Yup, Biggles baked. It was one of the most amazing afternoons, ever. I know, nearly all of you have done fine with your bad selves. That’s really great for you. But I’ve been an absent baker for years (I let everyone else do it). Luckily I married a woman who is a tremendous baker, this means I haven’t been suffering for my unaptitude. I had a half day to myself, sort of. And decided to give it a try.
The first thing you gotta do when you bake something, is decide what exactly you want to bake. I decided on bread. Then you gotta find yourself a recipe. I’ve noticed that if you look on the back of flour, you’ll find a bread recipe. And usually it is an easy straight forward one. Great news for me, we had a bag of Stone-Buhr flour, both whole wheat & white. The list of ingredients was quite short, 1 pkg. yeast, 1 1/8 cup warm water, 1 tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 1/2 cup each of whole wheat flour & white flour & 1 tsp. salt. Since I get confused easily I measured everything out first.
As a side note, I have it pretty easy when it comes to baking. We have a 1952 Wedgewood gas range with 3 pilot lights going all the time. This gives us a warm area on top where the griddle is, makes it darned easy for keeping rising bread warm. You’ll need that or some warm place to keep yer parts warm.
We have a jar of active dry yeast in the fridge, I thought I’d read the instructions and warm the yeast a bit before I did anything with it. Kinda made sense.
Add the water & yeast, let sit for 5 minutes.
Here’s where I’ve screwed up in the past. I had dead yeast and didn’t know it. I didn’t know what foamy yeast is supposed to look like, but here it is.
Add everything and stir in to a shaggy mass. Wiff yer paws.
Toss on to a floured board and kneed that shaggy mass for about 10 minutes.
If I was as awesome as Meathead I could do an avi er something. Nope. I don’t get all that moving pictures trip.
Roll it up purty and put in to a lightly oiled bowl, turn dough to coat with oil. Cover and let sit for an hour and let it double in size.
See, it got larger. Pull it out and punch it. It’ll fall, put back in bowl. Cover and let sit for another 45 minutes.
After the 45 minutes of over you’re supposed to pat it out on a lightly floured board, roll up and pinch seams. I didn’t see any seams, so I didn’t pinch anything.
This is where I kinda screwed up. You see, when Mama makes bread it always comes out in two loaves. Well, my recipe said just one loaf. I din’t believe it so I cut my dough in to two loaves. Then caught myself and said, “Biggles, follow the damn directions.” So I attempted to put the two halves back together. Nope. That was a no go. Houston, we have a problem. Oh well.
Then I remembered how much I liked things when they’re brushed with butter. And honey. So I melted some butter & honey. Brushed it on liberally and tossed in to a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes or so (center rack, it ain’t like roasting meat).
Okay, so having a semi-whole wheat bread with honey on it is a little odd. But it was light, yummy and done to perfection. The crust was chewy & sweet. Both Mama and myself had a few slices with butter, then as a sandwich bread. I liked it just fine.
All in all I have to say it was a really great baking experience. Which is a good thing, maybe I’ll do more in the future. I can see it, Meat Pies. YEAH !!!