Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My new interest in baking really cheap bread (yeast is the most expensive thing about bread, for real) lives symbiotically with my continued visits to the gym. Back when I wasn't working out, I really felt like I had to limit my intake of delicious, thick, buttered slices of bread, all chewy and toothsome... because eating too much bread made my pants tight. I don't know how the bread actually altered the fabric of my clothes, but there it is. Anyway, yeah, I've been working out, still, plus we now use the rock-climbing wall once a week. I think we've gone four times, maybe? It's pretty fun, and scary, and hard. But mostly fun. Even though I know I won't plummet to my death, I definitely get some adrenaline flowing when I'm near the top and I have to lunge upwards to try to grab a hand-hold. My arms give out after about three climbs, which is just pathetic. It's not even that I'm "feeling the burn" or whatever, but my arms just won't hold me anymore. Which sucks. But whatever.

Anyway, I've made two more loaves of sourdough since the first one. The second was a more traditional bread, with short-ish rises and lots of kneading, and it was fine. It rose well, the crumb is nice and even. Like a regular loaf of bread, with a bit of a sour taste. Nothing to write home about.

Here it is sliced open.

Pretty much just regular bread.

It was not really what I was going for, so I went back to the no-knead recipe, and this time I, you know, actually followed the directions. And it came out great!

Beautiful crusty sourdough!

Unfortunately, I ignored one of the crucial parts of the recipe, because a couple of blogs said I could: the preheating-the-pot part. So I put my dough in the dutch oven, cold, and then put it in a cold oven before turning it up to 425. As a result, the bread became one with the bottom of the pan. Here's what it looked like once I managed to scrape and pry most of the loaf from it.

Gah!!

I had to do two rounds of soaking to get the pan clean. I did some further googling, and it sounds like you can use parchment paper to avoid the problem. There's a "local foods" potluck this Saturday as part of 350.org, and I plan on bringing a loaf of local-yeast bread. And it will be perfect! Or the greenhouse gases will have won!

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Snowbrush said...

Since you're a climber, you might want to get into crackers too. I don't mean the ones like you buy in a store that fall apart easily, but crackers that can be dropped off a cliff undamaged, soaked in water with scarcely a difference, and packed around for months without molding.

Natasha said...

I always wanted to learn to bake bread. The best I could do was to heat up a slice by placing it on top of the toaster. lol :D

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Jessyca said...

HI~ First time crawl over your blog ^^

Hope that I can do some cooking / baking too! I don't even fry an egg before :p

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