Tuesday, January 01, 2013

the year of bread

Hello, 2013.  I am so ready for you.  2012 was just okay.  A few good things happened, but I had my share of disappointing moments.  But I'm looking up and I'm going to make 2013 great.

I have a lot of plans for blogging, but I've decided to start over with a brand new blog.  I've debated on this for awhile, and I am finally ready!  I will be working on getting it up and running over the next few days, then I'll post the link here.  I'd just like a fresh start, and to be able to categorize my posts in a more organized way.  The new blog content will focus almost completely on the act of making things.  I don't have grad school to post about anymore, and after a lot of thought, I've decided I don't want to focus on my job search or other career-related topics either.  It will just be a space for me to reflect on every act of creating that I partake in.  I'll include tutorials from time to time, or maybe geeky lessons on the history of various processes that I use.

It should be up in the next day or two.  I'm debating right now on keeping the One Lonely Apricot name (which is still the name of my Etsy shop) or changing it...and I'm pretty stuck on coming up with something new that I won't quickly grow tired of, so it will probably stay OLA!

Until then, I leave you with this...

I have several goals for 2013, which I'll share in detail on the new blog.  I'll begin here, though, with my bread-making goal.  The Year of Bread.  Do you ever make homemade bread?  Growing up, my mom would break out her bread maker for special occasions, and I always loved that.  When I moved into my first apartment, I bought a brand new bread maker from my favorite thrift store for $5!  I thought I just had to have it in order to make bread from scratch (it certainly makes it easier).  I regularly made my own bread for awhile, but eventually grew tired of the "bread maker bread texture."  I think it's something about the crust.  The shape of the bread is also very difficult to use for practical things like sandwiches, and because it's so large, it's also hard to cut into thin, even slices.

Because of this, and the fact that I somehow managed to purchase several defective jars of yeast (I've switched brands now and had no problems), I grew tired of making bread and my bread maker resided on top of my fridge for a long time and was rarely used.  I sometimes made biscuits or cornbread or pizza dough, and I often thought about making a regular loaf of bread in my loaf pan rather than my bread maker.  I just never got around to it.

Then Thanksgiving this year rolled (no pun intended) around and I decided to make homemade dinner rolls.  I took advantage of the "dough" setting on my bread maker, a setting I never use.  The rolls turned out great!  The dough setting took out all of the work of kneading the bread (the tactile process of kneading is actually appealing to me, but my kitchen is tiiiiiiny and while simultaneously making over half a dozen other dishes I knew I'd have no room for kneading bread.)

So now I think I'll just continue to use the dough setting, but do the baking part in my oven.  Those dinner rolls were so wonderful that I've made them three more times since Thanksgiving!  I made them today for the new year.  To kick off "The Year of Bread."  (It's also the year of the double Salchow but that's an entirely different story).  My goal is to try at least 25 new bread recipes this year, and to bake fresh bread every week and not buy it at the grocery store!  So I'll most likely be baking at least 52 bread loaves/recipes, but I'm setting the goal of 25 new recipes, because I know I'll want to repeat some!  I mean, come on, how could I not make these amazing dinner rolls again before 2014?

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