I recently celebrated a birthday, a milestone birthday in fact (the big 30), and I have to say, the transition from my 20's to 30's so far has not been that bad. Perhaps it will hit me later, but for now, 30 is turning out to be a pretty good year. And, as with most birthdays, I got to celebrate with good food, my dearest family and friends, and even received a few presents. There was certainly a kitchen theme this year, probably because most of my family reads this blog, and I am always excited about kitchen stuff.
My mother was very kind to take me shopping at a kitchen store as part of my birthday gift, and honestly, it's like I was a kid in a candy store! So many great little kitchen gadgets, so many cooking pans and cooking utensils... what a great way to spend an afternoon with your mom! I ended up picking out a few things I needed for the kitchen, but since I also have to take space into consideration, I didn't leave with any big items. That will come later when I have a big kitchen to fill. Plus, I was looking for a few items to accompany the other gift I received... A bread book!
In keeping with the them, Erin gave me the above book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. She also has a copy at her house, and probably saw me flipping through it, and so, very thoughtfully, thought to get me my own. As the title suggests, the recipes in this book are pretty quick to bake up, but the trick here is that you actually mix together one large batch and keep it in the fridge in a large container with a lid (thanks to Erin, I now have a new bucket, too!). The idea is that when you want a fresh loaf of bread, you cut off a small portion (the dough makes enough for 4 loaves), shape it, let it rise, and then bake it while you're making the rest of your dinner. And each loaf is different as the dough sits longer, developing a sour dough flavour over time. The author's do preface that the 5 minutes a day does not actually include the resting and baking time, but after baking a few loaves already, it really does take just 5 minutes to get the dough ready.
So, needless to say, I was very anxious to get mixing the giant batch to keep in the fridge, and then very excited to watch the progress as the dough increased in volume. You might think it was like watching paint dry, but not at all! It didn't take long for the dough to triple in size, then you store it in the fridge for up to two weeks. I have a goal to try out every recipe in the book, and sort of like the Julie/Julie project, I hope to keep you all posted as we progress.