Has it really been a month since my last post?!? It feels like yesterday while at the same time it feels like a year ago. I have been so busy trying to get things back in order since the smoke fire last month that I just haven’t had the energy to write or bake anything. Not that I could bake,even if I wanted to, mind you…After the insurance adjuster assessed the damage, they sent in a house recovery team (these are the same people who go to clean up crime scenes and the such) to scrub my house from top to bottom (one good thing out of this) for three days straight. Then they scraped and painted my kitchen ceiling so we couldn’t even use the kitchen for over a week. Then my oven was moved so many times that when I did turn it on to bake it automatically went to 500F with nothing in-between. Out of all of this turmoil, my new *double* oven arrived mid last week. We decided since we had to get a new oven that we would upgrade to a Maytag Gemini double oven. My mom has had this oven for the past 7 or so years and I have always loved it. Thank you, dear husband.
I have been baking a lot of bread over the past 5 days to test this new baby out. Three different kinds of Challah (that will be posted on Sunday) as well as this lovely little number. Brought to us by the Bread Baking Babes, us wee buddies were invited to try this simple bread that is baked a very cool way- in a clay baker! . It is also known as a la cloche baker, but a enamel or cast iron dutch oven can also be used. I just happen to have a clay baker that has been sitting very lonely and neglected in the back of my closet. Thank you to this months host, Karen from Bake my Day!, for giving me a wonderful reason to use it! The recipe is from Bread for all seasons by Beth Hensperger.
Okay, so here are my comments…. the recipe is for one huge loaf or two “normal” sized loaves. Since my husband had been away for the past 2 weeks and it is only me and my little girl I decided to half the recipe. I have already given away 6 loaves of bread in the past few days and didn’t think my friends could take anymore. Even so, I ended up with one pretty impressive loaf. It smelled wonderful baking in the oven (but then again, doesn’t all bread?) and was really very simple to put together. For the starter I used half white flour half rye flour per Karen’s suggestion. I found that the baking time was about 1 hour, 10 minutes total, but considering the size of the loaf that doesn’t surprise me. I can’t imagine what a full recipe would make! So get your bread on and head on over here for the amazing recipe!