Have you ever tried your hand at something and it didn't quite turn out, despite your best efforts?
THAT'S NOT MY PROBLEM TODAY! I am SO excited because my second ever bread making try came out AMAZING! I also made so very decedent chocolate mousse that goes straight to the hips.
My mom and sister make the best chocolate mousse. It's got a light texture and a heavy taste. A few spoonfuls are all you need to be satisfied. It's what a chocolate mousse should be. I found this recipe that seemed to be similar to my families and it gave my an excuse to use my IKEA scale for the first time. The texture that this recipe produced wasn't ideal because it was a little too thick, but when I make this again I'll incorporate more whipped cream and I'll make the whipped cream a touch stiffer. I also learned there is a right way (slowly) and a wrong way (rushing) to put the mousse into cups. Can you guess which is the wrong way? Now on to the pièce de résistance!
I've already sang the praises of Smitten Kitchen, but I have to mention this site again because it's where I ran into this bread recipe. Making this bread couldn't be any easier, and I loved that I could make the dough and forget about it for 18 hours! Plus, there didn't seem a way I could mess this loaf up. I actually did mess it up a teeny tiny bit because it was ever so slightly doughy, but the perfect crust made up for any error on my part. I think the doughiness came from me not going the full 30 minutes on the first half of the baking and then I only did the second half of cooking for 15 minutes. Honestly, I almost cried while cutting into the warm loaf. Last time I tried bread it came out as a tasteless brick. This is the complete opposite and I feel like I can impress almost anymore with this bread! On a side note, I followed her note on using active yeast if you don't have instant. You just use 1/3 of the active in place of the instant. I feel like I've cooked so much this weekend! And there is still more to come. I'm unthawing some steaks for steak sandwiches (on this delicious bread of course!), fruit hand pies, citrus and arugula salad, and anything else I have the energy for. Now I just need to find a guy to help me eat this all!
Update on Bread 4/1/2009 - This bread (as I'm sure is the case with most homemade breads) doesn't keep well after a couple of days. Today I made a sandwich and the bread had strange dry/moist texture and had an unpleasant taste. I recommend using the bread up within two days of making it.