The Beginning – A story about a loaf of bread

I love food blogs.

And yesterday, C mentioned that I should start one.

I was in a funk after my fifth attempt at bread-making failed miserably. Again. I thought I had done all my research – I picked a simple recipe, read the instructions over and over, carefully measured my ingredients, and got to work.

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I patiently put the recipe together, let the dough work in the KitchenAid, turned it out onto the counter, and got my hands dirty. I spent hours on that one milk loaf. Mixing, kneading, letting it proof, dividing it, letting it rest, shaping it using a special Japanese technique, and finally letting it proof a last time before putting it into the oven.

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It smelt wonderful.

Six hours after I first started putting ingredients together, I pulled the loaf out of the oven.

It was hard as a rock.

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I swear the recipe said it was going to be the softest loaf I would have ever eaten!

It was so incredibly frustrating. I planted my bum on the sofa, jammed my chin down to my chest and pouted for all it was worth. Then I cried for a good 10 minutes while C quietly held my hand.

My Monday was ruined by a loaf of bread. My special Monday (I had taken the day off from work), which had been brilliant until I took the bread out of the oven.

After grumpy-ing around for a bit more, I sat in front of my laptop and started searching for the reasons why my loaf turned out the way it did.

The internet tells me I probably over-kneaded my dough. The KitchenAid is a powerful machine (I did not realise just how powerful), and the gluten was likely overworked, tight, and fragile. In worrying that I did not develop the gluten enough, I went completely overboard.

I learnt that if the recipe I was using was written for a bread machine, the instructions had to be adapted for stand mixer use. It was a brand new fact for me. Or I should use a recipe written specifically for stand mixers.

I searched for bread-making videos on YouTube and now, I feel like I am ready to try again.

C watched me through all this – my excitement in the morning (my dough is rising!!), my frustration in the afternoon, and my determination to find out what went wrong afterwards.

He said I should start a blog and write these all down. Well, he is an insightful man, and he is very rarely wrong (although I never admit this to him).

So, I decided to take his advice, and here I am. Hopefully, this little food blog will eventually become a space that I will grow to love, too.