Anyone who has spoken to us in the past two weeks can vouch for me when I say that we are so very happy to have our own place.  Especially our own kitchen!  We have been reunited with our pots and pans, knives, baking dishes and even my beloved KitchenAid.  And it is lovely.

During the days of longing for our own kitchen, I came up with the goal of baking our own bread.  Not that I’ve baked much bread – I’m more of a cake-and-cookies girl – but I did hone my kneading skills in Georgia.  Now that we’re actually in our own apartment and unpacked enough to have a working kitchen, I decided to give it a try – at least through Christmas.

Now that I’m starting Week Three, I thought it was time for a progress report.

Week One: Honey Oat Pain de Mie Bread

Week Two: Hearth Bread

Week Two: Italian Braided Bread

Week Three: White Pain de Mie Bread

While I think we’re off to a good start, I haven’t been in love with every loaf.  My Hearth Bread was…boring?  Lacking in flavor?  Same with the braided loaf.  (After consulting with my mom – an excellent bread maker – I need to add in a bit of sugar to amp up the yeasty flavor I want.)  The last loaf was underdone, even though I followed the directions perfectly.  That’s what being too lazy to use an instant-read thermometer will do!

But I think it’s a starting point.  I love my Pain de Mie pan – the one with a lid that results in the awesome, square sandwich loaves – and I’m getting better at keeping my yeast happy and rising.  I’m also convinced that anyone, with a few tips, can bake their own bread.  (Let me know if you want to talk bread!)

Bottom line?  I’m sticking with this, because an apartment filled with the scent of freshly baked bread is the best.

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