Happy Valentines Day!Today Tim and I are baking bread. I wanted to "get crafty" for the holiday (instead of buying silly presents for each other when the budget is tight) - and Tim has been asking about baking bread for weeks now... so a couple of days ago I bought some yeast and a new bag of flour (he insisted on wheat, I pitched for unbleached white as well, my recipes call for using half and half of both, but Tim likes straight up wheat. Can you hear me sighing heavily thru the internet?)
I love baking bread. The sensual elasticity of the dough and the unpredictable nature of the yeast. I like eating bread too! In all its various shapes and forms. And fresh baked bread is the bestest. The house smells sooo good today. Its bliss.
My mother used to bake bread all the time. This is the bread book she gave me. There were many years when she would make a fresh loaf of bread to have with dinner, and many times I would wake up in the morning to the smell of fresh baked bread for breakfast. Frequently she would bake bread and forget it in the oven... oh the memories of her jumping up at the diner table exclaiming "Oh I forgot about the bread!" and pulling an overcooked brick out of the oven. :) If I were a good daughter I wouldn't have disclosed this. But honestly, I do the same sort of thing all the time! I always forget to set a timer.
This bread book is amazing, its recipes from a Buddhist monastery. Monks know how to make nice with yeast, for real, they make the best beer and bread. When I pick up this book it falls open to the walnut coffee cake recipe. Its a well loved page. Back in college I had a friend who would come over and make this cake all the time (at least a couple of times a week) and you better believe I always had the necessary ingredients on hand! So now it brings a smile to my face to see how crunchy these pages are.
It was fun to go thru the bread baking process with Tim. I even made one little heart shaped loaf!