You might be confused as to what a post about my baking of artisan bread is doing on this blog. Well, it's partially because I first heard of it on a knitting podcast you probably watch, and partially because I feel like it. It's my blog, after all!
A couple weeks ago, I was catching up on the Stitched in Sweden podcast while working on one of my KAL projects (note: Stitched in Sweden is one of my favorite podcasts because Maria's colorwork is amazing!)
In that particular episode, Maria had mentioned how her bread baking was going. She had purchased a book called The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and said their methods had been working well. I had no idea what she was talking about, but the idea sounded interesting. Well, as interesting as can be to someone who's never attempted to make bread outside of an electric bread maker before. And that was when I was 10. With my parents.
Anyway, toward the end of the episode, she showed off her latest loaf and, after wiping drool from my face, I knew I needed to buy this book.
I don't know what possessed me other than I needed something to focus that's not the failure that is my life. And I enjoy baking. Which I guess is a good reason. Plus, carbs.
So after ordering and receiving the book, I made my way to the grocery store and bought the meager amount of ingredients needed to make a simple loaf. That's another reason this whole artisan bread thing was attractive to me: the math evens out to approximately 50 cents per loaf for not much of a time investment.
What makes this method different? Well, I really wouldn't know, considering I'd never tried baking bread before. But supposedly it's the fact you mix up a huge batch of dough and let it sit in your fridge for up to two weeks. The dough is extra wet, which helps it "keep" for long periods of time and eliminates the need for kneading (see what I did there?). You also don't need a starter - the dough automatically generates a sourdough taste the longer it hangs out in your fridge. I can attest to that, having now made my way through the entire first batch and noticing a better taste each time.
Really, I thought it would be more difficult or involved. It wasn't. I mean, there are plenty of things you can add for a more intricate or flavorful recipe, but let's face it: it's better if I start at the beginning and learn the basics as opposed to diving in head first. Otherwise, there's a solid chance I'd burn my house down.
I'm two weeks into the artisan bread lifestyle now and I have to say it's been pretty successful; I'm weirdly proud of myself. Not that it matters a heck of a lot as I'm about to start a 21-day sugar detox, but for the time being, I'm enjoying a house that smells like a bakery and feeling a wee bit like an old-school tradesman. You know, sometimes it's nice to do things "the hard way" again. Which I suppose is why we all love knitting so much, right?