After I had great success with making pretzels on a rainy day, I decided to push my luck and try to bake some bread. I've never baked bread before, but a friend of mine really loves it and I've watched him, so I figured it was worth a shot.
For never having made bread before, I was surprised at how well it turned out! I didn't have any problems with the dough being too sticky, possibly because it was 99% humidity today and I'm 1,700 ft above sea level. I used unbleached all-purpose flour because I used up all the other flour on my pretzels; it didn't taste any different to me. After the second step, I added the flour a cup at a time until it was the desired consistency (3 cups). Kneading was a bit tough, but I eventually got it down to "a bambino's behind" :) I was confused about the 4th step, so I just punched it down into a rectangle and cut it into thirds. For the 5th step, I used corn meal mix because that's what I had on hand. I doubt it made a difference, but I thought I would mention it. I also made sure I misted it every 3 minutes for the first 9 minutes as another commenter mentioned. It only took 30 minutes to bake to an internal temp of 200ºF.
My biggest mistake was in not smoothing the dough out enough after punching it down. The loaves were a bit crinkly on the bottom, but at least they tasted great! I spread some garlic butter on a slice and it's incredible. Excellent recipe and thank you for hooking me on bread making!
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After I had great success with making pretzels on a rainy day, I decided to push my luck and...