Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Yesterday I baked a Czech Easter bread called Mazanec. It's a sweet egg bread with golden raisins and almonds in it, and it's delicious. Thanks for the recipe Babicka: it turned out great! I am sending a few loaves as small thank-you gifts for my letter of rec writers, but now after making it, I wish I could send them the smell too: my apartment was filled with the heavenly aroma of fresh bread for hours. I was initially intimidated by the prospect of making bread: mainly waking up (but not killing) the yeast, and kneading. I love to cook, but when it comes to baking, but I usually stick with shortbreads, tarts, and scones, which are mainly about cutting fat into flour, and less sciency than yeast breads. But it turns out there's nothing to fear! The key to kneading is that you keep at it until the dough's no longer sticky. I was afraid that this point would come gradually, and discerning it would require a zen-like understanding of bread kneading, but it turned out to be really definitive and obvious. Thanks for the great directions Babicka!