Occasionally, I’ll get it in my head that I HAVE to try to make something. It won’t leave until I accomplish what I’m trying to do. Lately, with all of this talk of getting shelf stable food, I wondered what it would take to make homemade bread. I always love nice, fresh, crispy bread straight from the oven and wondered what it would take to make my own.
My one side story bare with me. My mom would stay with my Great Granparents every weekend and all summers. My great-grandfather made all the family bread. I wish I had the privilege of knowing that dude. He baked, pickled, homemade sauerkraut, made vinegars, grew a huge garden, had an orchard, made soap, made his own wine from his own grapes, and smoked like a chimney. On baking days he would “roust” his grandchildren out of their nice warm beds and use the heat from the warm beds to proof the second rise of his dough in their beds. Come on…don’t worry. The dough was in big bowls and covered the towels made from flour sacks. End of side story!
Turns out, just trying to get the ingredients right now with the the Covid-19 pandemic going on is a test. My local stores are totally sold out of flour and yeast. Flour I was fine with as I keep a lot of that on hand for making desserts and sauces. But the yeast proved to be a real challenge; my local grocery stores didn’t have any and they sold out of it after restocking a few days ago. But, I managed to find some by chance at an middle eastern grocer than hadn’t been completely ransacked. I didn’t buy too much either, only what I needed.
Getting it home I decided on a recipe I had seen before using my cast iron dutch oven to add to the heat. This recipe. I made it as well as I can but it became obvious that it’s been a while since I went to culinary school. I made a mess, and the end result was a lot denser than what I was looking for. The crust was nice and tasty and crispy though and it did taste great with some homemade rillettes and homemade tapenade I had lying around.
But it did show me that I need to look up a few things and figure out how to make the kinds of breads that I like. The crispy, fluffy kind like what you get at restaurants. I’ll figure it out for sure. Arg…Great Grandpa where are you when I you!