Months ago, I started following Jenna Fischer on Instagram only to discover that she is obsessed with baking bread. I’m not sure how I didn’t know that beforehand, but whatever. My status of being behind the times is not the point of this post. The point is to share the fact that Jenna’s obsession quickly turned into my obsession, and maybe a week or two after following and binge watching all of her bread-related Instagram highlights, I ordered a few supplies for myself and got to baking.
I ordered Bonnie Ohara’s Bread Baking for Beginners in late November, and since then I’ve made exactly three (3) loaves of bread–and two of them were the same recipe. Yes, having a small child in the house who often demands my undivided attention is a pretty good excuse, but still–I want to bake all the bread, dammit! Even if he can’t quite eat it yet, Dan and I sure as hell can, and when I do get around to baking a loaf, boy do we. One of our favorite dinners lately has been a good loaf of bread, fig jam, and goat cheese. That’s it, unless we decide to go really wild and add some olives and salami. But just those three keep me perfectly content.
Anyway, I recently finally had the chance to try my second recipe in the book, the eight-hour fermentation no-knead bread. What I love about the book is not only how much I learn, but how much it focuses on precision to get your loaf just right. I’ve made a pretty good amount of bread over the years, but I’ve only recently really committed to not only weighing my ingredients but also checking the temperature of them. Doing this in the winter in a somewhat drafty house can make it a little challenging at times, but it’s still amazing the difference it makes and the results that I’ve gotten so far.
Dan suggested after the first loaf that I should make a scrapbook for the breads I bake throughout the book–especially since I’m just baking my way through in a linear fashion, building foundation skills to add to as I go–and I definitely think I’ll be doing just that. I’ve become so enamored of travelers notebooks lately, and along with that, one of my goals this year is to get back to using my dSLR camera again, so I think it’s a great way to combine all of these loves.
I’ve got this funny little dream of a very rustic life, being a writer with a farmhouse and a good-sized garden to feed us. Baking bread is a big part of that dream; it’s simple, but it’s wholesome. It is, in fact, very hygge. Basically, I just want to be a hobbit.