Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bringin' Baking Back

You know that lovely, apartment-warming, hug-your-face smell of freshly baked bread? Not a quick bread like pumpkin or zucchini or banana (all good though!) but a straight-up crackly-crusted loaf of hearty delicious bread?

Yeah, well, I didn’t either because I know like 2 people who bake bread at home, and it’s more of a mythical connection, the kind that’s practically an urban legend these days. “You know my friend Susie? Well she says her friend Ben’s cousin has an older sister in Vermont somewhere that bakes bread every week.” Oh really. Sure she does.

I feel like homemade bread-baking has gone the way of unicorns and mermaids. Every once in a while you hear that so-and-so has seen one, the news gets a hold of it, everyone gets all excited and then poof. They are gone, back into the mythical realm from which they came. I feel like the art of baking bread has become a mystical tale from the dark ages, where baking was a trade and the French made it an art form. Of course they did. They’re French, and everything, from cheese to wine to bread is a thing to create with dedication and pride. I love the French.

Well, I’m a modern day gal with an aversion to baking with yeast, since yeast intimidates me and freaks me out just a little bit and is finicky and and and

I was restless in the kitchen and needed to do something creative and artsy and pride-inducing with food, apparently needing to embrace my mythical Medieval self and whatnot, and nothing came to mind except baking a loaf of crusty bread, something on my list of “Things To Make In 2010.”

From The Vagabond Table

In prior No-Knead breads I’ve tried, I always thought they lacked a bit of salt. What can I say? I’m a salty type of gal. Anyhoo, this recipe is ALL over the internet, any blogger worth their salt (ha!) has made this, cooed about it, loved it, and praised it to the moon and back and, after trying my own hand at it, I must say that I have to echo their sentiments of high praise.

From The Vagabond Table

You’re supposed to let it rise overnight, and then rise some more the next day… I let it rise for a full 19.5 hours. !!! I kind of left it a bit longer than recommended (12-18 hours) but I was busy and it was a Sunday, you see. If anything, I think it made it even better with an almost sourdough-like flavor. I also used a sprinkling of cornmeal which I adore on baked items and upped the salt a bit. Friends, this bread not only made my apartment smell as delicious as it tasted, but lasted me the better part of a week in breakfast provisions. Score.

From The Vagabond Table

My only gripe is that by the time I got to actually baking it, it was time to go to bed and that best first-pulled-out-of-the-oven crackly slice of bread was a short-lived wonder. Next time I won’t wait 19.5 hours and edge closer to 15 so I can have at least 3 slices. Side note: Impressing your friends has never been easier… or more time consuming, but I’m focusing on the easy part of this recipe.

1 comment:

DC said...

It was warm,crackly andabsolutely stunning in my mouth. Paired with some brie...mmm...wonders, i tell you! Plus, your "mame" bakes it on a daily basis. that's your claim to "baking bread fame":)))