Monday, November 26, 2007

First Challenge Complete - Nobody Dies!

Potatoes

I was nervous about this, my first DB Challenge, since I’ve never baked yeasted bread before. And then my husband and I tried a few weeks without white flour in our diet (it wasn’t fun, lots of brown rice), so I couldn’t find a good time to bake the bread. On the day I’d set aside to make the bread, what wound up happening was that, due to poor time management skills on my part, I didn’t start making it until pretty late. The loaves wouldn’t go into the oven until nearly bedtime. So I made up the dough, let it rise once, shaped and then refrigerated it overnight. It was a pretty sticky dough, but I kept flouring it liberally and it really didn’t give me too many problems, which was a pleasant surprise.

Kneading

My husband is the bread baker in our duo, so he had expressed some concern about using only two teaspoons of yeast in the bread, but we both found that his concerns were unfounded. The next morning, I discovered that my rolls and the loaf of bread were huge! Even the cold of the refrigerator couldn’t stop them from expanding exponentially. (Sadly, no picture of this stage exists, since I was too quick to subvert the problem before photo documentation.) I had to punch them down in the pan before putting them in the oven, lest they turn into some I Love Lucy-esque monstrosity. I also forgot to slash the loaves and rolls, as well as do a wash of butter or olive oil, so I pulled them out and did a belated slash and oil. We got a little over-exuberant in the oil department, which wound up creating a very crispy bottom on the rolls.

And when I opened the oven, gasp! I’d made bread! And nobody died!

Bread and Rolls

I was pleased with the chewy texture and uniform crumb, though I think I didn’t add enough salt. It didn’t have that doughy, unfinished homemade-bread taste that marred a few of my husband’s early bread forays, a nice turn of events. We had the rolls for lunch and toasted a few slices of the loaf for our sandwiches today. Very nice, if I may pat a flour hand on my own back.

Given that I have a huge sweet list of things I’d like to bake, I don’t know if I’ll rush back to make this recipe again, but my husband may use the recipe soon. In the meantime, I’ve made two different pumpkin pies and a lemon cheesecake for Thanksgiving dinner, and am looking forward to finding sweet, creative uses for the cans of pumpkin my mom overbought. Hmm…I’m thinking pumpkin doughnuts with a maple glaze….Anyway, I was very grateful for the chance to challenge myself outside of the dessert range, and am eagerly looking forward to the next DB Challenge!

Ami

20 comments:

Lis said...

hahaaha! Well as you can see, I got quite a giggle on the "Nobody died!" line. =)

Both your loaf and buns look fabulous! How exciting!

Thank you so much for participating.. I hope you had fun. =)

xoxo

Sandicita said...

I'm glad nobody died in the process :o). My husband is the bread baker of our duo too and he thought it called for too little yeast too... I also found our bread to lack salt. All in all, it looks like you did a great job!

breadchick said...

Great job on your first challenge! I'm glad you had success with the retarded fridge rise. It is one of my favourite ways to get great flavour!

Susan said...

Congratulations on completing your first challenge. Well done!

Ami said...

Thank you for all your lovely comments! I was happy that my first challenge was so different for me.

April said...

Congrats on completing your first challenge! It looks wonderful!

Peabody said...

Good thing you didn't add extra yeast! :)

Liska said...

I like your story, it looks like a very interesting journey :)
Your loaf and buns look great!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Fantastic bread.
You are so right on. I always think cooking/baking is worth taking whatever risk because I figure "Nobody will die."
So glad you're baking with us.

Ami said...

I've been having an email conversation with a friend of mine about being a home baker. People always freak out when they hear that I made a cake or cookies from scratch, without using a mix. While there are definitely challenging recipes (still eyeing that Gateau St. Honore from an earlier DB Challenge), I don't really feel it's that terrifying. The worst that can happen is that it doesn't turn out quite right. Strange how the process of baking has become shrouded in some kind of mystery!

Jen Yu said...

Yum! Those look terrific and I love the "nobody died" because in fact, things have died on me in the oven before :( Great job on your challenge!!


-jen at use real butter

Tartelette said...

Amy: you should so get your own blog set up. Your pictures are drool worthy! Gladd it was a "fun" experience. Congrats on your first challenge!

Tartelette said...

*Ami*...sorry

chronicler said...

Great post. Your bread looks fab!

Deborah said...

My husband likes to cook, but he would never even try to make bread!! Your bread looks wonderful - great job!

Sheltie Girl said...

I'm delighted that nobody died while making a DB challenge. Great job on the bread!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Gabi said...

Glad you are a bread baker without death!
Lovely Bread!
xoxo
Gabi

Christina said...

Lol, I saw that I Love Lucy episode just the other day, it was hilarious because I was talking to the television screen, "That is NOT how you make bread. What in the world??"

Excellent job, your loaf and buns look great!

Julie said...

Congratulations on your first challenge! Your breads look great, and your post cracked me up. I was instantly reminded of the "I Love Lucy" episode where she tried to make rice and it oozed all over her kitchen! I'm glad this bread was a pleasant surprise for you and that no lives were injured in the making of this challenge. =)

Dolores said...

I don't know about the rest of you but I can relate to having felt a little like Lucy, trying to knead my dough into some indication it was even paying attention to me... I knew "obedience" and "submission" were out of the question.

Great job with your first yeasted bread and your first challenge!