Saturday, January 7, 2012

Quick Bread with Butter

One of my new years resolutions is to challenge myself to make more from scratch.  The pasta experiment is well underway, and I've been fooling around with different bread recipes.  The truth is, we don't ever buy bread.  I never make sandwiches for lunch, and Dave makes wraps, but sometimes, I just want toast.  I started my experiments with a version of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day's basic no-knead bread.  It worked great with white flour, but when I tried subbing some whole wheat flour in, the results were not as great.  Overall, not the life changing recipe I was looking for.  I then stumbled on 101cookbooks' Easy Little Bread recipe, which conveniently used stuff I had on hand that I was trying to get rid of (rolled outs bought in error at Trader Joes...)  I have made it twice, the first time I halved the recipe because I wanted to test it, the second time I made 1.5 times the original because I had a bigger loaf pan and wanted fairly normal-sized sandwich slices.  The recipe is great, and right out of the oven, the bread is chewy and hearty and everything that you want a fresh loaf of bread to be.  Once the bread cools, it gets SUPER dense, but stays moist and kept for 36 hours cut side down, left out on a cutting board.  It's a great recipe, but I can't help but wonder if there is a way to "lighten" the crumb, make the bread less dense and fluffier...I will have to attempt to troubleshoot to figure out a way to improve.  Stay tuned.

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