For weeks now The Professor and I have been wanting to make our own bread. We have two perfectly serviceable bakeries quite close, but The Professor's mom makes her own bread, and it's heavenly. Also, it's expensive at the bakery, and we seem to be going through it at an alarming rate. I suggested we each make a loaf, sort of a Bread-Off, because it would be more fun to be in the kitchen together and feel more like play than work if we were each making bread. The usual trash talk ensued about whose bread would be better. I decided to go with a trusted volume from my mom's cookbook library that I inherited.
The corner was folded down on this recipe. I took it as a sign.
I also used mom's KitchenAid that I inherited. If James Beard tells me I can use a KitchenAid mixer, I believe him. Here's the dough after it's initial kneading in the mixer.
Next I let it rise (forgot to take a photo), then punched it down and put it in the loaf pan for its second rising. This is how it looked at the end of that (and after I'd sliced the top open per the instructions to ready it for baking.
And a mere 33 minutes later, I took this out of the oven.
Looks pretty good to me! The proof will come when we cut it open, but the instructions say to wait 2-3 hours before doing so. It's been half an hour so far. Luckily The Professor is taking a nap so that should help me restrain myself. I want him to see it unsliced.
Alas, his loaf has not fared so well. He used the Joy of Cooking, and he used some wheat flour and some bread flour that might be past its prime (but does flour go bad? I didn't think it did). His dough didn't rise properly and so he worked some more gluten into it, and it seems to have risen a little more, but I just don't know. I'm still hoping it can somehow be salvaged.
UPDATE: The bread was delicious. It's 3/4s eaten already. Andy's never rose. We're going to do some more experimenting with it today, but it might just be compost. Live and learn.