food: baking bread

Building momentum off my victory over focaccia pizza dough last week, I created a rustic French loaf to go with Friday night's crock pot full of Chicken Cacciatore.  Novice baker that I am, the loaf wasn't ready on schedule- I missed the SECOND two hour rise in the recipe.  At the urging of the Wife, a notorious ignorer of recipes, I cut it down to 45 minutes and baked it up in time to soak up leftover sauce during the post-dinner lull before the kids demanded we break out the ice cream.

I wasn't wildly happy with it, but the rest of the household enjoyed the results enough to demand I make more. 
I've moved the Kitchenaid down onto the counter for motivation and will document whatever results I generate here.

For the record, the first loaf was from Mark Bittman's Easiest and Best French Bread recipe in How to Cook Everything, subbing in a stand mixer for his suggested food processor method (we have a food processor, but it's an elderly 5 cup mini version).  I'll try it again sometime to see how it fares with full rising times- it must be relatively forgiving to turn out an edible loaf in spite of the many liberties I took.

Next up I'm going with a rustic loaf from the America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.  
Bread lovers, stay tuned!  
Everyone else, time for a sabbatical...  

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