Remember a while back when I mentioned joining the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge? Well, I finally baked my first loaf! I have literally never made a loaf of bread before (well, besides banana bread) and after seeing lots of people’s pictures and discussions about what teeny, tiny mistakes they made, I was quite nervous that I’d end up with two pieces of plop (I guess it is normal that when you bake bread you end up with 2 loaves…surprise #1!). So, anyway, today I embarked upon my very first recipe (there are 43 total), which is called Anadama Bread. Similar to a white sandwich bread, but made with a cornmeal starter and molasses.
I started out last night mixing the corn meal and water in a bowl and letting that sit overnight. Then today I put that in the mixer and added the flour, yeast, and water, and gave it a whirl. I let it sit under a towel for a while to make a sponge (this bread was made using the indirect method, which means there are several periods of waiting for the dough to rise, but the sponge was my favorite part–it really looked alive!). Then I added the rest of the flour, molassses, butter, and salt, and mixed it up. Then it was time to put on the dough hook and let it whirl in the mixer! The dough was a lot wetter than I anticipated, so I added a good bit of flour…probably added close to 3/4-1 cup in the end. After 10 minutes in the KitchenAid on speed 2, I took out the dough and finished kneading it by hand. Probably could have gone a bit longer, but I was anxious to move on at that point! Put it in the greased bowl and let it rise. After punching it down in the middle, I took it out and divided it in half, then formed two loaves using Reinhart’s method. Then into the pans for the final rise, dusted with corn meal and into the oven! 40 minutes later I had two beautiful and fragrant loaves, if I do say so myself!
Quite pleased with my first run…am trying to be patient as I wait for it to cool so I can eat a slice-I’ll let you know how it is. If you want to join the BBA Challenge, just head on over to Amazon and pick up The Bread Baker’s Apprentice! There are 43 recipes so even if you’re starting late like me, you can catch up in no time. Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!