The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge

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I'm not sure if you guys have seen Peter Reinhart's amazing new book The Bread Baker's Apprentice, but it's really incredible! Isaac and I went to the B&N a few weeks ago and, before buying him a new Dr Seuss ABC book, I slobbered all over TBBA. Well, for Mother's Day, it arrived in the mail! (By the way, Isaac is far more interested in eating his books than eating bread - we may need a new copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear in the near future.)

I've never had any success at baking bread, but I am really ready to try again. Deep oaths were sworn about trying a good number of the recipes. The bread baking urge has come upon me.

Well, in an exciting coincidence, just as few days ago, Pinch My Salt, a cooking blog I follow, announced that she planned on baking her way through the entire book! I got excited and went through the book carefully to see if I could handle the challenge.

Well, by the time I decided I wanted to do it, she had had 200 people join her! Naturally, she closed the official "class," and it's probably for the best I didn't make it in time. The first bread in the book is Anadama, and heaven help me find the proper flour here in SC. But I plan to stagger along with as many of the recipes as I can, on my own schedule.

So if you itch to bake, or just add a new, gorgeous and excellent cookbook to your trove, pick up The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Reinhart is a great writer - fluid and cheerful and a great teacher. I wished more academics could write with his cheer and clarity.

If you're feeling more couch-potato-longing-for-entertainment (amen!), you can follow the 200 folks as they bake at this site. The first deadline is this Sunday (the 18th), so look for posts from kitchens all over the world. There is a fun world map with all of the participating home kitchens logged on.

Enjoy! When I gets to bakin', I'll post here. Since Isaac seems to be over his ear infection (and SLEEPING!), that may be sooner, I hope. Ha ha.

Any body here had success with breads? If so, do tell! Awesome failures also appreciated. My pita bread was one of the great Kitchen Horrors I still shudder over.


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