time to bake that baby off.  And you know what, it wasn’t that bad.

I wouldn’t mind a thicker, chewier crust.  But the bread itself wasn’t as dry as I feared it would be.  And the crumb was nice and tight.  After it had cooled a bit, I dolled a slice up with some cream cheese to go with a bowl of carrot soup

And since I now have a ginormous bag of wheat flour in my freezer, I expect that SFC will be seeing this again.  Who knows, maybe if you’re over for lunch you might see it too.  I wonder how this would work with rye?????

P.S. I’m not including the recipe here because I think the post at Smitten Kitchen tells the whole story better than I could ever try to condense it.  Mosey on over there and see.  Also, I do tag this item as SB Friendly in spite of the inclusion of some sugar and white flour.  Overall, I think it is in keeping with the spirit of the SB philosophy.


4 Responses to “Kneady”

  1. Jim 23 September 2008 at 8:42 pm #

    OK – there are SO MANY great bakeries in Baltimore, why even TRY????????


  2. pmf1852 25 September 2008 at 9:04 am #

    You know that I’m an overachiever when I want to be.

  3. Emily 16 September 2009 at 1:40 am #

    Don’t feel bad. I thought that more kneading was better than less. WRONG!

    My bread looked like pretzels.

    I now have a bread cookbook and a breadmaker. No worries!

  4. Wendi 16 September 2009 at 7:06 am #

    I’ve toyed with the idea of getting The Bread Bible. With a title like that, I have to be able to get at least one of those recipes to work right?

    Now that the cooler weather is coming back, I figure I might turn my attention back to Battle Bread.

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