Oh my gosh. This is technically my 3rd time working with yeast. For the purposes of this post, we will not revisit my old high school Chem 101 phobia of yeast. I just had a great time with this particular recipe. It was easy enough for me to do, a newbie in the bread baking world. I've made bread from Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois's book Artisan Bread in 5 and that was a [tasty] breeze as well!
I wish I could say that I took photos step by step but sadly, I did not. I barely clicked off my finished shot before I devoured [no pun intended] half the loaf. I can, however, mentally recall the steps. Well, at least the parts I was questioning. You know how I love my questions. [for recipe, please visit our host, Big Black Dog]
Step 1: Decide to half the recipe since I knew if I made the full 4 loaves, I'd eat it all and it would just show up on my @$$. Mix in all the dry ingredients and realize that I kept the same amount of yeast as in the regular recipe. CAREFULLY scraped out what I thought was 1/2 the amount of yeast.
Step 2: Mix in the wet ingredients. But wait. ..the regular recipe calls for 3 large eggs. So, what?? Am I supposed to use HALF an egg? what the heck was I supposed to do with the other half?? Hmm...looked at the egg carton that said JUMBO on it. Maybe that would qualify has 1-1/2 LARGE eggs...Ok, ONE jumbo egg, coming right up [and if it looked too dry, I'd just throw in another 1/2 a jumbo egg].
Step 3: Let it rest...2 hours later I'm nearly having a heart attack because it hadn't risen. Oh wait. I forgot. It's really cold in LA right now...and subsequently in my house [YES, 40 degree weather IS cold for us in the City of Angels] as well. I threw it into my oven and let it rise.
Step 4: Darn, too late to bake the bread tonight. Stuck it into the fridge.
Step 5: Pull dough out of the container and and start rolling it out. 3/4". Hmmmm...that sounds really small. Or maybe it's that whole perception of what 3/4" really is. I'm going with what I think looks right.
Step 6: Read the directions to braid. Ok, I'm NOT retarded. I know how to braid. What do they mean not move the center strand?? how do you braid without moving the center strand?? HUH?? Hmmmm...I'm braiding it like I do my hair...if I still braided my hair, that is.
Step 7: Let rise IN MY OVEN [I'm dumb but at least I try not to repeat my mistakes] for 45 minutes. In which time, I sat around waiting for the bread to rise. No solutions to world peace, no christmas cards, no gift wrapping. Just sat and waaaaaiiiiited.
Step 8: Take the loaf out of the oven & pre-heated....waiting some more. BEEEEP! oven is ready so I throw the bread in. 3 minutes later, I RUN back to the kitchen to pull out the bread to brush on the forgotten egg wash.
Step 9: Wait another 30 minutes in which time I watched "Sing Off". Man. This is good stuff. I wish I could sing.
Step 10: Pull the loaf out of the oven and plate it. Take 3 photos and can not WAIT to dig into the bread. I did not even wait 5 minutes for it to cool off.
I saw on Bread365 blog that she made cinnamon rolls out of them. TOTALLY going to do that! brills. My co-workers may be getting a special treat tomorrow...If i don't eat it all first. I'm such a little piggy.