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As we’ve discussed before, bread making has always been a little scary for me. I was raised to believe that it was “finicky,” “time-consuming” and far too “labor-intensive.” Since becoming an adult, I’ve decided to tackle the bread beast head-on. I started my war with Beer Bread, which requires no kneading and no rise time. Now, it is time for me to vanquish my fear of yeast bread.

First, I found a really great cookbook. This one is written by Gordon Ramsay’s wife.

008

Then, I read the recipe and attempted to follow it.

Dry ingredients.

Dry ingredients.

After 10 minutes with the dough hook.

After 10 minutes with the dough hook.

This is when I started to realize that things were not going my way.

This is when I started to realize that things were not going my way.

Be kind to your web-footed friends.

Be kind to your web-footed friends.

After 15 minutes of kneading (and an additional cup of flour).

After 15 minutes of kneading (and an additional cup of flour).

Risen.

Risen.

Complete.

Complete.

Lessons Learned

  • Apparently, bread flour and all purpose flour have different absorption powers. When I went to knead the bread on the counter, it was way too loose and needed (see what I did there?) an extra cup or so of flour to look like a dough and not just like a paste.
  • Although there are a lot of steps to making bread, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s too labor-intensive. It is certainly a little time-intensive, but I managed to make both loaves of bread while I was getting ready for Mass. Pro-tip: shower after you knead.
  • This bread was incredibly inexpensive to make. Even better, it tasted really good. I brought a loaf over to my mother’s house and she asked me: “What brand is this?” If someone tells you that they would pay 4 dollars for the loaf of bread you bought over, you should keep that recipe in the rotation.
  • Bread that has been cooked completely will sound hollow when you tap on the bottom.
  • You will split an entire loaf of bread with your husband when it’s fresh.
Look at this! Look at this! It's beautiful!

Look at this! Look at this! It’s beautiful!

To conclude: making bread isn’t hard and we should all do it more often.

What sort of bread should I make next?

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