Experimenting with Bread

3 Jan

After watching the video below made by Tiger in a Jar on the Kinfolk Magazine blog, I became overwhelmingly inspired to make my own bread.  Bread requires more effort, attention, and patience than mostly all other baked goods. The process can be beautiful, relaxing, and rewarding if done correctly. I am in no way a gluten expert, but this experiment entices me to broaden my understanding. I want to know how bread gets that perfect thick crust that when daintily squeezed sounds like walking through crunchy leaves on a perfect autumn night. I need to learn how to make buttery pastries as light and fluffy as newly fallen snow. I must understand how a sourdough base gives bread that subtle hint of tang. I need to find a way to bottle the warm smell of fresh baked bread that acts as an invitation to anyone inhaling the wonderful aroma.  This video is definitely worth checking out.

I tried a recipe for Pesto Swirl Bread that had been on my to-do list for a very long time. However, I modified mine to be about 30% whole wheat. At first, I was going to do one standard loaf of pesto bread but at the last second decided to divide the batter into 3 mini loaves and try different mix-ins. I used a bakers blade a lot when making the breads and I highly suggest  getting one. It is my favorite kitchen utensil and I find a ton of unexpected uses for it. The swirled pesto bread came out the largest and used about 1/2 the dough. The pesto bread had a strong but not overwhelming garlic taste. I enjoyed this bread the best and of course it was twice as good coming straight out of the oven. Using the same swirl method on both the other mini loaves, I did a Jalapeno Cheddar  and a Mixed Fruit & Nut. In the Jalapeno, everything got incorporated evenly and the juice from the diced jalapenos made the bread noticeably spicy. The Fruit & Nut should have had some brown sugar and cinnamon mixed in too but was still enjoyable. Overall, I really enjoyed this experiment and will continue to challenge myself and learn more about the art of bread making.

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