Breads! etc.

It’s funny to me that I post much less on this blog when I’m on vacation. I have more time, but I use this blog as a way to channel my procrastinating instinct into something productive—and there’s been no need to procrastinate on holiday 🙂

Anyway, I’m back with bread recipes!

As a disclaimer—I had very little hand in baking the breads. These are very much Keith’s handiwork.

Tips on baking bread

Keith says the key is  baking bread is just experience, but did have a few tips to include:

1. Make sure your water is warm and that you dissolve the sugar in it first, then mix the yeast into it. Don’t use this mixture until it starts frothing! Otherwise it won’t have a good rise.

2. For kneading, look at this epicurious video on youtube. He said the motion of the kneading was important to get down, but that your dough consistency will probably not be as perfect as the recipe says, so try not to get too caught up on it.

3. This is my personal addition: if you are baking a round loaf on a cookie sheet, put parchment paper underneath! It can leave a seriously annoying to clean mess if you don’t.

Enough talk, moar pictures!

I try to take photos of what he or I make these days. They may not be great quality but it helps me keep track of what I liked and didn’t. I used to say that they were for my non-existant food blog. But now I guess I’ll have to change the name. 🙂

So here are some of the breads that we’ve eaten in the past few months:Ok, I will admit I don’t know what recipe was used here! It’s some kind of  round whole wheat bread. I loved the oatmeal and flax seed on top—egg wash is a good way to get them to stick. I think he made this twice.This is a whole wheat bread in loaf form, using a recipe from epicurious.  It was equally delicious and went well with the soup. Poppy seeds and oatmeal made a nice top for this one. The soup was turkey barley vegetable soup he made from scratch using the carcass of my Thanksgiving turkey (thanks mom!)These were two whole wheat baguettes made using this recipe from diary of a locavore. They made awesome little toast slices for the lemon curd—which was basically just the left over lemon filling from the lemon tart (see this post for that recipe). I didn’t get a good shot of this one because there were a bunch of us eating it and it went fast! This is an Irish brown bread he made from this recipe. He was inspired by the bread served at deVere’s Irish Pub as there’s one in Davis now as well as Sacramento.Which is probably while it went delicious in this beef stew (again, sorry for the photo! hunger triumphed!)The key to this beef stew was a) Martha Stewart recipes (he took the best from two, not sure which) and b) red wine reduction. So delicious!

Finally, the most recent and perhaps one of the tastiest yet, was this:It may not be as visually striking as some other breads, but this is an impressive bread. It’s a rye bread made from this recipe, with a crucial addition of 2 T caraway seeds. I didn’t remember liking rye bread as a kid, but this bread made me change my mind. Without the distinctive caraway seeds for flavor, I think this would be an amazing bread for sweet toppings as well.

I was going to include some sweet recipes here too, but I think this is enough baking for one post. Hope you are inspired to try making bread this year!