Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year New Bread

This is my first attempt at ciabatta. I love the crust but not sure my inside texture was fully developed.
This bread was made from a starter sponge that was 24 hours old. I will be working with starters and sponges this month.
Since I was eperimenting with the starter I used an old favorite(my Italian bread)
the starter was one cup water and one cup flour and 1/2 tsp yeast left overnight in the bread machine to this I added 1/2 c water and then all the ingredients of my Italian bread(see my first post) this made a very soft dough that I had rise once in the machine, shaped then let set 30 min. I baked it off at 450 for 10 min and 375 for twenty min.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One very bad cat!

This little sweetie thinks he is so clever climbing the tree every time I sit down in my chair!
This four foot tree on the end table is his favorite climb as he winds his body round and round.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Paper Whites

One of my favorite things to do with kids in the winter is to grow paper whites.
My cat Dexter is very interested in my beginning to grow paper whites. I then had to put them on top of my cookbook bookcase. Well, I forgot they were there and found them Christmas eve
growing sideways as they were too close to the celing! They are now above the kitchen cabinets still getting taller ,......

Bye Bye December.....

I think I just made my last fruited bread for December. I am already working on a starter for a rustic loaf. Making rustic bread is tough with a bread machine and an electric stove but my experiments are getting better each time! It is just a challenge I hope to master this next year. Part of the trick is being extra slow to make the bread so the starter I started today will not be bread before tomorrow.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

to all of those who have watched my bread baking
more to come....
many more books too!
Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December Breads

This is the month of fruits and nuts.
It seems that the holiday season is decorate everything and so we do the same with breads.
this Challah bread was this weeks bread. Since I make single loaves with the bread machine you actually use very little dried fruit.

Fruited Challah

1 egg
1 cup water
3 cups bread flour
pinch of salt
2 tbs honey
2 tbs butter
2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 cup dried fruit

I start in the bread machine through the first rise,
Shape and let rise again (30-40 min.)
Apply egg wash and bake.
Again I bake this at 400 for ten minutes and 350 for twenty additional minutes.

This bread also makes great french toast!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday's scones

I was in the middle of making these scones on Saturday when the electricity went down due to the wind. We settled for cold cereal and cool coffee. Sunday morning had more promise and the butter hit the flour and we were off.

2C. all purpose flour
1stick of butter(cold cut into small pieces)
1tsp salt
1tsp soda
1tsp baking powder
2Tbs buttermilk powder
1/2C water(too dry? add water by spoon fulls)
Place all dry ingredients in a bowl, cut in the butter until granular mix, add any mix-ins here(these scones have a 1/4 cup chopped pecans and walnuts mixed and 1/4 cup mixed dried fruit) mix egg and 1/2 cup water add to dry mix slowly trying to incorporate most of the liguid in the dry, turn out onto floured silicone mat and knead once or twice to finish incorporating ingredients. Pat into a circle about 3/4 inch thick
I then use a pizza cutter to cut the circle into
eight sections.

I place the silicone sheet on a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


You can't beat my Mom's pies. I did help make these, as the arthritis in her shoulders and hips makes it hard for her to roll out the dough or stand very long. I did make one pie Thanksgiving morning. It is ok but I am going to stick with baking and bread making!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Bread-Becky's Rolls

When I started this post I was all ready to explain about these wonderful whole wheat rolls. but I didn't make them this time. The word was could you make that bread with the seeds that you made on the fourth? That was in the middle of my experimentation with my Italian bread and so for the third time this month the Italian bread was requested! This one is only different by the seeds. I use a seed blend and an egg wash to keep them attached. (on the fourth I tried olive really doesn't work)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Thanksgiving memory

As I was driving out of my driveway on Sunday I noticed these partridge berry plants on the side of the driveway. It reminded me of all the walks into the woods behind my Grampy's on Thanksgiving to find these for decorating at Christmas.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sun and Rain books for children

COME ON,RAIN! by Karen Hesse

A lovely book about playing in the summer rain. A great jumping off book for writing about rainy days. everyone has a rain or puddle story.

SUN UP, SUN DOWN by Gail Gibbons
A great introduction to non-fiction space books. this book helps answer the many questions about the sun for our youngest kids.

Friday, November 20, 2009

This bread is good!

Let's hope the sun lasts longer than I expect this bread will!

Sunshine Bread

It worked! That awfully rainy morning changed just as the bread came out of the oven!
Sunshine Bread is a healthy mix of anadama with apricots, orange and sunflower seeds.

1/4 C orange juice
3/4 C water
1/2 C cornmeal
2 3/4 C bread flour
2tsp rapid rise yeast
2Tbs butter
2Tbs molasses
pinch of salt
2Tbs sunflower seeds
2Tbs chopped dried apricots

As always I mix in my bread machine and bake in the oven.
I bake 10 minutes at 400 and then turn the oven back to 350 for another 20 minutes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Butterfly 1

The first day of slippery weather, so glad I am here and not on the road at 6 am!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Little Red Hen Bread

Even though I have been making bread since I was twelve, it was my Little Red Hen unit that led me to whole grains. Whole grains are a lot easier than most cookbooks lead you to believe.
In my class we would grind grain(wheat berries) in an old blender that I found in a yard sale.
We would sift and regrind until we had a coarse whole wheat flour. I began with bread made totally of this flour! It was a little hard and small but 6 year olds will eat anything. In the last few years we made no more than two cups of flour and used only one per loaf. This recipe is a single loaf recipe, we always made two singles so that more students could help.

1C warm water
2tsp active dry yeast
1C whole wheat flour
2C white flour(need the gluten for texture )
2Tbs honey(or any sugar)
2Tbs butter or oil

I of course now make this bread in a bread machine and bake in the oven,
But this would be an easy bread for anybody to make in a stand mixer
Water should be warm tap water(not too hot or cold) dissolve yeast in water in mixing bowl.
Stir slightly add honey and oil/butter to this, stir in flour one cup at a time . You will probably need a cup or two of flour to knead into this dough. Dough should be dry and elastic. Let rise in warm place covered ( drafty- use plastic) for about an hour. Shape into loaves and bake at 375 for about 25 min.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


What am I currently reading? Strawberry Shortcake Mystery by Joanna Fluke. I read the Peach Cobbler Mystery this summer. I have since found a couple of other authors with food themed books and will tell more at another entry.

Books for the younger set.......
I have been thinking about Walter the Baker by Eric Carle

This is a bright and fun book about baking and bakers.

Since it is November I am also thinking about The Little Red Hen my favorite version is by Galdone. But I also have some non-traditional versions that I love.
Next time I will give my recipe for Little Red Hen bread!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Smell the cinnamon.......

When the leaves fall and the wind blows it is time for cinnamon. Priscilla thinks cinnamon should be in every bread. My favorite thing is to swirl in a cinnamon filling to a favorite white or white with raisins bread. This weeks bread is a classic white with raisins.
Maple Buttermilk Bread
1C water
1 egg
3C bread flour
2Tbs buttermilk powder*
2Tbs butter
2Tbs maple syrup
pinch of salt
a hand full of raisins

This goes into my bread machine on mix only and stays through the first rise.
I then take the dough onto a silicone baking mat and roll it out to about a half inch thick. This is when you add the filling, I like using King Arthur Flours bakers filling but a standard cinnamon sugar mixture could be used. Roll it up tucking the ends under. Place in baking pan and let sit in a warm place for thirty minutes.
I bake this for ten minutes at 400 and then 20 to 25 minutes at 350.
*this is a conservative amount of buttermilk powder if you like the taste and want it stronger add another Tbs.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Little Salt

Yes, the recipe for this weeks bread is missing a pinch of salt. I use kosher salt in my bread.
This makes two baguettes. One was devoured on Sunday as part of our birthday supper for Paula and Duane. The second was used as sandwich roll!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bread of the week

This is the go to bread for most everything. It is a basic Italian style bread that I have used for pizza and even hot dog rolls!

1C. tapwater
3C. bread flour (I use King Arthur)
2Tbs. olive oel
2Tbs. honey
2Tbs instant yeast
I let the bread machine mix and knead and go thru the first rise.
I shape this bread after first rise and let rise again about 30-45 minutes.
I bake the baguettes for 10 min. at 400 and then 20 min at 350