So, I’ll admit it. I’m a bit of a carbo-holic. I have been toying with the idea of learning to bake my own bread for quite a while, but was always too scared to try it. I thought that it was just too hard or that there was no way I would be able to bake bread I would actually want to use or eat on a daily basis.
Well, about a month and a half ago I finally bit the bullet and decided that I was going to bake my own bread. Who can explain why, but this sudden urge to do it and see what happened came over me. So, I went on the search. I wanted to get a simple, basic wheat bread recipe that I could use to practice and hone my bread baking chops. I settled on the Tassajara Bread Book by Edward Espe Brown. He is a Buddhist priest who was the chef and baker at the Tassajara Zen Mountian Center in northern California. The Tassajara Bread Book is considered to be one of the best books for beginning bakers. So, I logged into Amazon, zipped through a few points and clicks and with in 48 hours I had my brand new copy in my sweet little hands.
I started with the basics. The Tassajara Yeasted Bread recipe (pg. 34) is the most basic of the basic yeasted bread recipes. I baked a batch (yielded about two loaves of bread) and it was good, not aaaamazing, but good.
Needless to say, I was hooked. I’ve been baking bread weekly ever since. One batch (or two loaves) will last about a week. Each week I try adjusting this here, and that there and am slowly trying to make my bread better and better.
This is one of my latest loafs of bread made tonight. I’m very happy with it. It is delicious toasted with a little butter and….you guessed it….raspberry jam. With that, more bread and experimenting is definitely on the horizon!
So, if you’re thinking about experimenting with baking your own bread, but are a little skiddish about starting, I definitly recommend the Tassajara Bread Book to get started.
Happy baking! 🙂