Ever since Michael and I moved to Montclair, I’ve been excited to do lots of baking once summer is completely over. I started a little baking nook in our pantry, which includes my unbleached all-purpose flour, rye flour, sugar, yeast, etc. I also bought a new baking sheet. Just the other day, I was sitting at work wandering around various food blogs, and I discovered something interesting. It’s called the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge. Basically, it’s a group of people who attempt to make all the recipes in Peter Reinhart’s book, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread. It seems right up my alley since I’ve been wanting to expand my baking horizons, so I think I’m going to try it out. Unfortunately, I am unintentionally riding the coattails of Julia Powell, author of the The Julie/Julia Project, which has recently been adapted into the film Julie & Julia (which I thoroughly enjoyed). I’m sure tons of people set out to create their own little cooking blogs after seeing the movie, and I guess I’ll have to lump myself into that mix. Regardless, my goal here is not the originality prize in blogging, but rather to achieve an improved baking aptitude. It’s going to be a big project, and I’m not even close to the baking part yet.
Step One: Buy more supplies. Something tells me I’m going to need a bigger baking sheet than the one I just bought. I’ll also need a big mixing bowl. Ideally, I should also have a wooden board for kneading dough, but I don’t have the money for all of the “luxuries” yet (the kitchen table will have to do for now) – plus, I would have no idea where to put it.
Step Two: Acquire the cookbook. This also presented something of a problem since, as stated previously, I don’t have the money to be able to run around buying books all willy nilly. Luckily, although my job doesn’t pay much, it does grant me access to the exact item I need, at no charge! So, today I put out an Interlibrary Loan request for the book, and should receive it in a few days. My plan is to read the first half (the baking tutorial), and then photocopy the first 5-10 recipes. If and when I get through them, I’ll get the book again and repeat.
Step Three: Get baking.
So, it may be another couple of weeks before I actually get to the fun part, but I will post an update on this as soon as the first loaf comes out of the oven. Wish me luck.