new to breadmaking...need some help
inspired by dommy!'s baking journey (see her post below), i'm thinking about making 2006 the year i conquer breadmaking. other than quickbreads, i really have no experience at all other than a 7th grade science project entitled "how yeast works".
i'd love any resources (books, websites) or advice that my beloved 'hounds can give me. i remember some posts a while back that mentioned the breadmaker's apprentice...is that good for beginners?
Welcome to the wonderful, stress-reducing world of bread made by hand. Step one: do NOT use a bread machine. There are sins of all kinds and that is one, my friend:) I have found that the main tricks to making good bread are as follows: [a] fresh ingredients [b]nobody else home, as cursing may arise in a therapeutic form at various stages, and besides, blast that music, too! [c] make sure that if you have a drafty kitchen, or a humid one, that you keep an eye on the rising times for the dough. I have found that a very life-affirming moment in this process of making rolls and loaves is the primal punch required to settle the dough back down. This says much about me, I know; I also adore the kneading process, the whole muscular aspect of bread-making. Gently glazing with beaten egg is also gorgeous. That honey-browns the top of the loaf or rolls. I do have my gentle, artful moments...
If you need further inspiration, rent "Moonstruck" and savour one of Nicholas Cage's best performances as the one-handed baker, Cher's Dream Man. Lastly: three confidence building suggestions: Irish soda bread; potato bread; cheese bread.
Happy holidays: the smell of it baking alone will have them thanking God they met you:)