I'm bowing out of this month's TBR Challenge. My TBR pile is no smaller but I have other obligations this week that must come first.
I have things to read for my critique partners and I have the eHarlequin Valentine's Secret entries to read. Even more fun than that we're having company tomorrow, beloved family who we rarely see.
As a treat, I'm making homemade bread to go with our two pans of lasagna-- we'll have four teenagers. I'm making homemade bread. Not bread machine bread, but a cold rise baguette. I've made lots of bread at home over the years. In a bread machine. Whole wheat. Oatmeal. Kneaded by hand. Kneaded in a heavy-duty mixer.
The lovely Lynn Rae Harris and I were talking about baking bread and she confessed to being a bit leery of bread. There are so many things that have to be correct. The yeast has to be fresh or the bread won't rise. If the water is too hot or too cold, it still won't rise. If the room is too hot, the dough could over rise and then fall before it's even in the oven. If the room's too cold, the dough will be too dense. Baking is part science and part craft. I've had all these things and still more things go wrong (our Labrador mix really liked bread).
This cold rise method is hands down, my favorite way to make bread. It's forgiving. If I have to run an unexpected errand, the dough can wait a little bit for me. As long as the water is cool to the touch, the bread will eventually rise. The crumb and the flavor of the bread is truly superb, better than most I can buy locally.