I made bread from scratch yesterday! I'd been following Amanda's adventures in bread and this recipe finally made me tell myself, yes, you can at least try this.
There was a point in the dough mixing where I wasn't sure if it was all going to come together right, because I was sifting and mixing and sifting and mixing and it felt like it was taking forever, and I had remembered hearing on Food Network or somewhere that over-mixing would make bread tough and dense, or maybe that was pancakes, anyway, I started to get worried. Then the kneading wasn't going very well, and I was waiting for that lovely, smooth, elastic ball of dough that you always see on the cooking shows, and it just wasn't happening. I thought I'd better quit while I was ahead and let it rise.
That part was so cool! I left this ball of dough in a covered bowl, and went to get Jamie out of his crib (great timing on his part, he woke up from his nap just as I decided I'd better be finished kneading). He sat pleasantly in his high chair as I cleaned up my floury mess, and then we played a while, and after about an hour I peeked in the bowl, and the ball of dough was twice as big! I know this is what is supposed to happen, but to see it actually happen was just too neat. Then I formed it into two loaves (I had halved the recipe) and let them rise in their pans. I think I could have let them rise a bit more, but all in all, I think they were okay. And Amanda? I don't know about that "hollow sound," either. I thumped them, but I couldn't tell.
But, man! When the loaves had cooled and I cut off that first slice of warm bread and put real butter on it and put a bite in my mouth -- well. I will be making bread again. Amanda, thank you for the annotations. I think they made a world of difference.
In other news, I have injured my right hand. Not badly enough that I can't get things done, or type, but knitting is fairly uncomfortable. Uncomfortable enough that I need to take a break from it for a week, then re-evaluate whether I need to see a doctor or not. I was trying to put Rose's old car seat in the trunk, and it slipped out of my hands and fell into the trunk, and it all happened so quick I'm not exactly sure what happened, but I think my fingers got yanked backward by the strap as the seat fell. There was no bruising or swelling, but it's painful when I squeeze my hand into a fist or try to grasp anything firmly, especially in my ring finger and palm just below my ring finger. Anyhow, it hurt right away, as soon as the seat yanked my hand, so I know that's how I hurt it, and not through some repetitive injury issue. That's a bit of a comfort. :/
The bright side is, I've had books piling up because, as much as I love to read, most days I pick up the knitting first when I've got a moment free. These are the books I've currently got in my pile: A Meeting At Corvallis by S. M. Stirling, Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, The Shop On Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber, and The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. So I figure I can make my way through at least two of them while my hand is healing.