The aroma of home baked bread evokes memories of a warm kitchen on a winter’s morning and grandmother’s ruffled apron, and my grandma didn’t even bake.
I’m on a mission to learn the craft of bread baking. I’ve been scouring the Internet for recipes, my old cookbooks, and browsing through the newspaper’s food section to find “novice” recipes. I would consider a recipe suitable for a greenhorn to be one that doesn’t require hours of rising. However, I’ve as yet to come across one that doesn’t. I’ve purchased the unbaked loaves and popped them in the oven for the eight minutes suggested on the package. However, it’s not the same. The only way to acquire the lingering scent of yeast dough is by kneading on a floured surface, rising for two hours, punching it down, rising for another two hours, then preparing as a loaf or individual rolls. Whatever you choose, it will need another hour of rising. There is much trial and error in bread baking. When I prepared a white sweet bread called nisu, (Finnish word for wheat) I learned the importance of using unbleached flour versus bleached. I also learned if there is an apparatus available for kneading, use it. One doesn’t need an expensive bread machine; a good stand mixer will do the trick. My goal is to bake brioche, which is a delectable light bread. Brioche requires minimum 10 hours of rising time. The dough is also refrigerated up to two days to allow for the flavor to develop and then risen again in a warm spot before baking. Most girls my age no longer want to spend hours in the kitchen, and I will admit, I’m not a slave to my Jenn-Air. I just equate home baked bread with grandmas, and I’m going to be a grandma this summer.