One of the benefits of being a Food Person of the Internet is that my circle of culinary friends and mentors gets to be way more crowded and interesting than it otherwise would be. It seems kind of silly to waste all the good advice I could be getting from you all, so every once in awhile (well, twice so far) when something is on my mind in the kitchen, I like to see what input and wisdom the rest of you can bring to the table. It’s also a sneaky way as a blogger to get you all to talk to me and learn from each other, but don’t tell anyone that.
So my question for you all today is:
What have you been baking lately?
or, if you aren’t much of a baker (yet), what’s on your list?
My project this past week has been baguettes. I will readily confess that as much as I love it, I’m kind of a vague bread baker and my technique has a lot of room for fine-tuning. Baguettes are my self-challenge right now, because they’re such a simple and honest expression of bread-as-it-should-be that there is nothing for my sloppy baking to hide behind. If I make pizza or pretzels or english muffins, they’re flashy enough or drowned out by toppings or ingredients so that I still look cool if I did a less-than-stellar job on the recipe. But you get out of artisan bread what you put into it: the subtle differences in flavor, color of crust, texture of crumb, shape of the loaf all point to how well the baker let the bread shine at its best.
So that’s my project, because I want to challenge myself as a baker. Maybe you’re at a totally different stage and just need to get a loaf in the oven for the first time. Maybe you have a few “safe” recipes you always do with some success, but it’s time to branch out into other baking projects. Whatever it is, I want you to share it with us here! Tell us about your current bread adventure down in the comments.