Tuesday, April 06, 2010

a bit behind the curve

so i'm wayyyy behind on the bread-making bandwagon, but i finally broke down and ordered Artisan Bread from amazon.

one of the nice but occasionally unfortunate things about my house is that it's very well shaded from the sun and it always feels cool inside. last week when it was 86 degrees, i walked in from work and felt like i was in an air-conditioned home, even though we don't own an air conditioner.

a week or two ago, i tried to make a batch of no-knead bread from the nytimes recipe. i left out the batch of dough for a very long time but it would not rise. it ended up this deflated mess that i had to throw out.

i used the artisan bread method and it worked pretty well, though i think i'll regularly need to leave the dough to rise for longer than 2 hours. i love that there are so many different varieties to try. the ones i'm most excited about are the whole grain bread, the cheddar bread, the bagels, and the caramel pecan rolls. i've always wanted to make my own cinnamon rolls (or something similar) but i'm too lazy. this at least takes care of some of the extra effort. we also make pizza at least once a month so the pizza chapter should come in handy.

i only had time to thumb through the dresses book before i fell asleep last night. there are a lot of cute styles to adapt and i'm hoping to make at least one or two this summer. i have a lot of fabric in my stash that is begging to become summer sundresses.


  1. perhaps you've tried it but there are a couple of tricks you can use in a cool or drafty house -- you can turn on the oven to 175-200F while you are mixing/kneading the dough, then turn the oven off and put the dough in the oven to rise. Or if you are using the oven anyway, you can put the dough on top of it. Or, my favorite method when I was in college, put the (covered) dough on top of the dryer while doing laundry, which worked pretty well.

    I have been meaning to flip through the Built by Wendy dresses book! Look forward to seeing what you make. :)

  2. I bake bread every week, along w/ any cookies or pies, etc. that we want. I love to cook and especially bake! Have fun!

  3. Here's an easy way to help dough rise faster: Put a mug of water in your microwave, heat on high for about one and a half minutes. Then push the mug to the side, and place the bowl of dough inside the microwave. The residual heat from the mug creates the perfect dough-rising environment! I use this every time I make any kind of bread and it works great!

    Looking forward to a review of the dress book!

  4. I put a bowl of water in the microwave, nuke it for like a minute or two and then put my bread bowl in the nuker covered with a towel to rise. It's residually warm from the water...and its out of any drafts (or nosy cats).

    I personally think kneading bread is why one MAKES bread. I can't stand that stupid NY Times recipe.

  5. Oooh, is that book from the same woman who did Sew U? I have got to get the book, get my sewing machine out of storage, and give dress-making a whirl!

  6. I bought the artisan book earlier this year, but I've yet to pick it up and use it. What a shame. Thanks for the kick. I need to get on some bread making.



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