The many drugs I'm on finally started kicking in yesterday. My family was away, so very slowly I did some baking. I do mean slowly. I'd mix the dough, then rest. Knead the dough (by machine), then rest. Working slowly like that, I managed to make my challahs for the month. I make a single recipe of Rose Levy Berenbaum's sourdough challah into four small challahs. They came out beautifully.
I also baked up the last of the multi-grain cereal HBin5 dough. It was a brick--and got promptly tossed in the trash. I will try this again for the HBin5 baking challenge, but I was not impressed with this dough. It was heavy and tasteless.
Last night I started the dough for Rose Levy Beranbaum's banana feather bread and Peter Reinhart's Bagels from Artisan Breads Every Day. The banana feather bread is on it's second bulk fermenting rise, but the bagels are done.
I must say the bagel recipe from that book is incredibly easy. You mix up the dough the night before. The bagels are supposed to be shaped first, but lacking room in the fridge I decided to shape after the overnight retardation.
It was a bit hard to do the shaping with the cold dough--that dough tends to be a bit tough. I'm sure it would have been easier in the first stage. But beyond that, this recipe was very easy to do and the results were wonderful--the bagels are great. They are not cakey or bready like grocery store bagels. They are chewy and solid, like a bagel should be.
And I still have enough energy to write this post. It feels good to be productive again, and it's how I know I'm going to be OK. I'm still hacking like an old smoker (I never so much as took a puff of a cigarette in my life, but both parents smoked a lot around me when I was growing up), I have no voice, and little stamina, but I'm going to be OK. The bread tells me that.