November 9, 2011


Bread intimidates me. Something about the yeast - I think it's magic. And therefore unknowable, unpredictable, uncontrollable.

I've avoided making it. You know, because of the magic. Somehow I think it's going to pick up on my fear and refuse to obey me. But then came the latest Cooking Light in the mail, like a harbinger of awkward self-improvement. I came across a recipe for Crusty French Boules. I was intrigued by using the stand mixer to knead the dough. (All I would have to do is flip a switch? I can so flip a switch.) And seduced by the fact that the "pâte fermentée" took two days to develop. Two days! I'm sucker for recipes that make you wait like that (Hello.). Foreplay recipes.

The process was fun - all that waiting and whatnot. Only slightly terrifying. But a fun kind of terrifying. I enjoyed punching down the dough way too much. I was doing pretty well, and becoming alarmingly proud of myself - until, on the very last step,  I used a serrated knife to cut the breathing slits. Which effectively mutilated the boule, and brought me back down to earth.

It also gave me a reason to try again. I will master bread. ...Someday.

After I make that ice cream again.