(and just to clear the air, I’m not pregnant again..whew. No cravings the first time around, remember?)
You see, Tuesday was my birthday, and Philip said I could pick the restaurant for my celebratory dinner. After choosing, changing my mind, resolutely deciding, then scrapping that decision, and repeating this several more times, I asked Philip for some suggestions. Remarkably he came up with a whopping one hundred and thirty (yes, you read that right…130) options in our town and the two small neighboring towns. Granted, Burger King and Wendy’s were on that list, but still. 130.
Anyway, that’s beside the point.
The point is that I finally chose The Harvest at Thanksgiving Point, which hadn’t made the 130 list since it’s a few towns over. Upon arriving at the restaurant, we ordered the spinach and artichoke dip as an appetizer, only to realize that they also serve freshly baked wheat bread to each table. Right out of the oven, the bread was warm and eliciting heavenly smells.
Right then and there I told Philip I needed to learn how to make good wheat bread. It’s not that I haven’t tried, or that all breads I make are bad; I make an awesome foccacia bread and some delicious sweet breads. It’s just the wheat sandwich-type bread that stumps me. It’s always too dense, or too wheat-y, or too yeasty, or whatever.
All through dinner (which, by the way, was unbelievable…who could go wrong with bacon wrapped tenderloin and garlic mashed potatoes??) I kept thinking about that bread, and then all night I thought about that bread. And then all yesterday morning I thought about that bread, until finally I’d had enough. I whipped out the KitchenAid, pulled up Mel’s wheat bread recipe, and was soon filling my kitchen with those heavenly aromas.
I added a little more white flour than it called for and I preheated my oven and only cooked it for 30 minutes (my oven is a little wonky, so I didn’t trust the cold oven/38 minutes business), and prayed that the bread wouldn’t be a flop. It would be a waste to use that much flour for a bad loaf of bread.
What do you know? It was amazing. I had two slices with my dinner (and could have eaten five more) and I’m already anxiously awaiting breakfast tomorrow.
Goodbye, store-bought bread. I will be making this once a month, because really, there is nothing much better than good homemade bread. Wouldn’t you agree?