To the Fair!
Baking for the county fair. Or, what if they gave a bread competition and nobody came? Well, I would win lots of ribbons, that's what! I'm exaggerating a little, there were a few other breads but none were in the categories I entered (fortunately for me). Makes the blue ribbons a bit less impressive but I still had fun doing it.
It is always a good learning experience as well. Things I learned (or was keenly reminded of):
Baking three batches of bread makes for a much longer day than baking one batch.
Baking a loaf for a random, judgemental stranger is much more stressful than baking a loaf for myself.
Baking an olive bread next to a plain bread makes the plain bread taste really funky.
Pitting a whole jar of lucques olives by hand is a pain in the neck (and the hands).
Sourdough always seems to proof faster when the oven is occupied.
Taking photos of my own bread at the fair may give people (non-bread enthusiasts, anyway) the impression that I am a narcissistic weirdo.
Giving away a loaf of bread feels really good.
I sincerely hope that at least one person walks by my breads and says, "Heck, I can make better bread than that!" and brings it to the fair next year.
The breads: a basic sourdough with 10% whole wheat, the same sourdough with olives, a 30% rye sourdough, and the same rye with walnuts and raisins The group photo has a couple of extra loaves because I doubled-up on two of them.
This is the extra olive bread I kept for my own enjoyment: