Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Back to Baking

When I was younger, unmarried and sans children, I used to bake.  I would make pies and cookies and cakes from scratch.  I loved it even though my waistline certainly did not.  And the husband, who wasn't the husband back then, in fact, he wasn't even the boyfriend back then but boy is that a long story, loved all my baked goods as well.  We would sometimes joke about how I was luring him into a relationship with the promise of homemade pies.  We loved pie.  And then, I stopped baking.  It was a combination of a lot of things.  Life got busier, I was working two jobs, I was trying to meet the right guy (which felt like yet another job) and I realized that what I made I inevitably ate.   I sold my bread maker at a rummage sale along with a ton of baking cookbooks.  My prized Kitchen Aide mixer became dusty from non-use and when I did bake it was things from a box, or worse, it was scooping pre-made cookie dough onto baking sheets.   Now don't get me wrong, there is certainly a need in this world for pre-made cookie dough like when you realize your child needs to bring 100 cookies for the bake sale that you thought was next Friday but it's really this Friday,  but there is also something to be said for real baking.

I quit my second job, met the right guy, got married, bought a house, had a bunch of babies and guess what? Things got even busier and space was at a premium so the Kitchen Aide mixer moved onto a shelf in the basement and the days of baked goodies seem like a distant memory.  But every so often, I get the itch to bake again and so when I came across this the other day I just couldn't resist.

Yea, I know, it's hardly making bread from scratch but it looked so simple I figured Quinn and I could do it together without a whole lot of fuss.  She was happy to help.

She mixed the yeast and sugar together.

And then added hot water and gave it a little stir.

I don't think the water was quite hot enough because it looked a little clumpy and not bubbly enough.  I worried the yeast wasn't activated and wondered how I screwed up the one thing I had to do - add water.

After waiting a few minutes and hoping the yeast was doing it's job, I added the flour.

And stirred until it was a big ball of sticky dough.

I added flour to the baking pan and just gently shaped the dough into something sort of resembling a loaf.

By this point Quinn was no longer interested which was fine since the dough needed to rest and rise.

The instructions say to cover it and leave the dough in a non-drafty place.  I just left mine on the counter because there isn't a single non-drafty place in my entire house.  Upon returning to the dough, I was excited to find that the dough had indeed risen at least a little.  It wasn't supposed to double but I'm guessing it should have risen a bit more than it ended up doing.

Into the oven it went and then out it came.  Bread!


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