September 8, 2004


The approaching autumn has definitely triggered something. I came home on Tuesday evening and immediately had the overwhelming urge to bake. It’s been a long while since I’ve made bread. It’s not hard, but it does take some time.

As soon as the weather gets cool, I have the urge to fire up the oven. And there really is nothing like having fresh baked bread in the house. And there’s nothing like making bread completely by hand rather than buying a loaf at the market or dumping the ingredients into a machine.

In kneading, you can really feel the dough changing. And you quckly learn (with your sense of touch) what dough feels like when it is ready. You’ll never convince me to spend money on a bread machine that will do all that for me. A machine can’t have fun for you.

And I love trying goofy things like having a pan of water in the oven and then plunging a hot cast iron frypan into it to generate steam which will harden the crust of the loaves in the first 5-8 minutes of baking.

Since I am watching calories, I can’t eat much of what I bake. That’s where family and friends come in. So, some of this will be going to work tomorrow.

And apple season is right around the corner, which means apple picking with the Seggelins and the inevitable apple pie.

Autumn is good. But right now the rain is coming down hard, and I need sleep.

Posted by James at September 8, 2004 1:46 AM
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What gorgeous bread, James! Nicely photographed, too.

Mmm. There's nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread. I mean real bread, not bread machine bread. Anyone can open a package and dump it in a machine.

I miss baking my own bread. I used to follow recipes from one of the Moosewood cookbooks. Now, with Bob having celiac, I dare not make bread for fear of the wheat flower poofing all over the kitchen.

Perhaps, if I'm extremely careful, and there's nothign else being made in the kitchen at the same time, I can bake a batch of bread. If only my prep area had an exhaust hood like a chem lab!

Posted by: Patti M. at September 8, 2004 8:45 AM

Mmmmm, looks scrumptious. You don't ship by any chance, do you? ;)

Posted by: Ailsa at September 8, 2004 1:15 PM

Thats it. I should quit my day job and bake all the time.

Can man live by bread alone? ;)

Posted by: James at September 8, 2004 2:05 PM

How does it go? A loaf of bread, a jug of cider ...? :D

Posted by: Ailsa at September 8, 2004 3:00 PM

Beautiful bread, JP. Gad -- just what I needed: another old passion reawakened. It's been so long I've forgotten what recipes I followed -- probably Tassajara. Flavored breads -- onion and oregano, garlic and chives, chives and tarragon. Made some great sandwiches.

Posted by: Bob at September 9, 2004 6:58 AM

Tassajara Bread Book? Yes, that's an excellent resource. Of course, I can't seem to find my copy at the moment. It's probably somewhere in my office rather than my kitchen. (There it is - found it!)

In any case, I think of you whenever I post anything with gluten in it, and I feel for you.

Unfortunately, the only thing I can think of to do for you is to get you drunk on cider and scotch. Not the most creative solution.

Posted by: James at September 9, 2004 9:19 AM

I should pay closer attention to which Bob I'm respoonding to. That was "Hunter's Eye" Bob.

I don't mind if both of you get drunk on cider. So long as everyone's happy.

Posted by: James at September 9, 2004 9:22 AM

I'm hungry just looking at it. And no fair mentioning apple picking and your awesome pies. Although, I suppose you could argue that it was no fair for me to move to California.

Posted by: briwei at September 9, 2004 1:37 PM

By the way, your bread machine comment also makes me think of the occasion when Lynnea bought me one for Hanukkah and Maggie knew about it, but was trying to hide that fact from me when I tried to guess. "A machine that makes bread? I don't think there is such a thing." Good times. ;-)

Posted by: briwei at September 9, 2004 1:51 PM

Maggie never did pull off ignorance well. But you're relentless at getting information out of people.

Posted by: James at September 9, 2004 2:19 PM

I've managed to change my sig line -- henceforth to be known as "Bob T"

Posted by: Bob T at September 10, 2004 5:49 AM

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