Monday, May 30, 2011

Fresh Artisan Bread

Baking yeast goods never appealed to me, and when I would attempt baked cinnamon rolls or other things that had to rise it daunted me.  I was afraid that whatever I baked would turn out in a flat lump of hard dough.  I admit I did have unsuccessful tries as well.  When I moved to a city with a high altitude, I really didn't want to experiment with yeast goods and have to adjust the recipe.  Fortunately, I first stumbled upon an Irish soda bread recipe which didn't need to be adjusted and it wasn't your typical soda bread in that it was made with spelt and had a variety of seeds in it.  Since I like out of the ordinary and it wasn't a bread that I had to wait and let rise, I knew that it would be a good start to baking bread at a high altitude.

The Irish soda bread was a success and so started my desire to attempt to make more bread, even if I had to work with adjustments at a high altitude.  First, I dug out a Julia Child book to master a french loaf.  That under taking took most of a day to master, but I was as amazed as my boyfriend when the bread had been baked and it actually tasted like French bread.  It didn't rise like I had wanted it to and I wasn't equipped to handle making bread, but it was a success that I later decide I wanted to repeat.

So I started reading...I read a book about a man who baked bread for a year.  He was a novice so I figured if he could do it, so could I.  I started researching a couple of books so I could make a purchase and it came down to Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson.  I read through the first part about how to bake bread at home.  It included everything that I would need for supplies, the procedure I would need to learn, tons of photos so you know what the goal was, but the part that stood out was that there were people that had used this recipe and it also worked for them.  What was amazing is, that although I live at altitude, although I was worried about making a good and successful loaf of bread, although the leaven hadn't been ready the first time I attempted to bake the bread, it worked!
My very own first loaf of artisan bread.  The best part was that the bread crackled as it cooled and the crumb had very nice bubbles in them, despite it being the first time I attempted this kind of bread.  I encourage you also to try out baking your own loaf of bread.  And this recipe makes two loaves so you can take one with you to share with friends.
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