I nearly backed out of this challenge...I mean I came so close to backing out. Yes, I realize that is not very daring of me, but when I compared the size of my kitchen to the length of this recipe I was just not sure I could do it without losing my mind. Luckily my sister, of Whiskful, was kind enough to offer to do the challenge together. So keep in mind any pieces of kitchen you see in these pictures are of her beautiful kitchen, not my pitiful one! In the end I was quite happy that I chose not to be a poor sport and a wimp. It was actually a lot of fun and really not that difficult, although it was quite time consuming. I definitely feel more like a daring baker now than I did before we took this on!
Anyway, on to the process. I'm not going to post the recipe here, but if you want to view it you can visit Breadchick's blog (who was also one of the hosts for this month's challenge). We of course had to do much kneading and rising, which should be expected when baking any kind of bread. I think I was a little shocked by just how long it was supposed to take for this bread to rise. I mean who has time to do all this except all of us crazy, daring bakers!
We had every intention of serving this bread with a full meal for our whole family, but we slightly underestimated the time it would take to finish the bread, so unfortunately our poor families had to smell the bread (which was a fabulous scent...I must say) but not get to eat any of it with dinner. After a near disaster (I smushed my sister's loaf while trying to move mine into the oven...thank goodness the loaf sprung back from disaster...whew!), we finally finished baking the bread around 8:30.
I think it turned out quite nicely. My hubby and I were able to hold out tasting until around 10:00, when we finally gave in and it was a fabulous tasting bread. I cannot believe that yeast, flour, water, and a little salt could make something that tasted so good.
We ended up making a batch of French Toast the next morning, which I'll post about separately a little later on. Anyway, this was a fantastic bread and it ended up being a great baking experience. Now I feel bad that I had any doubts whatsoever about baking this bread, it was definitely worth it!