10. Successfully make a boule of bread (mine are always flat)
I think I'm going to cross "successfully baking a boule of bread" off the list. My new job allows me to work from home so I can do things like baking bread. Bread baking takes almost no effort but you have to periodically punch down dough in between rises. I throw the ingredients in the Kitchenaid mixer before I fire up my computer, then I punch down the dough while I'm making lunch. By the time I'm done with work the bread is ready to be thrown in the oven. I've been trying to make a loaf a week and I've been getting better and better at executing free-form loaves.
This was a loaf of deli rye. This recipe is AWESOME.
I've also attempted Jim Lahey's no-knead dough, which was incredible. Except for that time that I inexplicably effed it the hell up and the whole loaf was stuck in my pan. But that wasn't a boule!
Then I got on a roll and made pretzels and bread in loaf pans (I had no idea how these were rolled before this), and I've been making pasta from scratch, too. Basically, my house is a celiac's worst nightmare.
I guess I'm also trying to explain why I've gone up a pant size. It has nothing to do with Halloween candy or Thanksgiving or Christmas goodies. It is because of the 5 pound bags of flour that I go through so regularly. If you are bread challenged, as I was, I can't recommend Deb's recipes enough. She also has a write up of bread baking tips on Smitten Kitchen that are really helpful.
In my case what I needed to change was letting the dough proof longer, learning to properly slash the top and keeping a spray bottle of water to mist over the loaf during the first fifteen minutes of baking. Steam = a great crust and more expansion of your loaf. But I think really great recipes were really the key here. Learning to walk naturally in heels is going to be a LOT harder.