Saturday, January 03, 2009

Ahhhhh...the smell of fresh baked bread

There really is nothing like the smell of bread baking. It is a delightful, homey smell. I have been baking almost all of our bread we eat at home from scratch for over a year. There have been a few times when life has gotten harried and I broke down for a while and bought store-made bread, but the allure of the fresh home-baked stuff is strong and I always come back to making my own.

Bread making can be a very time consuming process. I did all the kneading and rising and punching down. Making a loaf of bread would take at least half of a day. Then I discovered a book that I must say is nothing short of revolutionary. It is called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. In it, the authors spell out a method for bread making that requires little more time than it takes to mix together a handful of ingredients. After mixing (not kneading), you allow the dough to rise an then refrigerate it. When you want fresh bread, all you have to do is pull off a hunk, form a loaf, let it rise and bake. Easy-peasy!

One of the bread recipes in the book is brioche. I got a brioche pan for Christmas so I can now make an official "Brioche a Tete." I feel so French! Brioche bread is full of eggs and butter and is almost cake-like and so yummy. There are lots of things you can do with it. If you want the recipe and some inspiration, check out this article.

Homemade bread doesn't have to be hard and it is definitely worth giving a try.

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