Saturday was a waste. Friday night held in store some unexpected guests, delayed dinner plans, lots of imbibing, and staying up way too late (past midnight! We were crazy!), which led to a pretty useless me on Saturday. I used to be able to handle that sort of night, but not anymore. So, my best intentions and plans went out the window for Saturday (vacuuming? What?). I did manage to get myself out of the house and meet a dear friend for lunch, and on my lazy drive back home I was struck with the sudden urge to bake some bread. My headache was finally dissipating, the windows were down, and suddenly I had energy.
I had bookmarked this recipe last week, for I'm always on the look out for bread recipes that a) don't scare me and b) look like I could handle all of the steps and not screw it up. I was determined to BAKE. SOME. BREAD. (My desire to do this probably had a little bit to do with the fact that for the past two years, between farmer's market bread and my own baked bread during the winter, we have not had to eat store-bought bread at all, which is pretty impressive seeing as we eat lots of toast and sandwiches. Well, I neglected to fit baking into my schedule last week and suddenly we were forced to buy bread at the store. Horrors, I know. My husband is very, very spoiled.)
As you can see, I almost braided the loaf on the left the correct way; the loaf on the right was my attempt at making up my own braiding technique, which was obviously not the way to go. You can tell that I was doing this late at night - my energy spiked while I was mixing the dough in the late afternoon, but by evening I sort of took a nap and let the bread rest longer in the refrigerator, hence the less-than stellar nighttime iPhone pictures that I'm forcing you to look at now.
I also had a helper. He made sure that I did not drop the loaves as I pulled them out of the oven. Can't you see how hard he's concentrating?