I don't care what they tell you, nor how many cool colorful toothbrushes they give you, going to the dentist is not fun.
Waking up at ungodly hours (ahem, 9:30), leaving the comfort and warmth of your flannel sheets, and the soft purr of your feline friend behind, changing out of the same pajamas you've worn for a few days straight (not just to bed), and driving in the chilly cold of December to the tooth doctor's office is not fun. Nor is doing all that just to get your gums picked at until they bleed and the plaque chipped off in a brutal way. And then you get to fork over a hundred and fifty bucks for all this diversion.
And of course the Nate Show (is that what it's called?) is on, and Tyra Banks is laughing her butt off, talking about how when she was a teenager she practiced kissing in the mirror (umm, awkward?). You have to tolerate the noise of the vibrating plaque-scrubber, the empty stare of the dental assistant (what are they thinking behind that mask?), and the dentist who comes to check on you for five minutes at the very end, who has seen too many decaying teeth and smelled many a stinky breath (but still gets to take home the biggest paycheck in the office for his well spent five minutes).
My teeth and gums still hurt. No wonder I hadn't gone for a cleaning in two years.
On a non-ranting note, the bread is amazing. The only difference I'd make next time is to make one loaf instead of two smaller ones. They sure are cute, though!
Rosemary free form loaves
Slightly adapted from Baking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America
Makes 2 small-medium leaves
Note: although these instructions may seem a little strange, follow them as-is. The bread turned out great!
4 cups bread flour, plus more as needed
1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
1 ½ cups water, at room temp (68-76F)
2 TBSP coarsely chopped (fresh) rosemary
2 tsp kosher salt
EVOO for greasing the bowl
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the flour and yeast using the dough hook. Pour in the water gradually with mixer on low speed; add the rosemary and salt and mix for 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium and knead another 4 minutes. The dough will be slightly tacky but not sticky. It should be smooth and elastic. I like to finish my bread by hand, so if you wish, you can knead it another minute or so on a clean, lightly floured work surface.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place for about 40 minutes, or until doubled in size. Gently fold the dough over onto itself a few times to get out the air bubbles. Let rise for another 40 minutes.
Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces (next time I think I would just make one bigger loaf) and shape into smooth balls, pulling outside taut and pinching the dough together at the base of the balls. Place seam sides down on a parchment or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and let rest 15-20 minutes.
Shape the balls (or one ball if you haven't divided the dough) into 6 x 8-inch rectangles by stretching and pulling the dough gently into rough rectangles. Try to make sure the dough is an even thickness all around. Mist the dough with water (or you could brush water on using a paper towel, hands, or a pastry brush) and let rise for a third time, covered, this time for 35-40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425F with rack in the center. Score the dough 5 times with a sharp knife or lame. Mist the dough one more time and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until they are golden and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. Transfer to wire rack to cool.