Sunday, April 17, 2011

When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.

Maybe it’s something about being pregnant a primal nesting instinct, or an imbalance of hormone that manifests itself as temporary insanity.... but whatever it is...  Saturday DH set out in the boat to spend the day getting pounded by the waves, and waiting for the fish to bite...  all this in order to provide fish for the freezer at a cost much higher (factoring in gas, gear, and boat maintenance) than simply purchasing it from the fish plant.  While going through this ritual of provision, I was overcome with the unusual urge to make bread....   yup. Bread! 
Did I mention I never, never make bread.  I like bread... in fact I like bread so much I don’t keep it in the house... for fear I’d eat nothing else.  I deliberately lived without a toaster for 3 years just to keep the bread at a distance...  Saturday I got out the flour and yeast....  Olive & Oregano bread... from scratch.

The yeast foamed.. and the smell reminded me of my childhood.  I made the well in the flour and stirred in the onions, olives and oregano...  I kneaded (maybe a tiny bit too much), I used more utensils that I thought I owned...  I made a nest to help keep the ball of dough warm and waited for it to rise.... and waited, and cleaned up every single dough clogged item in my kitchen...and waited... I provided a bit of heat...  and waited..
I punched it down...  it had risen more than I thought it had...

Into the oven.. and the fisherman came home with fresh fish from the sea (I didn’t ask what he spent on gas).  Fresh fish chowder for dinner... my domestic skills never cease to amaze me nor does the pile of dirty dishes.

The bread... well... if you ever get the insane urge to make bread from scratch ... may I advise you to purchase new yeast... and beware of over kneading .  Or maybe the best advice I can give is to curl up in a little ball and breathe deeply until the whim passes.

As for me.. .heavy as that loaf was I ate it anyway... fresh, steaming warm from the oven and slathered in butter...
...and as for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists.

Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts!  ~James Beard
(click on image for larger and more readable recipe)

1 comment:

  1. Congrats :)
    I had the urge to make bread all last week! Maybe it is something to do with being pregnant? (I've never made it before and we also never have bread in the house).