Were I a professional baker, I probably wouldn’t end up with flat, under-risen loaves of bread on a near-regular basis. I probably wouldn’t have nightmares in my sleep of covering my entire kitchen in flour or burning forgotten breads to a crisp in the oven. I probably wouldn’t have daily ruminations like, “Did I OVERknead the bread or UNDERknead it?” while staring at my computer screen, and the mere thought of a sourdough starter wouldn’t send me straight to the grocery store, grabbing a pretty, freshly baked loaf in fear and exclaiming, out loud, to no one, “How do they DO it?!”
But, professional bakers probably think about these things, too, from time to time. You can’t tell me Peter Reinhart hasn’t had a few floppy baguettes or soggy bagels in his time, or that every loaf of bread that emerges from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s oven is absolutely perfect (Oh, who am I kidding? It probably is).
I’m just keeping it real here, friends. Sometimes, I just need to go back to the basics. And this archived post, one of my favorites that I wrote for Tablespoon, was the first thing that popped into my head when I decided I needed a refresher course. So, I’d thought I’d share it with you, too. Take a gander over there to learn some Bread 101 and bake yourself one seriously awesome basic white bread. It’ll change your life.
Annnnnnd here’s the recipe only, if you’re too cool for school:
Finally, I feel like I don’t ask for your input nearly often enough. So, that’s about to change, and I’m starting here, with a question for ya’ll:
What would you like to see baked and blogged on Girl Versus Dough? I’m game for anything, folks — difficult, easy, sweet, savory, creative, boring, weird, whatever. Let’s do this.