30 May 2008

Catchin' Up

Whenever I get into a conversation about food, I always tell people that I love to cook, but I don't bake. Not that I can't bake, I just don't like to. Mostly because I'm the only one cleaning up after myself in the kitchen and baking requires getting a lot of stuff dirty. Add that to the need to precisely measure ingredients and all desire flies out the window. The only thing that really has ever interested me in baking is bread. And by bread I don't even mean bread-machine quality bread, but artisanal quality bread. Suspecting it takes a lot of know how and talent to achieve that kind of bread, I kept going back to local shops and purchasing rather than trying my hand at it in the kitchen.
Then I came across the No Knead Bread recipe that's been storming through blogs for two years now (I never claimed to be cutting edge!). Flour, yeast, salt, water. That seemed simple enough. In the back of my mind I kept hearing this voice that said "Surely you could do that." And so I finally got up the nerve and tried. This loaf was my first attempt. It was delicious! I was so impressed with myself, even though it obviously is a pretty easy thing to do, given it's popularity. I've since made one other loaf, adding in some wheat flour to make it slightly healthier.
I've also recently purchased this book, again on the advice of multiple blog gushing (like this one) over its wonderfulness. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet. I'm doing what the book asks, which is that you read about why it works and how it works before jumping and with both feet and doing normal bread baking things that won't work with this basic recipe. Oh, and I also checked out the website along with the errors page that explains the mistakes in the book. Key things, I think, for making it work. I'll report back soon!

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