Hot Mess…

A friend and I recently threw a baby shower. My friend was in charge of decorations, and I was in charge of food. Naturally, bread was going to have to be served! After nailing out the menu, we both decided that Basic Country White, Cheddar Cheese, and Walnut-Cranberry loaves would work the best. And for some crazy reason I decided it would be great to make all 3 batches, 6 loaves, in one day.

Now, if you’ve been following since the beginning, I’m sure you’ve caught a glimpse of my handy-dandy notebook; if you haven’t been following since the beginning, it’s ok, but you better start following now, it’s good for your health!

I love my notebook; although, I’ve never been much of a journaler. As a kid I would start a new diary, probably yearly, and quit soon after starting. As an adult, I have a strange love for notebooks. I love and frequently make lists, but I never really write my deep, personally thoughts and feelings. However, I could journal ALL DAY about baking! When I’m in the kitchen, baking something new, my journal is right next to me.

I thought it would be interesting to share with you all what I wrote in my baking journal that day. Pictures, of course, will accompany, along with my notes of today in parentheses. Here goes:

3/16/2011         6 Loaves in 1 day!

-It’s like a Bread Marathon!

-Night before, mixed 600 g of 78°F water, 6oo g of 50/50 blend, & 3 TB of yeast

-I have been neglecting my yeast as of late; let’s hope it’s not compromised.

(As a note, I’m 75% sure it was compromised.)


-Leaven wasn’t quite right, had to let it sit in a warm oven for 2 – 2.5 hours.

(For the record, “warm oven” was me turning it to 170°F, sticking it in there with the door open, and closing the door when it went from hot to warm. Then when the oven cooled to the point of “not warm” I started the process again.)

-Started @ 10:22 am

-Bulk fermentation started @ 11:17 am

-1st turn @ 11:48 am

-2nd turn @ 12:18 pm – Added cheese & walnuts/cranberries

(You better believe that the cheese was TILLAMOOK!!!)

-3rd turn @ 12:55 pm

-4th turn @ 1:25 pm

(After the 4th turn, there were 2 more hours of bulk fermentation.)

Initial Shaping:

-Plain Bread @ 3:30 pm

-Cheese Bread @ 3:33 pm

-Walnut/Cranberry Bread @ 3:35pm

Final Shaping:

-Plain Bread @ 4:05 pm

-Cheese Bread @ 4:07 pm

-Walnut/Cranberry Bread @ 4:09 pm

-Final Fermentation Started @ 4:12 pm

(Now, I have to say, The Husband is, AH MAY ZING! I whined a bit, told him how much trouble I had with the leaven, threw in how bad my feet hurt and he agreed to get Chinese take out for dinner so I didn’t have to cook. Gosh I love that man! I was so hungry when it arrived I forgot to take a picture until after we had eaten.)

(Now, everyone that knows me personally knows that 2010 was a rocky year. It was both crazy awesome and crazy horrible at the same time. I’ve been trying my hardest to stay positive since January 1st, 2011. The fortune I got in my cookie just solidified my newfound positive attitudes. I was so happy I had to take a picture.)

(Anyway back the bread. It was time to start sticking it in the oven!)

-1st loaf ~ Plain (Basic Country White)

-In @ 8:10 pm

-Out @ 8:56 pm

-2nd loaf ~ Plain (Basic Country White)

-In @ 8:59 pm

-Out @ 9:45 pm

-3rd loaf ~Cheese Bread

-In @ 9:49 pm

-Out @ 10:34 pm

-4th loaf ~Cheese Bread

-In @ 10:36 pm

-Out @ 11:22 pm

-5th loaf ~Walnut/Cranberry

-In @ 11:25 pm

-Out @ 12:10 am

-6th loaf ~Walnut/Cranberry

-In @ 12:13 am

-Out @ 12: 59 am

-WHOO HOO! Finished before 1 am!!!

*Bands to start listening to:

-Matt & Kim

-As Tall as Lions

-Screaming Females


Now, although this was the end of the day’s journaling, it was not the end of this baking adventure. I wrapped the loaves in kitchen towels, and continued baking two days later.

The day before the shower I made the dessert, cupcakes! A dozen vanilla and a dozen chocolate. Oh, and I made the frosting. I didn’t take pictures the whole time. I’ll let you know though, since I have only one stand mixer, well honestly I ONLY have the stand mixer (no hand mixer), I had to make the batter for one batch of cakes, put them in the oven, rinse out the bowl and beater, and do the other batter / frosting. This is what my kitchen looked like when I was done. I thought it deserved a couple of pictures.

The day of the shower, I had only minimal cooking to do. And incase you were wondering, the shower menu was:

-A delicious array of veggies

-Finger PB & J’s on Walnut-Cranberry Bread

-Artichoke-Parmesan Crostinis on Cheddar Cheese Bread

-Basic Country White and Cheddar Cheese slices for Pesto and a Sun Dried Tomato Tapenade

-Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting

-Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting

Since I only had to use one loaf of each of the breads, I thought that giving away a loaf of bread to the winner of each of our games would be a great gift, not to mention a great way to save a few bucks.

The shower ended as a success. And I would say, over all, the baking was a success. (I had a slight problem with the Basic Country White. I don’t think the leaven was completely ready when I used it for this loaf for some reason. There ended up being one, giant hole through the entire top of the loaf)

I even learned a few things. Like, I can make more than one batch of bread in a day and I wont die. And if I plan on making more than one batch of bread in one day, I need to make each leaven, for each bread, in a separate bowl.

I’ll leave you with this and it has absolutely nothing to do with bread or baking, but everything to do with happiness. This is from a while ago, but every time I see it, it makes me one happy little baker!

One Response to “Hot Mess…”
  1. Yvonne says:

    I would like to come to the next baby shower – I wanna win bread!

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