13 Jun

Bread purchased at Walgreens is not the best bread in the world.  When I buy bread in the grocery store, I buy it in the bakery section.  I am not a big fan of Wonderbread and the like.  You may have noticed that there is not a bakery section in your local Walgreens.  Unless you count the Little Debbie section… And I don’t.  But they do sell flour, oil, salt, and sugar (and I bought some yeast before this project started).  So everything I need to make bread!  But I had no idea how to make bread.  I have a fairly large selection of cookbooks – about 45 of them.  None of them were particularly helpful in the making bread from dry active yeast. Alton Brown has a very big section on bread baking in I’m Just Here for More Food, but he uses a starter.  And I wanted bread now I didn’t want to wait for a starter to get going.  And of course the recipes were very exacting and a touch tedious.  Because it’s Alton Brown.  Seriously, who else measures the amount of oil they use when making fried chicken?!

Anyway.  My library wasn’t helpful, so I checked out the website for Red Star Yeast.  All the information about all manner of food made with yeast – breads, rolls, pizza crusts, sweet breads (but not sweetbreads), coffee cakes, whatever — that you could ever want.  Super helpful.  It directed me to CSU’s high-altitude cooking helpful information sites.   While they are not the prettiest or fanciest website you’ve ever seen in the whole of your life, they provide lots and lots of information.

So I did it!  I baked my first loaf of bread ever!  And I really made it.  I didn’t have bread flour (there’s only so much you can ask of the Walgreens grocery aisles) so I had to knead the dough by hand instead of using the Kitchen Aid Stand-In Mixer that I love so well.  It turned out pretty good.  It’s a touch dense, and next time I’ll let it rise more, but totally the best basic white bread I’ve had in a good while.  Hurrah!

I also earlier in the day made a delicious pound cake with (mainly) ingredients from Walgreens.  They don’t have lemon or almond extract, but ya know what?  They got amaretto!  And I’ll be there’s some lemon flavored something I could use if I run out of lemon extract.  Which I probably won’t.  Because really, how often does one person need lemon extract?


One Response to “Baking!”

  1. Liz June 14, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    That is a stunning loaf of bread! Wow. I like where this experiment is going. I was at the mall today thinking how spoiled we all are and how much we all have. (Driving in temperature controlled cars to a temperature controlled mall to buy stuff we want and don’t need.) So I liked reading your blog today about doing more with less.Maybe all we need is a Walgreens- but not one every 1.5 miles.

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