Friday, December 28, 2007

Oh My God Look What I Made

oh my god i made bread
No, that's not a $4.99 artisan loaf of bread. That's a homemade bread loaf I baked last night. I know. Yes, I baked it. And it was pretty easy. And you know what? It's really, really tasty. I mean, fresh from the oven? Homemade bread? Me? Seriously. It's really good and really easy.

I've always thought breadmaking was done with elaborate bread machines or by people who are extremely methodical and patient and a quasi mix of scientist and cook (hello, Alton Brown!). I've heard stories of bread that wouldn't rise, gooey messes, hard loafs that shatter when you drop them. But last year I became intrigued about the much-blogged-about Mark Bittman no knead bread, in the New York Times. Shout out to Rodger and Mark who blogged about it then. But I don't know if I really believed it could be that easy. And then I came across this recipe. I mean come on. Look at the ingredients. Water, yeast, salt and flour. No kneading. What the hell! So I tried it and now I have a bowl full of dough I can pull a piece from over the next two weeks and bake. The baking process itself is interesting: heating a baking stone, and pouring in water to a broiler pan on the bottom shelf, quickly shutting the oven door. Over the 30 minutes it bakes, the water evaporates and steams up the lovely loaf of bread. How cool is that?! And it really works.
close up of Oh My God Look What I Made Bread
I was recently asked what my description "I'm currently undergoing a reinvention" means on my blog. See it over there on the right? I didn't have a clear answer for that. It originally began with leaving my long-time job a year ago and starting my own business. It is, but it's more than that. I think doing something like baking bread is part of it. My exploration of self over this past year has been intense. Making choices about what I do and how I spend my time, learning new things. I think I will always be undergoing a reinvention. It's becoming a constant and I actually really like it. Learning new things, trying new things, exploration of self and what I can do. What I want to do. It may lead me in different directions, but that journey of self, of wonder, of discovery, is a lot of fun. It has become part of me. It's always been there, this part of me, but I've created the space and room for it to more fully evolve.

So what's in store for me in the coming year? What discoveries and explorations do I want to make? These questions are ones I'll be pondering in the coming few days. I'm a firm believer that if you say what you want, you'll receive it and make it happen. And while "baking bread" wasn't in my brain a year ago when I was making huge changes in my life, time and space to explore things were.

See how baking bread can make you do some self analysis? Amazing. And in the spirit of the movie Waitress, which I recently saw in which the main character names every pie she makes (such as Bad Baby Pie, god isn't that great?), I'm going to start naming my explorations. This bread here? Oh My God Look What I Made Bread. It's tasty. And oh my god, I made it myself.

12 comments:

Mark H said...

Lelo - YES YES...WE too have made this "new" version, and although It's NOT quite the full flavor of the 15 hour rise, IT IS VERY good AND!!! You have enough for another loaf sitting in the fridge ready to go about three days later. Both worked for us. And, BY THE WAY...your APPLE MARMALADE is spectacular. NO sharing that recipe? WE MUST learn how to make it....it's an astounding jump up from any old mushy apple butter or sauce. WE LOVED that....how can we talk you into sharing?

The Recovering Straight Girl said...

Your bread looks divine and you are an inspiration to all to delve into their own discoveries. And you're famous too, so I hear!!! You must come over for a visit soon, and bring Wink, and your bread, but don't leave it on my dining room table.

Syd said...

Unless it chips your teeth to bite the crust, that looks like a winner.

melissa lion said...

Oh, looks so good! I love the rest of the post too. Making Alice Waters's pasta recipe did that for me. Congrats on your bread and on your constant discovering.

Kathy said...

Oh yeah!! It looks amazing! I'm inspired to try some myself tomorrow :)

Anonymous said...

That does look good. And I see you have Trixie's linked over there. Excellent. We already have 2 things in common.

Lewis said...

So, you're rolling in the dough, eh? Good for you! I'm an excellent cook...but a not so good baker....I think it's the art versus science thing.

Matt in Overlook said...

Lelo,
Isn't that no-knead bread great. I've made it twice myself. Both the FoodDay and Martha Stewart show have covered it and given recipes...I wish though that someone would include a few recieps with options for variations. If you come up with some please let us all know.

LeLo in NoPo said...

Mark-Yes, I will send you the recipe! It IS delish, isn't it?

RSG-I'll see YOU next week. ;)

Syd-No chipped teeth!

Melissa Lion-Ah, the constant discovering. That's really the best part, isn't it?

Kathy-You should! It's easy! You'll feel smart and witty because of it!

Anon-Okay?!

Lewis-Hmm. I s'pose you could say that. You should try it: you might be surprised.

Matt-I've been thinking that adding some seeds to it might be good, and could up the vitamin content. I think YOU should try it and let us all know!

Rozanne said...

Sounds like there's all kinds of physics involved in making that bread! It looks fabulous, too, just like something you'd get at Ken's Artisan Bakery.

Tricia said...

I read this last night and I can't stop drooling and thinking about it...God how I love bread! I might have to go get me some yeast and give it a go...

Patti said...

Hmmm I may just get brave enough to make this bread. My grandparents ALWAYS baked their own bread (and not via a bread machine either). OMG it was SO good. The best!