My beautiful rosemary and sea salt topped loaf.
Well, I did it. Last Sunday (as in, a week ago yesterday– yes, I know. Sorry), with no big plans looming and the weather forecast to be a swath of grey with intermittent nubbins of snow, I rolled up my pj sleeves and got to work. And, as promised, at no point did the beautiful KitchenAid mixer come into play; this was strictly a forearms and wrists kind of operation.
I followed Joy the Baker's recipe to a tee, except I subbed out her mixer-aided directions for the one's her lovely commenter suggested. Oh, and at the bf's request I subbed wholemeal flour for white, which I blame for the density of my resulting loaves. Not that we didn't devour them anyway!
And now I'll let the photos and captions speak for me, since I have cookies to bake and decorate (with new safari-themed cutters!) and the story mostly involves a lot of waiting anyway:
I wasn't sure this would come together as dough, but eventually I worked it into submission.
I think this might be the first time bf's apron got some legit use!
This kneading stuff is rough on the wrists! And not so sculpting for the biceps, sadly.
First knead over, my dough looks like real bread-to-be (if a liiiiittle oily...)!
Our flat is freezing, so the warmest place to let the dough rise was on top of the radiator... Still not very warm...
But rise it did! Eventually.
And made two rather lovely-looking loaves, if I do say so myself!
Which promptly flattened when I tried to open the tops with our dull-ass knife (grr).
BUT which smelled delicious as they baked, even if they didn't rise much.
And tasted even better! Especially with some of our fancy Guernsey butter on top. Mmmmmmmm.
So, in all, I'd say the bread-making endeavor was a certain success. Even better, the bread froze beautifully, so all week my breakfasts of buttered toasts and lunches of open-faced tuna sandwiches were that much more satisfying because I knew exactly what I was eating! Oh, who am I kidding? I don't care where it came from, as long as it tastes good, and this bread was, doughy hands down, the best I've had (outside restaurants) in months.
Does it get any better than that?