Sunday, October 24, 2010


#5!  It's Pita Bread!  That world-wide favorite and wonderfully dairy-free wheat masterpiece!

Ok so this bread was pretty simple...but there was the weirdness of heating the pans (including the parchment paper on them) before putting the dough on.  This resulted in a burnt smell emanating from the oven which, of course, I am used to from previous baking tasks but was a little worrying since I had been doing so well as of late.  (Everything turned out fine.)

Also there was the instruction that the recipe makes "about 7".  About 7?  About 7?  Is that 6 or 8?  Or does that actually mean 7?  I went with 8...because even numbers are much easier to cut the dough into.  In hindsight, I should have made 6.  These are tiny pita breads I have made.

(As you might have noticed, I ate half of that one...It was wonderful!)

Simple as this recipe might have seemed, I discovered that there were some other problematic things.  The bread went from not cooked and super-pale to a pretty tan (but too dark, I think) and cooked in about 1 minute.  Also, I had to work in batches because I didn't have the oven space needed to bake them all at once.  The final problem was that the recipe said that the bread would balloon up then collapse to give you the "pockets" which did not happen.  I think this might be because the pieces were just too small.  I will definitely make more of this so I guess I can modify next time.

By the way, I wanted to say thanks for reading to everyone out there!

Today's title is a quote from "Man on Fire".  Special thanks to my best college roomie for getting me to watch this darn good movie.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Get more snatch by the batch...

This line kept repeating in my head while I was working on my latest bread.

Batch Bread.

For this recipe I had to make superfine sugar (or SUPAfine! as I like to think of it) because my regular grocery store does not carry it.  But thanks to some internet searching, I found out that you really just have to put some regular granulated sugar in a food processor and buzz it.  Of course this did not go as easily as that might sound.  The food processor was not working, so I decided to try using the blender and while making sure it was completely dry inside I cut my finger on the blade (genius, I know).

Et Voila!  (Which is not really appropriate for this 18th century English bread...but whatever.)

In other news,  after turning the temp down from 400° to 375° and keeping the bread in the right amount of time we have a bread that is cooked through and only slightly burned on the bottom.

It doesn't even taste burnt.  It tastes and smells kind of heavenly.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I'm old fashioned, but I don't think a Cottage should be over 6000 square feet.

Bread of the day:  Cottage Loaf.  Post title taken from a line in one of my favorite movies.

Basically the same as Crusty Cob.  Less flour, more butter.  Since I'm lactose intolerant, all these buttery breads may be the death of me, but they are pretty yummy.  This one was not accompanied by a picture in the book but once it was ready for the oven I realized it was a slightly more "fancy" bread as it looked kind of like a flower.  Finished it just looked a little decorative.

Two balls of dough, stacked on top of each other.  Then, I had to push my finger though the center and then cut vertically around.  My oven cooks at a higher temperature than it says so my first loaf was burnt.  My second and third were undercooked slightly in the middle, as I turned the heat down a little from the recipe's actual temperature.  They were pretty perfect on the outside,  though.  Here's the result for the newest bread:

Note the differently textured center.  Any advice on how to prevent this would be appreciated.

I probably won't be making any more breads until next weekend since so many of the ones with just a few ingredients take quite a while to rise.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crusty Juggler!

Today's bread:  Crusty Cob!

Post title inspired by lines from a favorite movie.

Today I have pictures of the process.
Softened butter, flour and salt, and yeast before mixing.

Rising dough.

Finished product!  It tastes amazing!

(Note:  The center was a little undercooked, but I was scared about possible burning which is usually the way I ruin baked goods.)

I will definitely make this recipe again!

1st Bread

My first bread was "White Bread".  A simple loaf of white bread.  Also it was done on October 12, 2010 (not today...I'm playing catch up).

There was a little learning curve.  I had to call my mom.  She's the person who taught me how to cook, and who I watched bake my whole life.  She also teaches Family and Consumer Sciences (formerly Home Economics) so she's like a professional.  I had to clarify what some of the stuff in the recipe meant (i.e. scant 4 cups) and how one mixes everything together without getting the yeast and the salt together, as that both is the point and defeats the purpose.  In case anyone is reading (at all) salt kills yeast but you have to mix all the ingredients together and the ingredients include both salt and yeast.

So it wasn't easy but here's the finished product:  


The picture isn't really good because I took it with my phone.  Future pictures will be better (hopefully).

The Experiment: Explanation

The Theory:

My hypothesis is that I can make 99 of 100 recipes from the book pictured in a year.

The reason for not completing all 100 is that one recipe is for inedible, novelty shape bread covered in wood varnish and I can't see spending the time or the money on such a silly, useless thing.

The reason for giving myself a year for 99 breads in that some of the breads take more than one day and there is work to be done throughout the day that can't be completed if I'm at work.

Variables include:  my extremely limited baking experience, the lack of previous success in the baking milieu (most things end up burnt) and my tendency toward being distracted.