Monday, January 14, 2013

Zen and the Art of Baking Bread

Bread rising in stoneware pan

One of the benefits of being a teacher is the two week break over Christmas.  It is such a wonderful time to refuel.  I had lots of things to do with my business, Pamela Greer Photography, but I also wanted to get back in touch with some of my cooking loves. 

I have not baked bread in probably at least a year.  Luckily since I store my yeast in the freezer, it was still good.  I have a go-to  recipe that I use, Pain De Maison Sur Poolish to make the dough in my bread machine.  Rather than keeping a sourdough starter going, which I am bad about feeding, this recipes allows me to create a sort of mini ferment the night before.  Not as zingy as a sourdough, but still adds a little something extra.

It was so nice.  Feeling the aliveness of the dough in your hands, gently placing it in the pan to rise, the smell of the bread as it baked, the crackling crust talking to me as it cooled.

Pure Zen.

I would show you the finished bread, but I only took a photo for Instagram.

11 comments:

Joanne said...

Bread baking makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. :)

Les said...

This looks delicious! I used to bake bread all the time. Adding it to the weekly menu/to do list for next weekend.

Bella Rum said...

I could use some Zen right about now.

Kitchen Ninja said...

Never thought of storing the yeast in the freezer (since I don't bake bread all that often): genius.

Amy said...

Ah, some day. Some day I will be one with the bread making.

Kat said...

Pure Zen, indeed. I loved the smell of fresh baked bread, and even more loved eating it hot with butter! I have not made bread in forever! I should give it a try, since you inspired me!

Marjie said...

I keep meaning to try a bread with a quick starter like this. One of these days, I might even do so! But I've been slacking in the bread making department for the last year or so...I think we go in cycles on things, or at least I seem to.

grace said...

cool loaf pan! very few things are as terrific as the smell of bread baking paired with that still-warm, slightly crusty, slightly soft first piece.

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

And the wonderful smell in the kitchen...ahhhhh!

a good yarn said...

Checked Instagram. The baked bread looks delicious. Too hot for baking here at the moment. I'll wait until things cool down.

Chris said...

Alexis has lost her zen or mojo for bread baking the last two months. A lot of dense results. Any tips?