Sunday, April 3, 2011

I Love the Way the Apartment Smells When I Bake

Sunday is usually baking and chores day for me and today was no exception.  A ton of laundry gone completed, as well as cleaning the guinea pig cage, and then the mess they left after floor time.  In between those chores, I got my baking done. 
I started out by making an apple-blueberry pie.  I admit that I was really lazy with this and used store-bought crust that I've had in the freezer.  Unfortunately, it's not a pretty looking pie, as the top crust tried to crumble apart when I was laying it on.  Fortunately for me, it smells amazing!
While the pie was baking, I started on my bread dough.  I decided to a yeast bread instead of a quick bread and I opted to flavour it with dried oregano, rosemary, and fresh black pepper.
My main problem with yeast breads is that we live in a basement apartment, so it's a little cooler than most homes, which can affect the rise of the bread.  Here's my little trick to counteract that fact.

That's right! Stick your bowl of dough, covered with a tea towel, and a glass of freshly boiled water into the microwave.  Then shut the door and set the microwave's timer to go off when the rise should be done.  An added bonus to this method is that you still get to use the oven for other things.

Here's the bread rising away!  Rise bread, rise! You must double in size! 
When the bread was done the first rise, I gave it another little knead, put it on a cookie sheet, and left it to rise again.  When it was done that rise, it got some shallow cuts across the top, and a dusting of cornmeal, and we were finally ready to bake!
The thing I love about this recipe is that the total baking time is only 40 minutes or so.  After waiting around all afternoon for dough to rise, a quick bake is important to me!  Especially when the house smells so delicious you want to eat the air while it's baking. 

Here's the finished product!  It turned out to be a much bigger ball of bread than I expected and I can't wait to cut into it. 

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