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Making Bread


...because I've got some free time now. 🍞

  • baking

Having recently started my “gardening leave” between positions, I have some more personal time available. I’m planning to stay productive, contributing to some open-source projects, but it also occurred to me that despite talking about bread pics, this blog has been purely technical. Maybe I’ll change the site title from “The Old Speice Guy” to “Bites and Bytes”?

Either way, I’m baking a little bit again, and figured it was worth taking a quick break to focus on some lighter material. I recently learned two critically important lessons: first, the temperature of the dough when you put the yeast in makes a huge difference.

Previously, when I wasn’t paying attention to dough temperature:

Whole weat dough

Compared with what happens when I put the dough in the microwave for a defrost cycle because the water I used wasn’t warm enough:

White dough

I mean, just look at the bubbles!

White dough with bubbles

After shaping the dough, I’ve got two loaves ready:

Shaped loaves

Now, the recipe normally calls for a Dutch Oven to bake the bread because it keeps the dough from drying out in the oven. Because I don’t own a Dutch Oven, I typically put a casserole dish on the bottom rack and fill it with water so there’s still some moisture in the oven. This time, I forgot to add the water and learned my second lesson: never add room-temperature water to a glass dish that’s currently at 500 degrees.

Shattered glass dish

Needless to say, trying to pull out sharp glass from an incredibly hot oven is not what I expected to be doing during my garden leave.

In the end, the bread crust wasn’t great, but the bread itself turned out pretty alright:

Baked bread

I’ve been writing a lot more during this break, so I’m looking forward to sharing that in the future. In the mean-time, I’m planning on making a sandwich.