I love to bake. I love to bake even more since I bought my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer last year. I’ve never been able to bake yeast bread totally by hand, first because of carpal tunnel syndrome and now arthritis. Until last year I had a breadmaker, but I have to say I like making bread in my Kitchen-Aid mixer more. It’s nice to be more active in having to mind the bread while it’s coming together while the dough hook does it’s thing. It was nice to throw all the ingredients into the breadmaker and walk away, but I’m really enjoying the process of standing over the bowl and making sure my liquid to flour ratios are right. I never let my breadmaker bake the bread. I always ran in it on the dough setting then formed the dough myself and baked it in the oven on a stone sheet pan. I don’t care what they say the crumb and crust of bread do NOT come out the same in a breadmaker.
It always amazes me how simple a basic French bread recipe is. My recipe calls for five ingredients: flour, yeast, sugar, salt and water. But when those five things are combined in the right order and left to do their alchemical thing in rising and baking, the most delicious bread is the result. Add some cheese and wine, and I am one very happy camper. In fact I am convinced that there are only four things I need to live: bread, cheese, wine and a really good dark chocolate.
Now I have some overripe bananas calling to me. I think it’s time for a loaf of banana bread.