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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Imagine the Impossibilities - Me Making Bread

After reviewing a few blogs, I found a blog about imagining the impossibilities and giving yourself a challenge to overcome. Well I wanted to learn to make bread, so I went for it!

It was quite fun actually. I decided to make french bread first, since I love it the most and rarely have any at home. I used active yeast and placed it in warm water. My supportive husband even bought me flour specifically for bread since I sent him to the store on a grocery run. I didn't even know there was flour like that! How sweet of him huh! Any way - I digress. After I mixed the active yeast in the water, I added the bread flour, some sugar, salt, and canola oil. I mixed all these ingredients together until I had a nice dough. Then I took it out and placed it on a floured pastry mat and kneaded it. This was the really fun part. I got to release all my tension into the dough hehe! Next, it was time to let it rise. I placed it into an oil coated bowl and covered it with plastic wrap. Then left it in the oven (I didn't turn the oven on - it just needed to sit in a warm dark place) for about an hour to rise. Then, I punched it down. Literally punched it, another fun task. I reshaped it placed it back in the bowl and let it rise again for another 30 minutes. This time my daughter punched it down lol, and we took it out. We placed it on a floured surface again and shaped it into a french loaf. I then lined my cooking sheet with parchment paper, since I didn't have cornmeal, which the recipe recommended and I placed my loaf on top of the parchment paper. I let it rise again, then brushed it with an egg white and water mixture. Finally, I cut slits into it, like the ones you normally see on french bread in stores and placed it in the oven to bake. I baked my french bread for about 20 - 25 minutes. It was fabulous, even without the cornmeal! My family loved it and ate it all up quickly. As a result, I ended up making another loaf later on in the week. I don't think I'll ever buy french bread again because my homemade batch was so delicious. I'll post pictures soon. I'm so glad I took this challenge! Are there any challenges that you've been putting off, that maybe now you realize you should try?

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