Yes, you read that correctly.
Go ahead, read it again, I'll wait :)
Now let me explain...
Late last fall a stone building located near his office was knocked down and a sign that said "Free" was posted on the rubble.
Hubby began bringing home the rocks with the intention of using them for landscaping purposes. Before long he had amassed a large pile of rocks in the backyard and had decided that he needed to do some research.
Hubby is accomplished on all of the trades, save for one: Masonry.
So he set out on the information highway called the internet and in addition to researching outdoor patios and fireplaces he found information on summer kitchens and outdoor bread ovens. Knowing nothing about bread or baking (or the kitchen) in general he decided that in order to properly build an oven he needed to know how to bake bread.
I thought he was kidding. I mean really, bread? Some of the most accomplished cooks I know don't make bread. It's time consuming and difficult and can result in something akin to a baked rock if done wrong.
It's taken me seven years to get him to understand that you bake bread but cook dinner and now he's just going to jump into baking bread?!
My mother-in-law is a fabulous cook and has never attempted bread. Some people just know better.
I guess the good thing about having little, to no, kitchen experience is that hubby didn't know enough to be afraid.
Hubby doesn't read for entertainment, he reads to learn something.
He can do this for hours if uninterrupted and can be so involved in his reading that the boys can be screaming around him and he is oblivious.
I am not criticizing, I am jealous, but I digress...
He read and read until he felt confident enough to make his first attempt at making bread but as we all know reading and doing are entirely different things.
I brought home pizza sauce and cheese...The whole rising thing didn't go as planned and his first attempt ended up making really good pizza dough.
He tried again and we got a loaf of something that was a mistake but very delicious. Another loaf of something that could be used for sandwiches and a third loaf that he added blueberries and walnuts to that was out of this world!
Having had some success he opted for some Amish Friendship bread as a starter. This is the stuff that you add things too over time and then divide it up to give to people you hate to make them add stuff to it for a week and then they can make bread.
This was good but the breads that come from using this starter are all sweet bread like banana, pumpkin, etc.
Hubby was still reading.
He discovered sourdough.
Sourdough starter is a massive undertaking that requires "feedings" twice daily for a week before it is ready to be used. Before feeding one has to dump half of the starter into the trash, add the and flour and then cover until the next feeding when the process is repeated.
You do this for a week.
It smells like beer but the bread tastes like heaven.
When the starter is really active it gives off a gas that blew the lid off the container while we were coloring Easter eggs and scared the daylights out of the entire family.
One day he called first thing in the morning to tell me that he'd forgotten to do the morning feeding and when I reached up to grab the container the lid was gone. Evidently the gas had blown the lid off sometime during the night and it took two days to find the lid!
Hubby has become obsessed and smells the starter multiple times a night...yeah I thought that was weird too.
His first attempt at pretzels was so good that I can't wait for the next batch! Auntie Anne's has nothing on this hubby. Those pretzels were out of this world!!!
We have a great relationship with the Amish family that lives behind us. We frequently drop off treats for each other's families. He dropped off pretzels as a thank you for the pumpkin pie they gave to us.
The wife was so impressed that she came over just to tell us how much they all enjoyed them and that she was impressed with the flavor!
Huge props as that woman can cook like there is no tomorrow!
His obsession has progressed to making 100% organic bread. He is very proud of the fact that we are no longer buying bread from the store and that we now have a freezer full of bread that we can use for any number of things.
It's been fun to watch him evolve into a bread man. The man who could only cook eggs, fish and steak is now making some of the best and most difficult bread on the face of the earth and I couldn't be more proud.