Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spring is coming!

The kids are starting to get cabin fever and I in turn am getting the same way! THe snow on the ground for the most of 2 months is now becoming exhausting. The Olympics have provided a nice diversion have new bread experiments. This braid for the HBin5 group was to make a batch of the Whole Wheat Olive Oil dough. This is the first dough I had made out of the HBin5 book when I got it. I know I made pizza, but cannot remember what else I did with it! But I do remember liking it. When people in the group starting baking with it and reporting, they were talking that they weren't enjoying it as much as other breads they had made. I was interested in trying again to see if my memory served me right. And my memory didn't fail me (although it is more and more the further along I get in this pregnancy!). I did not accomplish all that this braid required, but I did play a little. We were supposed to make a loaf of bread. Instead of a loaf, I made baguettes for our supper one night. I had recieved my new baguette pan in the mail a week earlier and hadn't had a chance to try it out. I was excited at the opportunity as well as happy with the outcome.

For supper on Friday, I was trying to figure out how to incorporate the focaccia into the meal. I had just enough dough left for one focaccia. We were supposed to make the Southwest Focaccia. I didn't not have anything on hand that that recipe required, so I scoured my pantry and freezer and came up with this: a rosemary/olive oil/salt focaccia that I cut in half put cut up chicken and Italian cheese mix that I had left over from the pizza earlier that week in the middle. I toasted it again to melt the cheese. I made Sicilian Butter and Homemade Pizza Sauce to dip it in. Along with the focaccia, I made Bocso sticks with a batch of the soft whole wheat in the ABin5 book. For the bosco sticks, I cut motzerella cheese sticks in half lengthwise, placed them in the middle of the dough I had lengthened, flattened, folded over and sealed again. After letting them rest, I brushed the Sicilian Butter on top and baked them according to the Garlic Parmesan knots in the HBin5 book.

For free, here is a picture of the pizza I had made ealier with the Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Dough from HBin5. Amber, our oldest, wanted alfredo chicken pizza. I had made something before for her, but was looking for a new way. I was very happy with my outcome. The flavor was great. I used the alfredo sauce from here, and chopped chicken to the top and topped that with Italian cheeses.

To view what the rest of the group did with this challange visit Big Black Dog and read through their posts. It is amazing how creative people can be with just one type of dough!

This Saturday, we are having a bread baking day at our church. There have been a number of people interested in making the breads my mom and I are making (with the AB/HBin5 method). So we thought it would be a fun day to do a demostration and let them bake a loaf and take home a bucket of dough. I am excited and looking forward to introducing more people to this fun way of bread baking! We are just making the boule from ABin5 (but modified slightly) to keep things simiple.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Little Late

The Bread Braid for February 1 was to make the Soft Wheat Sandwich Bread from the HBin5 book. I finally got my book in the mail recently and have been able to get busy! The first thing I made with this dough was hamburger buns. They poofed up a little more than I wanted them to. They flavor was good, but they ended up being too dense for a hamburger bun. We had them with shredded beef.

Next I made a loaf of bread. I was very excited about this one. Others had reported how happy they were with how theirs turned out. My loaf didn't rise as much as I had hoped and when I cut into it, it was denser than I wanted also. The flavor was good as I cut a couple of slices and ate them for breakfast. I was going to make grilled cheese for lunch and as I continued to slice, I found that my loaf wasn't done baking! I had a whole in the middle where the raw dough had collapsed. UGH! Here is a picture of the loaf, though.

Lastly, the objective was to make Apple Strudel Bread. I had just a little dough left and not enough to do a loaf of bread. We were having breakfast for supper that night and I usually fix muffins. So I decided to do little apple strudel rolls. This was one thing I was very happy with. They kids would have preferred muffins that night, but I enjoyed them!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More Fun!

I have been trying various breads and doughs this last week. I have finished up the light whole wheat by making it into a loaf. I made the brioche dough in the Artisan Bread book. With that dough I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Sunday (we had guests or else I probably wouldn't have gone to that much trouble for breakfast!). I baked a loaf of bread for a potluck on Sunday. Then Sunday afternoon, I made the potato and garlic bread for my father-in-law's birthday party to have with lasagna my mother-in-law was making. I think everything turned out great as far as I am concerned.

When I grocery shopped last week, I was trying to stay within my budget and keeping it narrowed down to only necessities, but I did splurge and little with the addition of dried cranberries. I've been wanting so much to make the cranberry and orange zest challah. Today, I made up the dough thinking I would make up a loaf tomorrow....well, I couldn't wait! I made up a loaf tonight. On the Healthy Bread in Five forum I am a part of has been talking about how to do a traditional 2 strand braid for challah. I watched a video and thought it looked pretty simple, so I tried it! It was quite fun. Here are the results of my playing.