alright, i admit it: bread is this summer's chocolate chip cookie.
you know what i mean, right? like, i seem to be going through phases of culinary experimentation. it's super fun, though. and i sure do love being able to munch away on the fruits of my labor. no, naysayers, not like that "fruit." ha.
i decided that i wanted to give pretzel bread a second shot. besides, once i try something once, it's a lot easier the second time around. not to mention, i dreamed about it last night. so there you have it.
i spared you the boring "yay, look at the foamy yeast!" and "here's the ingredients i used" pictures. aren't you glad?
i mixed up the dough, let it rise, and then after kneading it for a few minutes, let it rise again. an hour later, i boiled some water in the microwave and measured out some baking soda for the "bath."
i poured the baking soda in slowly, and said "whee!" out loud as i watched it foam up like some kind of chemistry experiment.
i dunked my ball of dough in there, flipped it over, and then piled it onto my baking mat. this is where i always wonder how the author of the recipe managed to get it so smooth and pretty - mine looks like brains on a sheet pan.
oh, well. i put it in the oven and set the timer, and got started on the cleanup. but then i remembered something: i'd forgotten to buy a loaf of bread to make the teen's PB&J sandwiches for lunch. crap. and i was feeling far too lazy to go to the store. so what did i do?
i found a recipe and made my own.
this dough was wonderfully easy to mix up and fun to knead. it had a great texture and i really enjoyed making it.
after letting it rise, i fashioned it into a loaf-like shape, put it in my pan, and let it rise again, then popped it into the oven.
meanwhile, the pretzel bread was done. see - again, it doesn't look like pretzel bread, but it sure tastes and smells like it. i guess that's all that counts, huh? and, oops - i managed to polish off half of the loaf all by my lonesome.
as i played with the bean, i noticed a funny smell in the air. and then it got stronger as i scurried into the kitchen.
damn. breadmaking FAIL - my little convection oven was just a hair TOO little, and the dough had risen as it baked, touching the roof and the electric coils mounted on it. shit, man. i yanked it out and started slicing away at the burnt parts. so. freaking. sad. it'd been so pretty, too.
here's my finished product, all done.
but look - if i turn it the other way, you wouldn't even notice that it was a burn victim!
i tasted a slice, and it is delicious. mmmm. a bit on the sweet side, rather dense and chewy, but so good. i popped a piece into the teen's mouth, and she nodded her approval. score!
i can't even believe that i forgot this - last week, with the hub away for the evening at a dodger game, i decided to splurge on dinner for little ol' me. my buddy tater had raved and raved about the homemade lobster rolls she'd made, and i was super inspired to try it myself. and, of course, i had to make the light brioche buns i loved so much. but this time, i made the whole recipe, baked half of it, and froze the other half. now, when i feel the urge for wonderfully chewy, delicious bread, all i have to do is pull out my little frozen buns, let 'em rise, and bake.
i steamed the lobster and popped the buns in the oven.
i'm not a huge celery fan, but i did have some cucumber in the fridge. so i decided to improvise and chopped some up to mix into my lobster roll filling for the crunch factor. spices and a little mayo, a quick stir, and i was done.
i think my impatience shows in the shape of my brioche buns - they're not poofy and fluffy. rather, they're a bit flat and wide. kind of like my ass. ha!
but i didn't care. it was really, really good. mmmmm. poor hub, he really missed out. instead, he had a dodger dog for his dinner.
psh. no comparison.