Last Saturday on my big grocery trip, I bought a 3-pack of yeast to do a test run or 3. I figured if I had decent success with those 3, then next time I might buy a jar.
I didn't have a plan, except for to strike when inspiration did.
It turns out inspiration came yesterday. It rained all day, with the promise of snow to come during the night. I was planning a salmon chowder for supper, and all I could think of to go with it was a nice crusty bread.
I remember reading somewhere recently that it isn't good to bake bread on humid days (is that true?) but there are more humid days than not around here, and I really, really wanted hot crusty bread to go with our chowder.
So off I went. And do you know what? For all the hype, I didn't think it was that hard at all! People carry on like it is something really difficult and a lot of trouble, but I thought it was fun! And I was so happy about my results:
Isn't it pretty? I'm not sure why I went with a braided bread.... I think it was the fact that I was so hung up on wanting the bread to be 'crusty' and that was the only recipe I found that promised that.
Next I plan to tackle using an actual loaf pan. Hopefully for sliceable bread? And wheat flour!
And yes.. the bread is sitting n@ked on the counter. I was in a hurry to take the picture, and I coudln't think of anything right off hand to put the bread on, so the counter it was. Because the sheet it was baked on is UG-LEE.
But let me tell you.... that bread was the perfect thing to go with our chowder. And ... (shhhhh.....) we ate it all in one sitting! Or almost all. The last little butt end was my breakfast this morning with coffee and orange marmalade. Mmmmm. :)
And.... in case you are interested in the Salmon Chowder, which was also very good, I'm including the recipe below. But be warned: cooking fish soup can totally ruin a good 'fresh baked bread' smell!!! :)
Salmon Chowder, as written
1 c. smoked salmon, cut in chunks
2 Tb butter
1/2 c. chopped onions
1/4 c. sliced celery
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
2 Tb flour
1 1/4 c. chicken bouillon
1/4 c. sour cream
1 tsp fresh dill, minced, or dill weed
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tb chopped parsley
In a saucepan, melt butter, saute onion, celery, pepper. Stir in flour, add bouillon and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until reaching boiling point. Add sour cream, dill, pepper, salmon; heat 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add parsley before serving. 3-4 servings
Salmon Chowder, my way:
I didn't have smoked salmon. I used the canned stuff. De-boned. And I poured the juice in too, for good measure.
I didn't have any green pepper. The chowder managed just fine without it.
I used a pint jar of frozen chicken broth from my freezer. Thawed, of course.
I didn't have any dill. I thought about pouring in a bit of dill pickle juice, but (wisely) decided against it. I used a teaspoon or two of lemon juice instead. Brightened the whole thing up very nicely.
I didn't have any parsley either. Oh well.
I followed the directions for assembly except for the stirring constantly after adding the salmon. I wanted to still see chunks of salmon in my bowl, thank you very much.
We lit a candle during cleanup and the fishy smell didn't linger a bit. :)
And, back to where I started this post... the bread. More bread will defintely be coming. Do you have any tips? Recipes? Suggestions, hints, or ideas? I can hardly wait for my next loaf.... maybe tomorrow! Depending on the humidity, of course. ;)