Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dad time

Wild Child is loving having Dad home during the days he's off. They walk around the house together and it actually gives me a chance to clean the bathrooms without having to worry about little hands in the toilet. It's glorious! Here are a few snapshots from the last few days.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Daily Bread

My dad got me a great book for Christmas - Jennifer Reese's Make the Bread, but Buy the Butter: What you should and shouldn't cook from scratch. I have been known to sit and read through a cookbook for fun, and I couldn't put this one down. Not only is it a cookbook, it's a very funny rendition of her trials and errors in making everything from cakes and cheeses to moldy meat in her crawl space. I finished it in two days, every so often saying, "Hey, did you know..." and then inserting some sort of food trivia. The husband wasn't as interested, but one day I'll win Trivial Pursuit with my knowledge of trees poisonous to bees. You'll see.  What's great about this book is she breaks down the cost and gives you a gauge of how difficult each task is. Bread is high on the easy list, so I decided instead of buying pre-made frozen rolls I'll just make them. This isn't one of her recipes, since I the one in Reese's book calls for whey and I have yogurt making on my list for next week.

Basic daily bread:
     4 cups flour
     2 cups hot water
     1 packet yeast (about 2 tsp)
     1 tsp salt
Mix together and leave on the counter in an oiled bowl for an hour or more, covered with a damp towel. It will look something like this:
 After the dough is doubled in size, it should look something like this:
 Punch your dough down and preheat the oven to 450. Sprinkle some corn meal on a cookie sheet and shape your dough into whatever shape you'd like. I'm used to frozen rolls and didn't realize how much this bread would rise when you cook it. Next time I'll make the rolls a little flatter.
 And this is what it looks like when you've pulled it out. I baked these for about 25 minutes. They have so much more character than store bought, don't you think?