When I was a kid about 7 or 8 years old I knew what I wanted to do for a living. Most kids wanted to be Firemen, Police officers, Basketball stars etc.. I wanted to be a baker. I don't know why and I apparently didn't know anything about the hours they keep but I wanted to bake. I'm sure it had to do with my love for bread. When most people go to the cupboard late at night to get some sweets I go for bread. When I want to treat myself in the early morning I go to the donut shop. I've fallen in love with France for their pastries and many many types of breads. So why didn't I grow up to be a baker? Because bakers keep odd hours and the only way I could be a baker is to do all the baking BEFORE I go to bed. That and the little fact that most bakers don't spend three months a year traveling around the world. Although this year my travel schedule probably resembles a bakers travel schedule more than one of an IT consultant for fortune 50 corporations but I digress.

So there's rarely a time where I wouldn't appreciate the smell of dough rising in my house and the aroma of fresh bread baking in the oven waifing up the stairway to my nose parked in front of the computer is a very warm thought indeed. The problem is I'm a very spontaneous person and making bread is not a very spontaneous activity. You can't just whip up a loaf of bread and eat it 15 minutes later. You can however whip up a loaf of bread and eat it two and a half hours later. This might seem like a long time but I've started to realize that most of our meals take nearly this long to cook so if I get the dough rising first thing we'll have fresh bread for dinner. This is the plan anyway. If I mix the dough and get it on it's first rise at 5 pm we'll have bread at dinner. The other night I tried this theory with the Squash and mascarpone lasagna and it worked perfectly. The squash was going to take an hour to cook and then the lasagna was going to take another hour plus prep time so the bread got done exactly when the lasagna did.

With the Lasagna we were only involved twice - once to scoop out the squash and put it in the oven and then to scoop out the cooked squash and prepare the lasagna. That's about 20 minutes out of a 2 hr meal. Making bread is like that. People complain about it taking so long to make bread and how much work it is. It isn't really, you'll just need to trust me on this.

  1. Drop your yeast in baby bottle warm water
  2. Put all ingredients in the mixer bowl and turn it on for 10 minutes.
  3. Cover and wait
  4. Cut into shapes and wait
  5. Bake

So easy even a baby could do it! If you're using rapid rise yeast or instant yeast either one you can skip step 1 and let's be honest step 3 (waiting) and step 5 (baking) aren't really steps - they're too easy to be steps. So with the lasagna I make buttermilk pull-a-part rolls. Of course we had to have real butter in them as well because anything else wouldn't be civilized.