It’s my last time making Preston Yancey’s white bread for this challenge. In his book, Out of the House of Bread, he asks readers to make his bread nine times. Frankly, I may be the only one to have actually done it! But I did it.
It wasn’t always easy. I made plenty of mistakes. I rued the day I started the challenge. But I also came to appreciate many of his techniques, and will continue using them in the future. I’ll also keep making this recipe, with some of my tweaks.
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself because I plan to dedicate another post to what I’ve learned.
This is about attempt #9.
Yesterday was just about the perfect bread baking day. I love when it’s nice and steamy because it makes the dough rise so quickly.
I tried to take my time, doing each step the way he instructs in the book. That means proofing the yeast in a tupperware container so you can shake it together before adding it to the larger dough.
Nice and steamy on our patio
One thing I did learn from making this bread nine times is that the loaves it makes are huge. Now, if I remember to, I divide it into three loaves instead of two.
Then the dough is shaped, placed in couches or banettons (the homemade banneton made out of a pyrex dish and floured towel is out of the shot) and refrigerated for an hour.
The breads came out looking great! I had to bake these at my parents’ house because they were having a dinner party with family friends, but I actually think that was a fitting way to say farewell to this project. Bread in the Bible is always meant to be shared, and I was glad to be breaking bread with family and people I’ve known for my whole life. I cut big crusty chunks, we slathered it with butter and ate it while drinking wine and catching up. It was perfect.