You guys. I have been busy this past week.
Have you missed me?
And I don’t particularly like to be busy. In fact, I kind of hate it. I am not one of those people who thrive on running around, taking my kids here and there and going to all sorts of meetings, and the gym, and appointments, and being out 5 nights a week, etc. etc.
Sooooooo not my thing.
I much prefer a Little House on the Prairie type of existence.
Minus cleaning the barn.
So I had one of my most perfect days last week before the craziness started and I haven’t had time to tell you about it until now.
I don’t know why, but I had a wild hair to try my hand at making bread.
Real bread, like, from yeast and everything.
I kneaded a helper because I don’t have a bread machine. (Get it? Kneaded?)
I used to have a bread machine, but it was one of those things that sat in the closet forever. I tried it once and it wasn’t much fun. I know there are those of you who will swear by your bread machine, but I guess I am an old fashioned, Ma Ingalls type of bread maker.
Make sure you butter your rising bowl really well.
I was so happy when I got to mold the brown sugar into tablespoons.
Here is what is going on in other parts of the house. Baby has taken to wearing this jacket around everywhere. As usual, she is right in the way of everything going on in the kitchen.
I know this looks like he is relaxing, but he is actually involved in a very violent WWF style wrestling match with the Elmo chair. This makes the baby crazy when he wrestles with Elmo. Like, cry and pull your hair out crazy.
Mixing the flours and yeast.
You will need a candy thermometer to check the water temperature.
Mix your dry stuff in until it forms a ball.
And then you knead it for a really long time.
Whoever invented those little squeezy stress ball things must have been a bread baker.
She took over the last 2 minutes.
It is a genetic family trait to wear the dish towel over your shoulder like that.
Cover it with a clean towel and let it rise in a warm place.
I don’t think I let it rise enough. I should have given it another 20 minutes. I was going strictly by the recipe and ignoring my natural instincts.
If I had let it risen more, the punching down the dough part would have been more satisfying to me.
Not the prettiest. Ma Ingalls could do a much better job.
Looks much better after the rising time. I followed my instincts on this one and let it rise a lot longer than the recipe said, because it was not doubled in size when they said it would be. They should have consulted Ma about rising times.
And then I baked it.
Look at that!
A loaf of real bread!
And we all ate big fat slices warm from the oven and slathered with butter.
And that was the start of the most perfect day.
There was also sangria and Nancy Drew and pool time.
And root beer floats with home made vanilla ice cream.
The only thing that would have made the day better was a trip to Walnut Grove and a big wet kiss from Pa.
EASY WHEAT BREAD
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons instant active dry yeast (active dry yeast will work also)
Instructions: (Remember–you might need to adjust your rising times)
1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir.
2. Add flours and yeast, and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10-15 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with a clean towel and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
3. Punch dough down; knead for a few minutes until smooth and then form into a loaf. Place in greased loaf pan and cover. Let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
5. Remove bread from oven and allow to rest in pan for a few minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cover with a cloth.