Weekend Cooking 5/21/2011

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Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

This is my first Weekend Cooking post, a fantastic meme run by Beth at Beth Fish Reads. 
 

For today’s post, I want to cover breadmaking. I am a novice to baking breads, although I excel at zucchini breads. Anything that involves using yeast, kneading and other methods is usually hit or miss for me.

My first attempt at bread making, I followed the New York Times No Knead Bread Recipe that I had read about in Cathy Erway’s Book: The Art of Eating In.

This is the result of that recipe:

It was delicious, light and fluffy and above all, it was well made bread.

So, being on a bread kick, I attempted to make more bread. Well, the next three batches ended up as bricks because the yeast wouldn’t rise. I have up on the No Knead Bread Recipe and found this wonderful book that has really been beneficial to my breadmaking experiments.

The bread book : the definitive guide to making bread by hand or machine

The Bread Book by Sara Lewis,  is an easy guide for breadmaking. It covers everything from loaves to bagels to non-yeast breads. What I really appreciate about this book is that each recipe is written for baking bread by hand, and for baking bread via a bread machine. I do not have a bread machine, but if I ever get one, I am already set.

The instructions are easy to follow, and the first section of the book covers has photographic instructions of how-to certain instructions; such as kneading the bread, folding it, and the different types of flour used in the book. Most recipes take about 4-5 hours (that involves all the hours that the bread has to sit on a shelf and rise). I’d say total prep time is usually about 30 minutes (mixing the ingredients, kneading the bread) the rest of the time is letting the bread rise, then putting it into the oven for another 30 minutes. Most of the recipes involve multiple ingredients that may be difficult to find at normal grocery stores, and by this I mean all the various types of flours and powders used.

From this book, I have made: A Quick White Loaf, Feta and Spinach Twists (big hit!) and plain baguettes.

Do any of faithful yet silent readers bake? What are some of your favorite bread making recipes, or books?

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6 responses to “Weekend Cooking 5/21/2011

  1. I’m a big bread fan, and made it myself for ages and ages, until we got a bread machine. It is a fun tool for my husband, and he has completely taken over the bread making. The bread comes out great every single time, and is easy, easy, easy. And all I have to do is eat it! :<)

  2. Love the look of that bread!! I used to make bread all the time in a bread machine, but think I’d like to try making it in the oven.

    Here’s my WC

  3. I bake all of our bread in a bread machine. Right now, we’re enjoying the sourdough rye bread that I linked to in this post about the tuna panini we make with it:
    http://www.joyweesemoll.com/2011/05/01/book-review-panini-express/

    Yay for your first Weekend Cooking post! I’ve been doing this since January and it’s a fun group!

  4. Your bread looks great! Good job for a first attempt!

  5. Wow! What gorgeous bread. I’m a sourdough baker — it’s never the same twice, sometime fantastic, sometimes not so much. I’ve begun to think about going back to commercial yeast breads, for the sake of consistency. This sounds like a good book to check out!

  6. I bake bread every which way — and I bake several times a week. I have never had good luck with no-knead bread. I don’t know why. I gave up on it and bake by hand or some kind of machine.

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