Today I had a day off so I baked.
I am taking a bread class this semester. There's just something about freshly baked bread - all warm and crusty and yummy. It's one thing to make the stuff in the baking labs - guidance is readily available when needed, there is access to industrial equipment, there is tonnes of room and the facilities to bake 100 loaves of bread at the same time. At home, I have my gorgeous Kitchen Aide and an oven. I also have other top of the line tools care of my days working at Williams Sonoma.
Two weeks ago in class we made an oatmeal bread. It was a really hearty tasting bread, slightly sweet and earthy. Probably one of my favorites to date. I therefore attempted to make it at home. I was quite pleased with the way it turned out at school for the exception that I think I scored the bread too deep and the instructor left it in the proof a little too long (she said so herself). It still tasted fab, but it looked slightly amusing...and although I thought it had character, I was not that amused. (see photo to the left) Today, on a precious day off, I planned to redeem myself. My homemade oatmeal bread rocked. I encountered another problem along the way though.....
As smart as I am, uhmm, I can on occasion make a silly decision. I put all four loaves in the oven at the same time. I don't think the air in the oven was circulating much with all that dough. I took the bread out too soon and needed to cook it much longer. How do I know if the inside is fully cooked? I don't think the toothpick in the cake trick would work. In any event, I put them back in for a while longer. Everything worked out in the end (see photo to the right).