You may recall that I hate dough. Or, more accurately, I am intimidated by the yeasty, stretchy, has-a-mind-of-its-own substance. But, I decided that the day has come for me to overcome this fear. Dough and bread and yeast are far too wonderful of things to avoid for my entire kitchen career. Thus, the adventure begins.
To get our toes wet without completely scaring ourselves off, we decided to start slow and simple...with a nice yeast-free bread. My good friend, Mercedes, had made this particular recipe for Dan and me over a year ago, and I remembered how delicious it was. But, more than anything, I also remembered how blissfully simple it seemed, without the pesky requirement of yeast. Once I got my hands on the recipe (which Mercedes was kind enough to share), the bread-making experiment was underway!
Now, for starters, let me state that this bread recipe is one that I was able to make with a 22-month-old underfoot. If you're a parent or have ever spent time with a toddler, you know that this speaks volumes. I am not under the delusion that I'll be able to attempt the same thing with next week's yeast bread recipe. But, I really like knowing that I can create a healthy, delicious bread in a minimal amount of time and with my little guy present. Two major pluses.
This bread is a really lovely addition to a dinner, especially served alongside a soup or a salad. The consistency, of course, is not light as a yeasty wheat bread would be, but rather more along the lines of a moist, slightly dense cornbread. The flavor is fresh and delicious, with the sweetness of the honey blending perfectly with the wheat flour (I used white whole wheat flour, which was wonderful!) If you want to try bread-making but have been as intimidated by the whole process as I've been, this is the place to start. I'm sure you'll enjoy both the satisfaction and the taste of your accomplishment!
The only slightly strange thing about this recipe is that, if you are following the directions, your bread turns out pretty large and flat. The slices resemble biscotti, which isn't a bad thing per se. It just doesn't look like your typical loaf. It tasted so yummy that I barely cared about the appearance. Still, I plan on experimenting a little next time, bulking up the loaf and seeing if it still bakes all the way through.
And with that, you have it! Part one of this bread-making adventure was a success! Let's hope I've built up enough confidence to take on the yeast!