I’m on a baking kick this weekend.
A few months ago I got myself a copy of the “Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Reinhart. I’ve been mulling through it since then. Last week I started to really read a slew of recipes and got the bug.
I’ve planned and created various pre-ferments for this weekend. On the menu is whole wheat sandwich loaf, bagels, and french bread.
I made the whole wheat loaf yesterday. The recipe says that it is for 2 1lb. loafs. I’ve had several recipes in the past that were like this, but I always end up with 2 little bricks. They just don’t rise very well for me 🙁 So anyway, this time I decided to do just one loaf. It’s nice and BIG 🙂 Perfect for sandwich size slices. Yaay! I topped this one with oats and sesame.
Today I made myself the happiest east coast jew (extremely secular non-practicing 😉 ) in the world. I made the quintessential NY bagel. “Oh man”. “Jeezus”. “Holy shit”. These are just a few of the less colorful quotes that came out of my mouth around a mouthful of hot bagel and cream cheese. I usually don’t impress myself, but MAN! This time I out did myself. Uh, they were really good. I have not had a bagel like that in MANY years. *sigh*. That is a sigh of contentment, of fulfillment. My life is now complete. I have the key to the perfect soul food. No matter where I am…I can go back in time…I can completely let go and relax…I can eat a real bagel. *SIGH*
Tomorrow, french bread. I don’t have any standards to hold that up to, so I’m sure I’ll be happy with whatever I come up with.
Earlier this summer, I tried to get a sourdough starter going. I tried several times only to have it completely fail. I think the climate in Arizona in the summer is just not compatible with that kind of baking. I reeeaaaaalllly want to make a sourdough starter so that I can make sourdough bread. I’ll try again this fall when the outside temperature is more temperate and the internal environmental controls (AC/Heat) are not so prevalent. I do have very high standards when it comes to sourdough. I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 16 years. This is a mecca for sourdough. Simply think Acme Bread Company. That is my standard. If I can meet them half way, I’d be more than happy.
Ahh, bread. Baking is a wonderful hobby. Makes you and everyone happy. Can’t beat that.
I have Kevin Dorne to thank for turning me on to baking. Thanks Kevin 🙂