I was a very picky eater when I was young.
Besides for the fact that I refused to sleep, refused to play with the other kids, loved climbing up dangerous objects, and often threw tantrums, I worried the hell out of my parents because I just refused to eat certain foods.
I was the kind of baby I absolutely cannot stand right now. I don’t know why my parents still kept me.
But there was one kind of food I absolutely loved, and that was carbohydrates: bread, noodles, sweet potatoes, steamed buns, dumplings…I just couldn’t get enough of them. The only form of carbs I didn’t like were rice and sweets.
If my parents took me to McDonald’s, I just wanted the fries. If they took me to KFC, all I wanted was the mashed potatoes. If we went to an “American” restaurant, I wanted the spaghetti and the garlic bread.
Yup, I loved my carbs, and I still do. I’d rather have a loaf of bread for dinner than a “well-rounded” meal of roast chicken, potatoes, and green beans.
Which is really why it’s ridiculous that I still have yet to bake a successful loaf of bread for myself. I guess because bread is such a key component for me, I’d rather spend the extra money buying my bread to ensure that I get a satisfactory meal. I have baked tons of cakes, pies, tarts, cookies, etc., but never a good, proper bread with yeast.
But one late night, while frantically trying to decrease the number of “unread” posts on my Google Reader, I came across this no-knead sweet potato roll recipe on The Kitchn. EASY BAKING RECIPE the post title screamed.
And in a moment’s flash of chutzpah, I decided, “It is time. It is time to bake a real bread.”
So to prevent myself from backing out, I got the kitchen at once and cooked some sweet potatoes.
All I did was chop each big sweet potato into half, boil and simmer it in water until cooked through, peeled it, gobbled up the skins (my favorite part!), and then mashed it.
The steam curling up from the sweet orange flesh of the sweet potatoes made my mouth water. Thankfully, I cooked more sweet potatoes than I needed, so one of the sweet potatoes ended up in my belly as a midnight snack.
I made the bread the next afternoon. Really, I don’t know what took me so long to start baking with yeast. This was the easiest stuff ever! The hardest “work” you needed to do was the warm up some water for the yeast to dissolve in. And then, just dump ingredients and mix, mix, mix.
I guess the “no-knead” part of it really helped, because the dough turned out really sticky and I sure didn’t want to mess around with it much. Not because I’m a wuss, but because I’m a miserly stinger and I cringe every time a portion of the dough that I cannot rub off my fingers get washed down the drain.
Instead of forming them into rolls, I decided to bake it into a loaf to cut down on the labor. Okay, I really was just impatient to hurry up and pop the bread into the oven!
The aroma wafting from the oven when I rushed into the kitchen about an hour later was heavenly. I baked it for a tad bit too long so the crust got kind of burnt…but the insides were perfect!!
Just look at the faint orange hue of the bread!
This bread is seriously idiot-proof. I’m now considering getting a whole can of yeast. Who wants to pay $4 for a loaf of bread when you can so easily make your own? (Unless it’s Great Harvest or a baguette from Paris, of course)
I tried it different ways. My first slice I tried it with a thin slice of salted butter.
The second, I tried with homemade lemon marmalade, leftover from the batch I made from Christina’s birthday.
The third, I tried with both butter and lemon marmalade.
I had all the rest plain, by itself. It was that good.
Okay, I’m all revved up to bake some more! And just in time for final examinations, which start next week. I like to bake to keep myself sane during stressful days, but sugary baked goods make me crash and I usually end up nodding off in the middle of notes.
So. You and me, Mr. Bread, are gonna be buddy-buddies next week.
Question: What is your favorite bread? What should I bake next? Tra la la! I can hardly wait for examination week.