When I first became interested in cooking, there were a few recipes my mother felt I needed to have in my repertoire. A few months before I graduated from college, she set out to teach me how to make them. Homemade white bread was among the first on her list.
I am a self-diagnosed carbaholic. I LOVE bread of any kind! Because of my addiction, I have to exert a certain amount of will power over my physical desire to sustain myself on bread and only bread lest I end up as wide as a big yellow school bus. Therefore, I can count on one hand the number of times I have actually taken the time to make homemade bread.
When I saw the pictures of Michelle’s homemade Potato Rosemary Bread at Brown-Eyed Baker, my mouth began to salivate and my body began to twitch. Must. Have. That. Bread. Need. That. Bread. Feed! Your! Addiction! Then I read the instructions and I was like, “Whoa! That sounds extremely complicated.” While I did have some bread making experience, I consider it somewhat limited. Indeed, my mind reeled over the four proof times and the fact that you have to start prepping a full 24 hours before you plan to bake. But . . .the seed had been planted. I wanted that bread. I had fantasies for days over what my kitchen would smell like while it was baking in the oven.
I finally gave in and made a trip to the store to buy what ingredients I did not already have on hand. I began my biga Friday afternoon. Saturday morning I kicked the husband out of the house, turned on some classical music, set the camera up on a tripod, and began mixing, kneading, punching, and proofing like a mad crazy woman in a cloud of flour. It was actually a very therapeutic process. Apparently, even the animals thought so, as they spent most of the morning dozing in the sunshine.
My bread came out of the oven at about four that afternoon, just in time to impress the mother-in-law who arrived for dinner that night. The bread was warm and soft in the middle, chewy on the outside, and tasted of fresh rosemary and herbs. It was divine with the black eye-pea soup I made on Sunday. The husband recommends dipping the bread in the soup. I concur.
For the recipe, click here.