I saved this one for a weekend even though I did it a while ago because it’s probably more realistic for someone who doesn’t work at home to bake on the weekends rather than some random Wednesday.
Bonus points if you do it with any kids who happen to be around, but baking on your own is great, too.
I love baking bread, but cupcakes, regular cake, coffee cake, quick bread, cookies, anything you like counts, too. Maybe even a casserole. As long as you have to mix some ingredients together and put it in the oven it counts (slice and bake cookies do not count).
There’s something really wonderful about the process of baking, particularly yeast breads, which I love to make.
Such simple ingredients, modified by time and heat into something really beautiful, delicious, so much more than the sum of its parts.
If you don’t have a go-to recipe, here’s one of mine. It almost couldn’t be easier, especially if you have a good mixer, and the more times you can let it rise the better.
Modified from a recipe in Eating for IBS by Heather von Vorous.
Makes one good-sized baguette.
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 2 to 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Place warm water in mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast and sugar on top. Let sit about 5 minutes until foamy.
- Using your mixer or a big spoon, stir in one cup of flour. Add the salt and another cup of flour. Stir until the mixture becomes a stiff dough.
- Knead by hand for about 10 minutes, or mix with a mixer and a dough hook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the dough has formed a nice ball and cleaned the bottom of the bowl. Add more flour if necessary.
- If you use the mixer, sprinkle a little flour on a surface and knead gently, just enough to form into a nice ball.
- Either way, place the dough ball in an oiled bowl, cover with a light cloth and let rise until doubled, about one and a half hours.
- At this point if you have more time you can punch down and let double again, or punch down and form into a baguette at this point.
- Heat oven to 400 while the loaf rests diagonally on a baking sheet, for about 30 minutes.
- Slash the top in 3 places with a sharp knife and back about 30 minutes, until golden.
If you take up this challenge, I’d love to know what you make! Leave a comment or post a picture on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #ourdailycraft.