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Thursday, August 27, 2009

trial and error. and error.

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.


  1. I'm so sad for your little burnt bread! And I love keeping bread dough in the freezer - it means you can have homemade bread pretty much any day of the week.

  2. You're killing me with all this bread! Leave your hubs and marry me!!!!!

  3. You're becoming quite the baker! So impressive...

  4. I'm so impressed! I am too scared to try baking bread, but someday when I'm ready I'm totally going to hit you up for your favorite recipes :)

  5. As soon as I can taste food again, I'm all over the pretzel bread!


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