it was a year ago last january that i discovered the bread machine. what followed was a winterlong marathon of bread making: plain bread, whole wheat, raisin bread, jalapeno bread, sweet bread, cottage cheese and chive bread. it wasn't that i was a fan of bread - normally i'd have a slice and get rid of the loaf - but i liked playing around with the ingredients. plus, it was so automatic, just mix everything together and let the machine make the bread for me in under 3 hours.
looking back on these photos i realize there was a brief golden age of bread making. i almost never had any problems with dough that didn't rise, and most of the loaves i made were puffy perfections. my all-time favorite was the one bread i glazed with egg batter to give it that nice shine. i think the secret is the yeast. the yeast i'm using now is leftover from a year ago, and it's probably gone bad now. i did a yeast rise test tonight and there was hardly any activity. that'd explain why my most recent breads (many of which i didn't even bother photographing because i was so disgusted with the results) have mostly been duds. but i think i'm going to get back into the bread making game again. it's a nice little winter pastime and it makes the house smell like a bakery afterwards. i've always wanted to make sourdough bread (it's one of the few breads that i actually like instead of passive indifference).