It all started with a friend posting pictures on Facebook of home baked toast. Then he posted a picture of home baked rolls, and then of various home baked loaves all of which looked delicious and bakery-window-display-perfect. I was full of admiration and praise and made sure to tell him that he could come to my house and bake any time.
I could have left it at that, moved on and never looked back. So my friend is not only clever and rides his bike to work for an hour and a half; he also bakes the toast for his four kids’ sandwiches himself every other day—like, whatever! I can live with that. My son gets a bish-bash-bosh American sandwich toast with mayonnaise, pfft—stick it together, off we go *by car* to the nursery school that’s three minutes away from here. I don’t care. I’m in my pajamas, where’s my coffee, and please don’t talk to me before ten thirty.
But then Alicia Paulson took this bread-baking thing to a whole new level for me.
I first stumbled across Alicia’s blog about two months ago. It’s eye-candy. The Pottery Barn is getting all its decorating ideas from her. There are fresh flowers in cute vases on every table in her beautiful house and on birthdays she makes picture perfect five-layer cream cakes. Aaaaaand, whipped cream for the perfect pie: ……….. she bakes bread like a goddess!
I won’t go into the details of the state of affairs in my house. Let’s just say that the other day I found a yoghurt with a 2010 sell-by date. (tasted fine)
It was time for change in my life, a new dawn.
I put on my baking hat, followed the link in Alicia’s blog to the recipe for THIS
unbelievably yummy looking loaf of bread, drove to the supermarket to get the ingredients, pulled up my sleeves (washed and blow-dried my hair, put on a pair of high heels, pinched my cheeks and tweaked my eyelashes) and went to work. [Bonnie Tyler with an apron].
And here’s the recipe I used:
No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting. You may use white, whole wheat or a combination of the two.
1 1/2 tsp salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting
(Read full recipe here)
Sounds easy enough: you take a quarter teaspoon of yeast, eleven half cups of warm water, three cups of flour and eleven half teaspoons of salt and follow the baking instructions.
I did that.
Somehow something didn’t look right:
Just — be quiet.
Please, go to the website I linked to above, look at the recipe and tell me if that looks like ONE AND ONE HALF cups of warm water, or if it looks like 11/2 (ELEVEN half) cups of warm water. That looks like an eleven to me! It still does. I should have used common sense? (Common sense, how you spell that?) You can brew your own beer with six cups of water to the quarter teaspoon of yeast? Oh yeah? Good! Because I wanted to make beer. Did I say bread? Well, I meant BEER.
I can change my mind. I can! Beer it is. Let’s put it this way: thank God this is not a knitting, cross stitch and baking recipe blog! Okay? Okay! I’m going to pour myself a pint now.
And then I AM GOING TO TRY AGAIN!