is any day where I bake bread. Yes, it’s bad for the diet. No, I can’t resist having more than one piece.  But I love the rythym of making bread. The sponge, the kneading, the shaping, waiting for it to bake, and then slicing into it. The kids all standing in line waiting for their piece.  Its one f the things that makes me happy.  

 I tried for years to bake the perfect loaf of bread, and never really got it right until my father-in-law bought me a copy of The Tassajara Bread Book one day when he was at a used book store.  When you first pick the book up, you don’t think much of it. It has none of the glossy photos or slick pages that you have come to expect in a cook book these days.  With it’s brown ink and line drawings, it’s not too exciting to look at. The excitement started for me at the very first recipe, Detailed Instructions for Making Tassajara Yeasted Bread.  I had never heard of people using a sponge to start bread, and I read through the recipe intently.  And then I tried it.  I was so excited, when after following the instructions, I pulled two huge puffy loaves of bread out of the oven!  All my previous attempts at baking bread usually resulted in bricks of bread instead of the bread I had anticipated.  I have used this method for baking my bread for years now, and while it takes a substantial investment in time, (about 5 hours, start to finish) the results are almost always perfect.

However, I don’t always have that much time to bake bread. Even being at home most days, my days are so full that I can’t stand there nursing that recipe along.  So imagine my surprise last night, as I was flipping through my dog eared, stained copy of the Tassajara Bread Book, to find, near the back, a recipe for Overnight Wheat Bread!  I couldn’t believe it. I have had this book for years, and I guess never made it back that far in the many times I have thumbed through its pages.  I started the sponge, covered it with a damp cloth, and later on went to bed.  When I got up this morning, it was ready for me to go through the finishing steps; the mixing, kneading, proofing, shaping.  Soon it was going into the oven, and then I was pulling it out of the oven.    bread.jpg

The kids lined up, and we all had warm bread for lunch.  Yum! This tastes a little like sour dough, probably because of the long time the sponge sits.

Another favorite recipe to add to the list!