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The continuing adventures of the Lost Writer of Rohan in cooking!

Two days ago, I made my first loaf of bread in my Mother’s bread machine. It came out fine and tasted just like I remember growing up. It wasn’t bad, but I have always found the bread a bit more spongey than I liked.

I bought blackberry jelly (the type you get at Cracker Barrell). It is my favorite jelly. There was just one thing standing between me and blackberry loveliness: I ran out of bread. (Well, that is not entirely true. I had the heels of store bought bread. I am ashamed to even feed it to the birds.)

Today, I made my first handmade bread. I have been wanting to make my own bread for two years. One of my friends, http://keepthemuse.wordpress.com/, is a big fan of handmade bread and his descriptions of bread making are fantastic.

So, first lesson learned: Bread is hard work! It is not complicated. It just involves a lot of kneading and waiting.

First error: not checking to see if I had enough flour. Fortunately, my Mother was out and able to get me some more.

First problem: bread not rising the second time. You have to have it rise twice during baking. The second time it would not because the house was too cool. Eighty degrees outside but seventy inside. What is the world coming to?

Disaster: My bread burned! I cooked it for the recommended time but I found out from my Mother that with our oven, you need to check what you are cooking five minutes so that you do not ruin your food.

Success! The bottom is the only part that is not very good. The rest is either crisper than usual or perfect. As long as you remove the black parts at the bottom and use all the lovely blackberry jam or butter, it tastes fantastic. (It tastes good plain, but where is the fun in that?)

The bread is quite good and I will use the recipe again, but I am not sure I want to do it again soon. But that’s just me.

Until Our Next Meeting,

The Lost Writer of Rohan

P.S. I used an older edition of a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. It is my Mother’s, so it would not be polite to say how old the edition is.