Bread Expectations

As I mentioned yesterday, I am going to attempt to bake my very first loaf of bread this weekend. I own a bread machine, and I've made bread in it many times before, but the taste and texture of bread machine bread is nowhere near that of a loaf baked in an oven. I am nervous, because I have such high expectations for the bread I'm going to make. This is because so many of my childhood memories involve this favorite food of mine.

Although I grew up surrounded by amazing cooks who made all kinds of mouth-watering Italian dishes and desserts for every family meal, no one made bread. But fresh loaves from any one of the dozen or so Italian bakeries located nearby were always at my grandma's house. No matter what day of the week, it was always at the ready. Whenever I would visit my grandma's or great aunt's homes as a child (and even today), they would take out the bread and butter. While other grandmas and aunties might bring out candy or cookies as a snack, my relatives offered bread. I have a photo of me at my first birthday party holding an entire loaf of Italian bread to my mouth. I'll try to scan the photo in and post it here.

Growing up surrounded by bread, I was soon able to tell which Italian bakery the bread came from without ever seeing the white paper sleeve with the bakery name on it. I could tell from the color, from the crust texture, from the density of the inside of the bread, whether it was from Savastano's, or Veltri's, or Guissepi's, or Martuscello's. I became a bread connoisseur at an early age. Savastano's was my favorite, because the crust was just crispy enough and the inside would melt in your mouth. When my papa would bring home a fresh loaf to my grandma's house on Saturday mornings, I would literally devour half a loaf. There's nothing like the taste of just-baked, warm Italian bread and butter.

So tomorrow I will attempt to bake my own. I wish my expectations were lower. But I want it to be perfect, even though I know it won't be, given this is my first try. If you've made bread before, please share your tips!

9 Responses to “Bread Expectations”

  1. # Anonymous Erin

    Mmmmmmmmmmmm... I just woke up and freshly baked bread sure sounds delicious! I've never baked it before so I have no tips - but good luck!

    Michele sent me. =)

    Have a great weekend!  

  2. # Blogger Valderbar

    Hi Michele sent me.

    I'm not a bread making expert but I do appreciate the smell and texture. It's great that you're going to join the ranks of people who make this meditative mixture.  

  3. # Blogger farmgirl

    Hi Kristi,
    I think it is absolutely wonderful that you are going to bake bread tomorrow! (Definitely one of my very favorite foods, too.) Can't wait to hear how it goes. I'm sure it'll be delicious.

    Again, thanks so much for the lovely write-up about me yesterday. I've already had some new visitors click over and leave very nice comments. See you on the farm!  

  4. # Blogger Amy

    Farmgirl didn't mention it in her comments, but she wrote an awesome post of bread-baking tips last week--I learned a few new things for sure. My number-one tip is always, always proof your yeast. A lot of people skip this step and I don't know why--it doesn't take that long and takes a lot of guesswork out of the process. Looking forward to the picture!  

  5. # Blogger Kristi

    Erin-thanks for stopping by!

    Valderbar-Thanks for visiting. I like your kitty icon too. I hope my bread turns out too.

    Farmgirl- thanks so much for your encouragement. I'm not sure how it will turn out, but at least I'm trying, right? LOL. You're one of my baking inspirations (along with Amy).

    Amy-I will have to check out Farmgirl's tips. Thanks for sharing them. I feel silly asking this, but what does it mean to proof your yeast? Is that one of FarmGirl's tips?  

  6. # Blogger PractiGal

    Mmm... I've had lots & lots of Savastano's & Marusciello's bread... Mmmmmmm.

    Good luck Kristi! I've only made quick breads without my bread machine; I've never tried a yeast bread.  

  7. # Anonymous Michelle

    Ah, a girl after my own heart. I love bread, too. Follow those tips from Farmgirl and you should have good results. I usually only bake bread at holidays, but now I'm in the mood.  

  8. # Blogger farmgirl

    Hi Kristi,
    I'm just here checking to see if the link to your blog I just added works--yep! : )

    Proofing the yeast is just a way to make sure your yeast is good--you sprinkle the yeast over a little warm water and let it sit for several minutes. If it gets all foamy, your yeast is alive. You do this when you're using Active Dry Yeast. If you're using "instant" yeast, you just mix the yeast with the dry ingredients.

    I didn't mention my post on bread tips (find a link to it on my sidebar under "Previous Posts")--I figured that's how I had inspired you to bake bread! : )

    Yes, the fact that you are trying is the most important thing! And you know what? Even bad homemade bread is usually really tasty, especially toasted. Oh, now I want some toast!  

  9. # Blogger Guppyman

    Mmmmm... I used to love it back when my mom would make bread the old fasioned way....

    I think bread machines have ruined this country (even though we have one)....


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