Wednesday, January 3, 2007

It's Wednesday!

And this is the one-week warning that next week, Weigh-In Wednesday will return. I'm not 100% sure what the focus will be, but next Wednesday it will return in some form or another. I think I'm going to utilize my Wednesday post to focus more on healthy eating than fitness and weight-loss, and I'm thinking there may be a temporary route to that, but I will hold off sharing until next week, when I am more concrete in my decision making.

I've also managed to knock off one of my cookbooks from my list yesterday. One down, 66 more to go. I've put together and Excel spreadsheet to help me keep track, and any new books I pick up will be added to the list as well. You'll find throughout the year that the recipes that I use to conquer this challenge will get a label of Cookbook Challenge. (Yeah, real creative, I know.)

Yesterday I was in the mood to bake a loaf of bread. And I thought about playing around with my standard recipe a bit. Then I spied my spreadsheet sitting on the table and figured I should get one under my belt. I turned to The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I had some leftover sweet potatoes in the fridge, so I had it in my mind to check out her sweet potato bread. Of course, I found one called Sweet Potato Loaf, and got to work. As my loaf of bread progressed yesterday, I was reminded why I don't pick up this cookbook more often. The few recipes I've followed literally take all day to produce a loaf of bread. This particular loaf wasn't tedious or difficult at all, it just took forever. First I had to make my sponge and let that sit for 1-4 hours (someone planning ahead could do this step overnight). Then I mixed my dough, let it rest for 20 minutes before kneading. Next it rose. Twice at 1 1/2 hours a piece. Then the dough had to be shaped, and then allowed to rise one more time (another 1 1/2 hour) before baking (30 minutes).

All that time was fine yesterday, I spent the day putting away Christmas decorations and rearranging furniture and things like that, but on a normal day? I definitely need to plan ahead to make the breads in this book. I will say that the bread was fantastic! This was a lightly sweet and very tender bread. Worthy of a day's worth of work, so the cookbook stays. It does produce fantastic results, I have to say. Yesterday's bread was delicious and also kind of pretty with it's slightly orange hue. Considering that all that was left after dinner was a small heel, I call that a success.

5 comments:

chrispy said...

I love this cookbook because everything turns out awesome. I also loath the time stuff takes. The sour dough is amazing but do I really have 2-3 days to make 2 loaves of bread. I was a student when I got this book. It is definitely worth the effort to make a recipe but I have others that give me results in way less time, but I must encourage you to make the focaccia layered with fresh herbs (209-15). 14 hours produces amazing results - I still have not found such a good recipe with less time.

Erika said...

Thanks Chrispy- focaccia has been earmarked.

I'm also thrilled to know that I'm not the only one who finds this book to be daunting. But when the results are so darn good...

:-)

chrispy said...

ok so i got motivated to try a "simpler" recipe from this book and I made the rich and creamy ginger scones. This took me about an hour and the results this morning were oh so yummy.

Erika said...

Well those sound really good. Off to look that one up... ;-)

chrispy said...

Hopefully I can post an image tonight. My editor got home late and he is trying to eat the last of them.