I was pretty freakin' proud of this little one
Bread. Just hearing the word makes the aroma of freshly baking bread appear. It's one of my top 5 favorite smells. 1. Babies, 2. My dad (when he's clean of course), 3. Laundry that my mom did, 4. The Ocean and 5. Freshly baked bread. I've never met a bread I didn't like. Ever. Not pumpernickel, not rye, not Irish soda (though it may be my least favorite - no offense Irish folk, I'm Irish too, my great grandmother bottled Guinness in Dublin for Christ's sake, oops...no offense...Jesus, oh to hell with it all) I will most likely, at one time or another, offend you if you read my blog...so let's move on...and let bygones be bygones.
Back to bread. My favorite of all breads is a crusty, flaky French bread with a soft, light, airy inside. With butter holes built right into it. I've done a lot of research on this bread and I've been discouraged to make it because I always read that I need to have a special type of oven that gets to 700 some degrees. Or I need to have a certain type of flour imported from an unknown village in France. Then there's something about sponges, water baths, etc. It's like sitting in a calculus class and honestly, who would do that if they didn't have to?? That's why I prefer cooking to baking. Less stress.
Anyhow...I stumbled across a bread recipe on this blog, which I now LOVE, and I halved the recipe and gave it a go. I didn't have a pizza stone, but I do have a ceramic unglazed deep dish pizza pan that I assumed would get good and hot, so I used that. I also don't have a pizza peel, I just picked up my shaped loaf and stuck it in my pan. And of course, today was the day my instant thermometer died, so I sorta just guessed when the bread was actually done. Seeeee....baking isn't THAT technical after all. And I was all worried!!
Regardless...what I came up with was a much lighter in color (I think I used too much flour, my dough was not nearly as goopy as his), ever so slightly undercooked, but DAMN tasty loaf. In fact, this sucker didn't last more than 5 minutes. There were four bread vultures in my house at the time. Each one taking a different approach on how to eat theirs. One went with the plain old white bread style. Another simply buttered. Another went with olive oil, salt and pepper to dip in. And the fourth went the butter and honey route. I'll never tell you which one I was. And my quest to make the perfect loaf is not over. I will pull a masterpiece out of my oven. Wait and see...