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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Baking bread

Over the years I’ve tried all kinds of bread and I have yet to find one that makes a tasty sandwich.  Some are too soft, some too hard, some too sour and some have no taste at all.

When I heard about a bread maker, I thought this to be the perfect solution.  With such a machine I could make my own bread.  The website made it sound so easy.  Just put the ingredients in the machine at night, push a button and by morning the perfect loaf of bread awaits you.  What can be easier?

Reviews of bread makers showed that it wasn’t quite that easy.  All kinds of things could go wrong.  Not only could the pedals get stuck, some said that a recipe for bread making had to be followed just so, other said that the user had to figure out what worked best for him.

Since I am one of those people who lives under Murphy’s Law (if anything can go wrong it will), a bread maker might not be for me.

That’s when I started looking for a regular recipe, one to make bread by hand.  Friends supply me with all kinds of easy recipes, but let me assure you, with me nothing is easy.

One fine day I got my courage together though and got started.  I had the ingredients and set to work.

Things got complicated right from the start.  The recipe asked for 3 cups of flour.  Okay, what kind of cups?  Cups come in all kinds of different sizes, could they be a little bit more specific?  So I took a guess.

When all the ingredients were mixed I was looking at a rather disgusting paste.  Was it supposed to look like this?  Why didn’t recipes come with pictures?

Again I took a chance.  I spooned the mixture into oiled baking trays and shoved them in the oven.  After a few minutes I took a look and ... nothing much was happening.  I waited some more and ... yes, the dough was rising.

As time passed the house was filled with a delicious aroma.  If the bread tasted as good as it smelled, I was in business.  Unfortunately it didn’t.  The taste wasn’t bad, but it was a bit salty. 

The next week I tried again (can't give up after one go, right) and I’m happy to say that the second attempt was much better.  The structure of the bread still needed some work, but the taste was good.  In fact, the first loaf is almost eaten and there’s every chance that the two loafs in freezer will turn into sandwiches too.

And the best thing is ... I didn't have to call 911. 

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