Just baked my first loaf of bread in the newly finished kitchen.
Bread was a habit prior to the kitchen remodel, but I fell out of the habit when the kitchen was torn up and there was no counter space. Now, I’m back to it.
It’s astounding to me how quickly and easily my mind assigned the short leg of the “L” shaped counter my baking space. It just felt right, and that space hasn’t seen much use up until now. And I wanted to hand-knead rather than use the Kitchen Aid. It’s not a lot of work when you start with a poolish the night before and leave plenty of time for the dough to autolyse before kneading. In point of fact, my planned half hour autolyse ended up being almost an hour and a half. After than length of time? Kneading only took about 5 minutes.
Bread is not as hard as people think. It’s time-consuming, yes. But the amount of time involved is limited at each stage, and much of the rising can be done slowly in the fridge.
I’ve been at this long enough that I can made a basic bread without a recipe, but I don’t do it without a scales. I’m not an expert, though, and there are lots of good bread books out there. The book I’ve used to learn is Artisan Baking by Maggie Glezer. I have a lot more learning to do, and I want to expand the kinds of bread I can bake.
But for now, it’s time to slice the bread.