A few years ago, well actually a couple of decades ago if I’m being honest, I used to be a fair hand at baking bread. Now my buns, according to my son, made good hockey pucks but the bread was good. Then the kids moved out, I went back to work full time and my other half declared he preferred french bread for his grilled cheese.
Today I set out to bake french bread. This despite the fact that he brought home a loaf even though the grocery list didn’t mention buying bread. Traditional yeast was on the list as that’s what the recipe called for. That was a bust though, as not a single one of them bloomed. The water was just right at Goldilocks would have said and I double checked that a metal bowl was ok.
Plan B instant yeast. Started mixing and then the bowl bites the dust as far as staying in the kitchen machine stand. This has been an ongoing issue but it was particularly bad today.
With 2 cups of flour left I turned to hand mixing and then kneeding. And kneeding and kneeding. And kneeding. Man it didn’t want to mix it and at this point I am lamenting the lack of pigs as I am sure it might as well go to them. But I kept going.
It actually rose in the oven which totally surprised me. So I proceeded to put it onto a sheet and let it proof for the final time and the wet towel stuck to it. Crap. Turned the oven on and brought out a loaf of French bread.
It’s not perfect as it’s a bit dense but it’s edible and a start. Trial and error. Practise will indeed make better. The plus side was that the oven was on during this hibernation kind of day.