Sunday, February 01, 2009

Weekend Loafing

After cooking very simple meals all week, I was ready for something a little more substantial by the time the weekend rolled around.

I experimented with some roasted vegetables Friday night (always good) and a bean loaf Saturday night (not a big winner, but passable). But that wasn't enough.

I wanted to bake.

And since I was hanging out with my favorite baking apprentice over the weekend, I certainly wasn't going to be dissuaded from the task. In fact, he supported the plan so much, he even offered to let me use his giant mixing bowl, a new piece of equipment that has drawn out a surprising possessive streak. (Men and their tools, honestly!)

So this morning, I kicked into high baking gear, starting two recipes at once (in different bowls, of course): our favorite cinnamon rolls, and a spelt-unbleached variation of my favorite pain aux noix.

It's not too much of a stretch. Both start by proofing yeast in warm water, adding sweetener, then whisking in salt, dry milk, and the rest. The cinnamon rolls, enriched with egg and oil, took a little more attention, but on the whole, I kept them straight and ended up with dough to knead almost simultaneously. (I worked back and forth between the two bowls.)

The cinnamon roll dough rises very quickly, so I worked through those first, adding a thick layer of cinnamon-dusted brown sugar before rolling up the dough and adding more of the same to the pan. Luscious!

As the rolls baked, I shaped the bread dough into two standard loaves (not the usual boules) and slid those pans in once the cinnamon rolls were finished and the oven had worked its way up to the new temperature.

We enjoyed some steaming bread with our lunch and warm cinnamon rolls while we watched a movie, and by the end of the day, we both ended up with fresh yeasty goodness to start our respective work weeks.

Now that's the way to loaf on the weekend!

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