Friday, December 28, 2007
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.
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.