Friday, May 15, 2009

The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge

I love making bread. I don't know exactly why or how it came to be, but I do. There's something very soothing and therapeutic about it. It's tactile. Visceral. Natural. It seems to be one of the few things I do that allow me to just…be. When I make bread it's all I'm thinking about—mostly.

I haven't tried a lot of recipes, though. I've never made a starter, for instance. Never made rye bread. Or panettone. But that's about to change. I've joined an on-line group of crazy bakers, determined to bake our way through Peter Reinhart's award-winning book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread.

I've had this book for a little over a year. Dwight gave it—and two other bread books—to me for my birthday. I've often thought that I should take more time with it and learn how to make some new kinds of bread. I read through all of the introduction and tutorials, the how's and why's of making bread. With this challenge, I now have the perfect excuse to put it to the test.

So for the next year, give or take, I'll be living with Peter and his wonderful book, baking a new bread every week, along side 200+ bakers all over the world, sharing with them my successes—and inevitable failures—learning more about bread than I ever could just reading about it.

My journey begins tomorrow. The first bread, Anadama, takes two days, beginning with a cornmeal soak followed the next day by mixing, proofing, shaping and baking. I'm so excited to be doing this and I hope you follow me along the way.


  1. I'm excited to watch this project! A few weeks ago I thought, "I would like to try making bread". Maybe you will inspire me to do more than think about it.

  2. This is awesome!! I can't wait to hear about it - and maybe get some bread baking inspiration too. Mmmm.. Makes me think of the book Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment - have you read it?

  3. Looking forward to seeing your Challenge output! It's gonna be an interesting, very bready year, to say the least!

    Your fellow BBAC nut


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