About two weeks ago, during my little staycation week, I found a bread baking mix in one of our local grocery stores. The ingredient list looked really good, just whole spelt flour, dry yeast, dry sourdough, salt, and sugar, so I spontaneously picked it up. The process of making bread from scratch intimidates me a little, and I thought that using a little help should make it easier.
For one loaf of bread I mixed half of the contents of that bag with 1 1/3 cups of warm water. The dough looked a bit too sticky, so I added a little more spelt flour, but that was probably not a good idea. I kneaded the dough for about ten minutes. With my hands! My shoulders were on fire.
When the dough finally looked smooth, I put it into a bowl (yes, mine is pink), covered it with a clean dish towel, and let it sit on the counter to rise for an hour. Or three. I don’t remember.
After resting for a while, my dough had doubled in size. I briefly kneaded it once more and then put it into a floured loaf pan. I covered it all with a dish towel, again, and let it sit in a warm place for one more hour.
Eventually, the dough had expanded even more, and was finally ready to be baked. I brushed the top of the loaf with a little water and put the pan into my pre-heated oven.
About 45 minutes later it was done. Finally! Looking at it, I maybe baked it a bit too long, but it still turned out quite nicely.
So, what did it taste like? The result was a rather dense and chewy kind of bread, not as fluffy as I had hoped. Maybe because I added too much flour? But taste-wise I’d say it was a success. It was quite delicious, and even my husband ate it without complaining. I still have a few slices left in the freezer and will surely enjoy them when I run out of fresh bread.
This may look like a very lengthy process, but in fact it only takes about 15 minutes of active work, the rest is just waiting.
Will I do it again? Absolutely! While I’m quite pleased with the result, I know it could be even better. The other half of the bag is still in my pantry, ready for another experiment.
Edited to add: Over the weekend, I put a few frozen slices into my toaster oven, and they turned out perfectly crunchy and delicious!
Have you ever tried baking bread? How did it turn out?