Bread and Bad Days

Last week in class, I felt positively joyful. Everything seemed to be getting better, and I felt like I had a mini-breakthrough in pirouettes. I felt great! Like, autumn in a national park great:

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Sedona, Arizona, 2015. Doesn’t it feel expansive and free, like good dancing does?

I’m writing this post after ballet class tonight, though. I mentioned earlier about my arthritis, and I’ll try not to harp on it, but it can prove temperamental, to say the least. I was on my feet for hours yesterday, and you can always bet the next day I’ll be hurtin’. Today was no different, but I thought I was fine by class. I wore an Ace brace and went with it. Well, ballerinas and ballerinos, that was dumb. 

So I’m trying to find inspiration in ballet! I sit on the couch with a glass of wine, a lovely $8 selection from Trader Joe’s, and some 72 percent dark chocolate, also from Trader Joe’s, and I’ve just started to watch an Opera National de Paris production of Swan Lake.

Cliche, I know. I know.

Sometimes it’s hard to push through, particularly as a beginner.

So if you’re a beginner out there like me, you are not alone in the struggle.

If you feel like you are the worst in class at literally everything, you are not alone.

If it feels like it takes forever to learn combinations (or hell, at the barre), you are definitely not the only one.

We may never be in Swan Lake, but we can always continue to improve, even on arthritis days!

Now that the encouraging part of the post is over, let’s talk bread. Generally, I can’t get anything with yeast to work. It’s tricky.

I tried one no-knead recipe that was an absolute disaster. The dough was WAY too sticky. Then I tried this recipe, the one on Le Creuset’s website.

I recently purchased a beautiful “seconds” 4.5 quart Dutch/French oven from an outlet store in the stunning Marseille color. (Apologies I don’t have photos, they all came out out of focus.) I was determined to make something in it.

A Dutch oven is excellent for bread, so I hear, because it allows the humidity and moisture to lock in to create ideal conditions for bread baking.

I followed the recipe almost to a T, so I won’t rehash the whole thing here, but suffice it to say that you really need to shellac that thing in oil. A LOT of oil. Or, use parchment paper. My bread stuck to the bottom and that was a bit of a nightmare!

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Also, make sure you lower the temperature in the oven! I darn near burned the top but the inside wasn’t quite ready yet. That’s where I think I really went wrong.

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That said, the taste was delicious. I’ll have to try it again but I’m pretty sure had I followed the directions properly, it would have been perfect!

Do you have any tips for Dutch oven bread?

 

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