French Bread Success

May 12

It’s music festival time, and so I’ve been a busy girl lately! So far, my students have done pretty well, with a couple of class winners. The festival will go on until the end of this month, so we might even get a few more winners!

I had a bit of a breather today, so I decided to tackle my next culinary project: learning to bake a loaf of bread! I’ve made quick breads and rolls before, and of course, there was that fail of a bagel experiment a couple weeks ago, but I’ve never made a loaf with yeast before.

With a veggie chili on the menu for dinner tonight, I decided to attempt a french bread to go with it. I followed this recipe as closely as I could (I think the only thing I changed was I used 1.25 tsp salt instead of 1.5 tsp). The instructions were very clear and the result was really good!

Ta da! 🙂 I have to say I was pretty impressed with myself. 😛 It was very soft inside, with a lovely flavour.

But I think I baked it a tad too long, as the crust was a little too crusty and darker than I’d intended. Note to self for next time! But as more than half the loaf has already been consumed, I’ll assume that it was a hit with my family…

I have to say that my recent forays into yeasty baking has been super satisfying. Sure, I’ve had a number of spectacular fails, but it’s been so fun, challenging, and interesting! What I find so frustrating, and yet so interesting, about recipes involving yeast is the lack of concrete instructions. They’ll often have cryptic directions like “let the yeast bloom”, “let rise 1 to 2 hours”, “knead 7 – 10 mins”… It all depends on the type of flour, humidity, temperature in the room, etc. Although I curse a lot at the instructions, I also find it so interesting and fun! There’s so much to learn, and I can see how there is a delicate, complex art to it. And that is thrilling and intriguing to me. I also don’t own a stand mixer or bread machine, so I do all the kneading by hand. I find it very therapeutic! I have new found respect for the woman of yore who made all their bread completely by hand! I have a long way to go before I feel confident with yeasty baking, but I look forward to the journey to get there!

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I know I’m a few days late, but did all you motherly folks have a nice Mother’s Day?

We took my mom out to Steveston Village, where we enjoyed delicious halibut fish n’ chips and prowled around the old Britannia Shipyard buildings. It was very interesting, especially the Chinese bunkhouse with all its old knick knacks and pictures. (note: I brought my SLR all the way there, only to discover that there was no memory card in it. Fail. So these are all iphone pics)

And there was a nesting swan! So beautiful.

There were so many dogs out walking with their owners, and I was seriously melting with doggie love. I need my own pet!

Hey, speaking of dogs, have y’all seen the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam? It’s just too adorable, and everytime I watch, I turn into a blubbering mess:

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I want! 🙂 I’ve only ever had a pet fish before. And while he was cute and I loved him a lot, it just wasn’t the same as being able to floomph a wriggling, warm, affectionate little body of fur.

Anyhoo, I’ll be back soon with the long-promised next Peru post!


Posted by on May 12, 2011 in Kitchen Adventures

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