No, not the plaintive band led by hair-loss champion Phil Collins. I’m talking about the first loaf of bread I made, July 2008. Hard to believe it’s only been a year. I have remembered that I thought that was one of the best-looking loaves I’ve ever made, but always suspected time was casting a golden hue on my recollection. Here’s the proof.
It’s even better than I remember it. Take that, Father Time! The crust is deeply browned, crackly, with a great ear. I’ll be damned if I can go that well now, so I’ve been reading back over the original no-knead recipe to see how I did it. And I’ve come to realize once again that time is the magic factor. That first bread sat out overnight after a simple mix. That’s like a 12-hour autolyse! And it only gets kneaded for about 15 seconds, then one single proof and it’s into the crockpot in the oven. Though I now scoff [haHAH] at cheating the flavor with beer and vinegar, I think the overnight room-temperature first proof is genius. Plus the dough is like 80% hydration so it’s gonna make great structure. Natch!
I could hardly go to sleep last night when I found these pictures. It’s like finding the Ark of the Covenant on a freshman archaeology dig. I’m determined to surpass that bread now, and my rustic recipe is going to get another rework, and the method will definitely change. No guts, no glory.
Second story of the day: my girl’s got curls. Not sure whether it’s the humidity or some genetic marker that skipped a generation or four. And no, to answer your question, one cannot resist playing with these curls.
If that isn’t enough, here are her new shoes.
It’s not a trick of the camera, they are that cute, and her foot is shaped like an elephant. As Baby Harbat yells each time she sees the crowned, green-suited character of the eponymous books, “Babar!”