I am not a baker, is something I say wholeheartedly without hesitation. But with my lovely baker wife traveling frequently for work, I’ve ventured out of my comfort zone twice now to practice baking fresh bread. The first loaf was a lovely rye, that we devoured and this go around I tried my hand at a 100% Whole Wheat loaf. Since the wifey is traveling more via car these days instead of by airplane, she’s started packing herself a small cooler of goodies to take along on her trips. Life on the road is not only a grueling, exhausting lifestyle but can quickly wreak havoc on a healthy diet and packing a small cooler ensures healthy choices are readily available for her.
Friday night before the big game and on our way back home from NYC, we stopped by a local favorite, State Line Liquors, for weekend booze supplies. Golden Shiner Bock six pack and another bottle of high tannin red wine in tow, we made our way up to the cashiers and next to the cheese cooler I noticed the staff had a table set up with locally produced goodies for sale. Fresh jarred tomato sauce and dozens of farm fresh eggs sat there tempting me. Unable to resist, I picked up a dozen eggs and on our way out the young lady who held the door open for us excitedly proclaimed, “Enjoy the eggs! They’re from my chickens!” So Saturday morning, Amy made herself a batch of one of her all time favs, egg salad. The next afternoon, after we got back home from our Eagles shenanigans, she sat on the sofa, with library book in hand, procrastinating packing up for her trip to Schenectady Monday morning and thought aloud, “Oh, I should bring some of my egg salad! I don’t have bread though. I should make fresh bread. I don’t feel like it though. Nevermind, I’ll just eat it when I get back home.” My little heartstrings pulled at this and I offered up, as I closed my own library book, “I’ll bake you a loaf. The last King Arthur recipe I tried turned out pretty good. What kind do you want?” Still skeptical of my baking skills she hesitated, “Are you sure?”, which I reassured her, “Yeah, I’m sure (insert mini eyeroll); I don’t mind. Really.” Not fully convinced she gave in anyway, “Ok, if you make a loaf of bread, I’ll bring my egg salad.” So with that I popped up out of my favorite reading spot and looked up a King Arthur recipe determined to prove the awesome rye bread I baked wasn’t a fluke.
The first time around, I accidently added an extra cup of flour. The dough was hard as a brick and completely unsalvageable! Oopsie doopsie whoopsie! And so, I had to completely start the recipe over. The second go around was a success and the whole wheat bread turned out pretty darn delicious! I slightly altered the recipe (I don’t think I can help myself) by omitting the walnuts and subbing in extra sunflower seeds instead. The next time I make this recipe, I will also add a teensy bit more salt and maybe a 1/2 tsp of extra honey. Overall, this was a great loaf of bread and I even made croutons with the leftovers. So little snafu aside, it felt incredibly productive and even a bit empowering to make a humble loaf of bread by myself and I was so grateful to provide a little something to make my hard workin’ lady’s travels a bit more comfortable. Who knows, maybe I’ll call myself a baker yet!
Recipe link below.