See that up there ^^^^^ Yes, that’s bread. Baked by me. I know, I know, it’s not really that impressive, but if you consider the last time I posted about bread, well, I have come a really long way…. Oh sure, I can make macarons but bread and yeasted breads in particular have always eluded me. We don’t “get” each other… However, after last week’s successful brioches, I was eager to keep my hand in the bread baking game and try Abby Dodge’s peasant boule for this month’s #baketogether.
To be honest (and no offence, Abby), I didn’t really have very high hopes…. And apparently I made this in such an “out of it” (I *was* still on holidays…) state that I completely blanked on the fact that there were weight measurements (my preferred way to bake) in the recipe. I guess I am not used to many North American recipes offering the weight option. In any case, it’s CLEARLY there, I am guessing my holiday brain just wasn’t working.
Which meant this:
Yup, way too dry. And me being the novice baker I am, I didn’t want to add or subtract anything – not realising what was happening, I just blithely went ahead and baked it. 3 1/3 cups of flour can weigh a lot more than 15oz, which I totally KNOW. Grrrr.
Anyway, it didn’t look *too* bad…
Right? Sorta like bread, wouldn’t you say? Even on the inside…
But a little dense. Tasty, nonetheless and delicious thinly sliced and toasted the following day. But not quite as I knew it should be. So, with guests coming and three other untrialled dishes on the go (because that’s how we roll chez moi), I set to work on another loaf, using weight instead of volume. And also using my common sense. Even when I added the right amount of ingredients, it still looked a little dry. So I added some more water. Then it looked a little wet. So I added some flour. Hey, look at me mum – experimenting with bread!! And I knew immediately this one would be better. Not perfect but way better… (Note to self: trust instincts more in the kitchen):
(yes it’s being baked in a small frying pan)
WAY less dense. More buttery. Even, dare I say it, some lovely “crumb” (bread baking people say these types of things apparently. I guess it’s like us macaron people with our “feet”). I was very proud of this one:
And let’s take a look at the two loaves side by side:
On the left: not too bad but definitely dense. On the right: getting there. I have a feeling I am going to try again soon actually. Going to try deflating the loaf a little less after the second rise. Oh, and baking it in the right pan – I kind of wanted it to rise higher and be a little more fluffy. But this loaf was devoured at lunch, fresh, still warm, with cheese. And the following mornings toasted with jam. Finally, bread baked by me that’s edible!
Want to join us in #baketogether? You’ve still got most of the month! Check out Abby’s recipe for peasant boule here. I mean, if I can do this, really anyone can!!!