That’s how excited I was about what I’m about to tell you next. (That probably gives you an insight into how “exciting” life is these days.)
And it was fantastic!
The recipe is Scali Bread from King Arthur Flour [link removed]. I find nothing to fault with it, though I do have some amusing thoughts for you.
When I cook/bake, I usually give a cursory glance at the recipe. I’m looking for things like “overnight” or “4 hours later…” or “12 cups of flour.” You know, clues that time or scale are not good. However, during this pre-reading, I fail to draw conclusions that would prevent lots of awkwardness. Just give a few thoughts to these instructions from the recipe:
- Working on a lightly greased surface, roll each log into a rope about 24″ long.
- Brush each rope with the egg white/water, and sprinkle heavily with the sesame seeds, rolling the ropes gently in the seeds to pick up as many as possible.
- Place the loaf on a large, parchment-lined (or lightly greased) baking sheet.
Just… think for a minute. First of all, bread dough does not easily roll into a log. I was doing it on a floured surface, not a greased one (though both would provide the same amount of traction – none), and it just wasn’t happening. Traction seems to be necessary in rolling dough, at least a little bit of traction. So, the ropes were more… shaped and pulled than rolled.
Now take a 24″ rope of bread dough and… do anything with it. Ha! That’s an amusing thought. Make it slippery/sticky on the outside, and it gets worse.
And then, after you’ve braided the 3 ropes together… you’re supposed to move it to another baking sheet? I was glad that I’d actually done the moving between the second and third bullet points there, which was awkward enough. My braid stayed exactly where it was until it was done baking.
And it turned out wonderfully. Like I said, I have no complaints about the recipe. Really. King Arthur recipes are really more for people who have made bread more than a handful of times. And bread-making really is an art and a science, and not to be taken lightly. I know plenty of people who probably wouldn’t have experienced the same awkwardness I did, because they’ve been making bread for decades. Alas, I am not one of those people.
Despite all that, and the internet’s [disappointing] advice that I had to wait until the loaf had cooled completely before slicing (we mostly followed that advice – it was after 10 when the loaf came out of the oven though, and bedtime was imminent), it was a thrilling experience overall. It was successful! I have been trying to learn how to make yeast bread (without a bread machine, which I gave away before getting married because I almost never used it and the loaf shapes were weird) for over two years on and off. I think I might be able to give a standard loaf a shot now.
So today for lunch, I’m having Scali bread with peanut butter. My mid-morning snack will be Scali bread with Nutella. And my afternoon snack? The Matcha Tea Marbled Tea Cake [link removed] (bread) I made up on Sunday. You know what? I have been eating light yogurt and [fill in the blank – an apple, a piece of string cheese, etc] for what seems like forever, and have not lost a single pound. Might as well embrace carbs. 🙂