Totally Baked

I am now completely and utterly addicted to making my own bread.

For real. It's a problem.

I blogged about Jenna Woginrich's book Made From Scratch at the beginning of the month when I first started reading, and by the end of the book I was absolutely captivated and definitely inspired. The book contains bits of memoir alongside bits of recipes and instructions, one of which being Woginrich's simple recipe for bread. I'm not exactly in the position to raise chickens or keep bees at this moment in time but goshdarnit I can make some bread.

Corey and I trucked off to the store to buy some yeast and honey, the only ingredients I didn't already have, and I was incredibly surprised by how cheap the yeast is! I got a few three-packs of Fleischmann's Active Rise yeast for 1.50 a pop. And each packet makes two loaves of bread?? Yowza. I knew I'd like this homemade bread gig.

Via Literally A Spoonful

I started making me some bread as soon as we got home. I was very timid about the process at first, as I am with any recipe that I am new to...especially one so simple! I for some reason had it ingrained (yuk yuk! oh ho, see what I did there? I slay me) in my head that the reason I haven't already made bread is because it must be difficult, right?

Yeah, no. So easy. So delicious, so easy, so beautiful and gratifying... So wonderful.

So I started my dough, and let it rise (by which time Corey had to go to work) and then I ended up taking my dough over to my sister-in-law Erin's house (hey, uh, Erin? I have a weird question for you...can I make some bread in your kitchen?) since we had a sushi date. I ended up kneading and buttering my dough on her tabletop while she looked at me like I was from another planet.

My two braided loaves, ready to be buttered and ovened!
Close up! Isn't that gorgeous?

I braided my dough as per book instructions and then let her sit for another hourish. I brushed melted butter onto the tops of the loaves right before putting them into the oven (with some thyme and sage on one of the loaves, yknow for science) and crossed my fingers.


The end result that came out of the oven was so delicious and fluffy and OMG-I-HAVE-MADE-BREAD astounding. In her book Woginrich describes the feeling she had after she made her first loaf, like she had conquered all of the lands, and I now know what that feeling of accomplishment is. I swear I felt like beating upon my breast and shouting to the heavens "look what my hands hath wrought!" I didn't want to disturb Erin (she already gives me those side-glance looks every now and then) so I settled instead for tearing into my bread and cramming a delicious hunk of golden warmth into my mouth. Mmm.

When Corey got home that night, I insisted on making him a PB&J sandwich on my bread. I sat there and watched him like a hawk as he ate it (Is it good? Do you like it? I made that! Did I tell you I made that?!) and again, the feeling of satisfaction that rushed through me as I watched my man eat a sandwich that I made out of bread I kneaded with my own hands...it's freakin' incomparable. I felt like all of time had stopped and I was suddenly part of the sisterhood of bread bakers across the centuries. It is serious business, man.

And thus my addiction has been formed. I have since taken dough over to a stranger's house for a party (hey uh, do you mind if I bake some bread in your kitchen? I won't burn anything down, and you'll love it. My name's Keri, by the way, nice to meet you) and taken it over to my dad's house and my in-law's house and all over the place. I have made french toast with my bread and garlic breadsticks and pizza and sandwiches and dipped it in soup and made cinnamon sugar monkey bread, I have made loaves just to watch a hungry swarm of teenagers destroy them in 45 seconds. In fact, I made bread Friday night (to eat with dip, gone in 60 seconds), Saturday night (as buns for turkey burgers, gone in 60 seconds) and then Sunday as well (Corey and I savored it with Fontina cheese and sun dried tomato bruschetta, gone in 60 seconds). 

So thanks, Jenna Woginrich. You are the bomb dot com and I am forever grateful for your inspiration!

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