My mother used to read me this book when I was a little girl, and we both still call it a favorite: Everybody Bakes Bread, by Norah Dooley. It's about a neighborhood in which everyone inside on rainy Saturday is baking bread, of all ethnicities. Pitas, challah, cornbread... The story is charming, and the recipes are included!
Image via goodreads.com
For the past few weekends, this has been the story of our home: everybody bakes bread. Well, just Andrew and me. Even though my mother is an avid and gifted bread-meister, I have never baked bread. Pies and cookies and biscuits, yes. Bread, no. My first attempt was a simple Victorian milk bread. I didn't know that my oven is unusually hot, so I accidentally overbaked it. I so wish my camera wasn't sick, but for now, we'll rely on borrowed pictures. My bread looked like this -- except overdone thanks to my sneaky oven, and my lack of dilligent watching. I wasn't thrilled, but it tasted good, and I suppose the fact that it rose and baked golden brown should be encouraging for a first try.
image via beastskitchen.blogspot.com
You can bake it in this distinctive S-shape, or braid it.
The next weekend, I attemped a Turkish flat bread called ekmek, made with honey and olive oil. This turned out slightly better, as it is supposed to be crispy and crusty. It was particularly good with an olive oil dip. Yum!
Image via oburkedi.com
I came home from work earlier this week to a house that smelled of cinnamon rolls -- or so I insisted. Andrew declared the only thing in the works on the stove was a pot of beans he'd been soaking. No. I smell cinnamon rolls. I asked him to walk to the mailbox with me so he'd notice the smell when he walked back inside. Huh. I do smell something like that, but I don't know what it is. Then, I discovered a pan of rolls and loaf pan with dough rising in it. That sneaky man made bread! I had no idea he knew how; apparently his grandmother taught him. And, of course, his bread was better than mine.
Image via themotherhuddle.com
He made the rolls in cloverleafs, which makes them so delightfully soft and nice to pull apart.
Don't worry. I'll get better.