Blindfolded Introduction

My memories of childhood involve a lot of baking, both during the holidays and throughout the year.  Perhaps it is a sense of nostalgia, but I recall cold winter days decorating gingerbread cookies, lovely calzones made from scratch, and other culinary delights issuing from our meager apartment kitchen.

How I ever entered adulthood with barely a rudimentary understanding of the concept is beyond me.  I’ve never made a batch of gingerbread men, I’ve never made a pizza dough, and I’ve been known to make very mediocre cookies from a mix.  And now, as I look to a not-so-distant future with my own children I hate the idea of their childhoods being filled with this mediocrity. 

It will not be so, I’ve convinced myself.  I will master this.  I will.  After all, I love cookbooks, cooking shows, baked goods, and I have every kitchen appliance and utensil known to mankind thanks to a very kitchen-friendly wedding registry.  I also have a very small apartment kitchen AND some weight to lose.  (I have so much to be thankful for, hahaha) So I took the first step of my challenge this week:  I ordered the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, a book that shares how novices can make large batches of bread dough from scratch with very little effort and a big, delicious payout.  Ambitious, I know.  Bread.  The book left a local facility on December 12th and I’m expecting it any day now.  Anxiously.

So, in preparation of receiving this book I’ve read up on many baking websites, blogs, and magazines.  They range from the novice to the professional, and while I’m still very confused and slightly more intimidated than before, I’m hoping it turns out to be much less complicated than it would seem.  Yeast and fermenting, proofing and starters, bread flour, cake flour, rye flour….oh boy. 

I know what you’re thinking…she’s trying to lose weight, start a family AND master baking.  Can’t be done.  I think otherwise.  I don’t plan on keeping my baking successes at home.  I have a large office of very ravenous coworkers who will be happy to taste my successes and careful avoid my mistakes.  I’ll make it, they’ll eat it.  Fingers crossed. 

Here’s hoping I’ll get everything in time to make my first loaf of bread to bring to my in-law’s for Christmas and have something to show for my excitement. 

I hope you’ll join me, occasionally, as I attempt to perfect my baking skills, lose some weight, start a family, and not destroy my tiny apartment kitchen or go insane in the process.