I am about ready to toss all my cookbooks and just rely on my Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa At Home book. Not really. But I do have to say every single thing I have ever made from the book has turned out splendidly.
This morning I tried my hand at bread baking. I have a bread machine but since they aren't enjoying the same popularity they did about 10 years ago it's hard to find much variety in the choices of mixes available. Of course if I had the manual I could bake a loaf from scratch ingredients.
I can't quite figure out how to use the bread machine when there is anything other than the water, yeast and flour mixture. Ina's recipe for Honey White Bread calls for salt, sugar, honey, egg yolks and an egg white wash, in addition to the three standard bread machine ingredients.
So I figured I would just do it the old fashioned way. If old fashioned means relying entirely on one's KitchenAid mixer to do all the kneading.
Look! It's poofing up! Which is more than I can say about the pizza dough I tried to make last week (note conspicuous absence of any posting about THAT experiment). The reason I have the rising dough sitting on top of an upside down bowl is because my range has heat lamps but the item being kept warm really needs to be up a little higher.
We keep our house on the cool side so it helps the rising process to raise the temperature in the vicinity of the bowl a wee bit.
It was quite weird to feel the dough - it was warm and alive feeling (yeasties doing their work). This particular recipe makes two loaves so I divided the dough into two prepared loaf pans.
Look in the background - that's my new Russell Hobbs electric tea kettle that Rick gave me for my birthday. My life is now complete. No more microwaving my tea water.
Don't look in the background at all the other crap on the counter. It's getting kind of busy looking back there.
The recipe says to cool completely before slicing but in the interest of full blogging disclosure (and the fact it is lunchtime) I decided to throw caution to the wind and slice into it while it was still warm.
Mmm. Nice and dense, but not heavy. Good flavor. Can't wait to try it toasted.