With temperatures soaring this summer, my kitchen was hotter than a toaster oven on broil, and yet I decided to bake bread. Please refer me to the nearest psychiatrist. I just cannot seem to get over my first love – a loaf of hard, crusty bread. I tell myself that I am fairly open-minded; however, I am completely biased when it comes to food. From the depths of my very being, I believe the best food on earth is in New York City and the surrounding area. New Yorker’s know how to eat!
I still live in New York, but up here where corn stalks outnumber humans, the food is foreign. For instance, we out for pizza for FringeMan’s birthday in July; however, we found ourselves sitting around a table and staring at a UFO (unidentified fattening object). Although we are ‘dig in’ kind of people, we just sat and wondered.
This pizza was super tasty, but it was backwards. What in the world? The official pizza compiling order is dough, sauce, cheese. I always thought that was a given. I was wrong. I shouldn’t complain, because at least the pizza had cheese. Tomato bread is popular around here. Tomato bread = dough + sauce. Odd. Cheese is the BEST part!
So do you see my dilemma? I want real pizza and hard crusty breads.
One morning I must have sniffed one too many coffee fumes, because I decided to start baking my own bread. I figured if centuries of common women have successfully baked bread, surely I can do this.
First attempt = FAILED
I was crying in my coffee until I read an article that said it’s always the yeast’s fault if dough doesn’t rise. You know how easy it is to jump on the blame bandwagon? The yeast did it or in my case, didn’t do it. I decided to forgo the packets and buy the jar of yeast. I read that you must always keep yeast in the freezer, only removing it momentarily for a recipe.
I am happy to report success. Multiple times.
People, I am nearly Amish! Seriously, the Amish in New York are pretty liberal. Although they drive a horse, they eat McDonald’s, buy Velveeta Cheese, and play Monopoly. I thought taking a walk on Boardwalk was too risque, but apparently they loosen their bonnets every once in a while. Not that I am spying or anything! Let’s be clear. I have no problem with the Amish eating processed cheese. I like a little canned spray cheese every once in a while myself.
So, you should try this whole bread making thing. It’s empowering in a Grandma Moses sort of way.
What food will you sweat to prepare?