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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Flat Top

No- this does not refer to an old Ford auto engine, nor to my latest haircut (as if I had enough hair on the top of my head to sport a "flat top"). This is a description of today's bread that I just took out of the oven. I am beginning to see that breadmaking is quite the art- one that takes practice to perfect.

This time, I was careful not to add too much flour before I kneaded it. Consequently, it was quite an enjoyable process. I fought the dough on the first loaf I made, as it had excess flour. You can always add more flour, but it is impossible to take it out, once it's in.

I think the key is learning what the dough is supposed to look and feel like. That is where the craft come into play. It rose, well enough, but after shaping it and putting it into the loaf pan, I sort of forgot and let it set for several hours longer than it should have. As a result, the dough had risen, then fallen back a little.

Still, the bread was delicious. Better than the first loaf, and very light and airy. Now, if I can only get the timing right. I also can see that bread making requires a level of organization that appeals to me. I haven't quite gotten the hang of it, yet, but I am working on it. For instance, if you want "no knead" bread today- you had to start yesterday. If you want kneaded bread in the morning- you have to make it at night, or very early. However, I think the sheer enjoyment of learning a new skill and having fresh, homemade bread on hand will balance out the work involved.

I am pretty sure that this is not a financial savings. Probably when all is taken into consideration (heating the oven, supplies, etc.), I will probably end up paying more for each loaf than if I bought it. Remind me again- why am I doing this? Oh yeah- for the joy of cooking.

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