Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More Experiments

Yesterday, I did get the pitas made for lunch. It took a bit of work with a 10 month old who isn't used to me or my house! :-) Plus all of our big baby toys are in storage....for a few more months at least! They turned out pretty well. I used the light whole wheat dough. I had problems with one puffing like it is supposed to. Half of it had a pocket and the other half didn't develop the pocket. We ate them for lunch stuffed with tuna.

For the kids afterschool snack, I used the rest of the bagel dough to make pretzals. McKenna helped with rolling out the snakes. They weren't too bad. I think they had more of a bagel flavor than a pretzal flavor and feel, but maybe I need more pratice.

I don't think I will make any bread today. I have pleanty of cooking to do without that! I hope to make a loaf of bread from the whole wheat dough in a loaf pan. I also want to try to make the carmel sticky buns that are found in the Aristan Bread book. I haven't decided what dough I want to use for that though. My father-in-law's birthday party is Sunday, so I am going to try something for that. I was thining about garlic potato bread. We are having lasagna. I thought maybe that would go well. We'll see what the rest of this week brings.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A "Victory"

Yesterday, I tried a freeform loaf again and it was a success as far as keeping the shape. I made the loaf in the morning and the 3 of us at home ate it for lunch.

For supper I had planned on making a Pain d'Epi. I used the rest of the dough that I had from my first batch. It was a little more than a pound. Needless to say, it was not a success. It was awkward to shape, it was too wide to make the cuts and wouldn't lay right. Then when I went to slide it onto the stone in the oven, it didn't slide, it smooshed together. While it was baking, I began another loaf to make the another Epi with dough I had made earlier in the day. This was the bagel dough without the bread flour because I do not have bread flour! :-) I realized that I wouldn't be able to bake it before supper because I needed to get my meatloaf and potatoes in the oven. So I set it on the front porch to keep cool since I had not room in the fridge. When I took my first loaf out of the oven, it was pretty sad looking, but we used it for support and of course it tasted as good as my first two free form loaves. Most of the kids were happy. After supper I brought in the loaf from outside, let it come mostly to room temperature and tried again. This time, I was much happier with the results of cutting the dough. And I worked very hard to slide it onto the stone in the oven without misshaping it. I checked on it a couple of times while it baked and voila! It turned out. Not like the picture in the book, but much better! Here is my victory.

I am hoping to make soft pretzals with the bagel dough. And I made up a batch of light whole wheat dough with an extra cup of whole wheat and one less of all-purpose flour. I was hoping to make pitas with that for lunch today, but I have a friend dropping off her 10 month old for a few hours. Plus I need to get my yoga done, and McKenna started on her school work. We'll see how it all plays together. All in all I am happy with my sucesses!

Monday, January 25, 2010

My First Attempt

I did my first attempt to make a loaf of bread out of the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. The actual challange is to use the book Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Since at this point in time, I am borrowing books from the library, I have to use what is available. The Healthy Bread book is being catalogued right now, so I have it on hold. In the mean time, I have read the Artisan Bread book and have made the master dough recipe. I made my first loaf of bread last night. After I had sliced it and covered it with butter and apricot jam (sadly enough, not homemade), I realized that I forgot to take a picture. Maybe next time! I had a few problems with my bread in the technical shaping and resting stage, but it tasted great! Later that evening I tried the Lavash in the book with the master dough recipe. I learned a couple of things from that. I don't have to roll it as thinly and I need to come up with a better way to get it onto the hot stone in the oven. My first on foled. My second one, my husband helped me. Today, I am going to use the rest of my dough. My goal is for supper tonight, but it might get eaten earlier since I told McKenna and Aaron we would have some today. I am going to try a new shape - we'll see how that works!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Beginning....

This is an experiment I have been thinking about for a while. I don't know if I will keep it up or if it will work, but it sounds like a good idea!

I have a few motivating factors in doing this, but one is to join a breadmaking group. I can do it without the blog, but I figured I'd be more motivated with the blog! Maybe another part of my motivation is to escape reality. My husband works all day and has a hobby that keeps him from the house a few days a month. We live in a small town, so I don't get out of the house much and if I do, it costs money! Maybe this is my escape from the house without leaving the house. I don't know if it will work, but it is cheap! :-)

I don't have expectations of people reading this, but at least I am doing something!