Whoa, Alton Brown. WHOA. All I wanted to do was bake some bread. I just wanted to have that delicious smell of bread baking in my oven on a lazy Sunday afternoon, just one loaf of happiness. And you gave me a damn bread baby. TWINS, even. I tried Alton’s country bread recipe in his second book, I’m Just Here For More Food, because it was simple, did not require a starter (not because starters are difficult, just because I was feeling THAT lazy) and made one loaf. Read that again: ONE LOAF. Not a freaking colony of yeast babies, which is what I ended up with. The recipe was easy enough to follow, and I made sure to measure my ingredients exactly and follow the proper rising times. So why then, did my husband ask if I was smothering a baby on the stove top when he saw this loaf rising? Maybe because my good pal Alton lied about the yield being one loaf. Then again, he could bake his bread in garbage cans, in which case, this recipe would be a perfect fit.
Don’t get me wrong–I usually welcome excess baked goods in my household, but this was the first time I was trying this recipe, and honestly, it wasn’t that great. No, I didn’t bake it in a loaf pan, but that shouldn’t make the bread dough go crazy like that. It didn’t form much of a crust, and it was a bit dense for sandwich bread. Alton described it in his book as a rustic country bread, but I didn’t really get that. I got the bread that ate Chicago with a soft, wimpy crust. A crap ton of it. I became a celiac just by looking at it. Next time, I think I’ll take my chances with a starter, or perhaps even a non-Alton recipe. Or, you know, just buy bread like normal people. I think it is important to chronicle both my cooking successes and failures. The bad cooking/baking posts serve as a reminder that every now and then, we all goof up and bake a small army of bread loaves when all you wanted was one. Or maybe I spent all my free time this weekend watching illegaly downloaded episodes of ALF and couldn’t be bothered to cook or bake something else in time for my Leena Cooks Mondays. Maybe. ~LTG!