Stress Baking

I’m my father’s daughter and when I feel uncertain or stressed….I like to work me feelings out by making carbohydrates. Today’s self care is brought to you by my bread machine and my first go at making dinner rolls.

The batch went swimmingly well in my machine. However, I definitely need more practice at sizing my rolls. I kind of overshot the “roll” size and landed more in a “hamburger bun” size range.

My family pronounced them delicious no matter the size. They browned beautifully and rose nicely. I used a basic white dinner roll recipe from my Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger. The texture was light but this recipe used eggs and it had different texture than I an anticipated. I’m new to hardcore baking but my mother told me this is normal for egg based breads. I think I am going to make the pizza dough recipe for the next round and shape them as rolls instead of crust. It is just flour, salt, olive oil, water and yeast in that recipe.

Based on the current social distancing, I think I’m going to get a lot of baking practice. And I might end up needing bigger pants…

Happy Baking!!

Should Have Done This Sooner

I have continued my carbohydrate craze this week and tried something new….pizza dough in my bread machine. And y’all…I should have done this sooner!

My mom got me this great book on bread machine bread. Its really comprehensive and has helped me make really successful bread. But that is all I have ever made.

Jellybean and I needed a project this week so we decided to make homemade pizza. I pulled out the book and used the machine to make one batch of regular crust and on batch of whole wheat crust. It was SOOO EASY. The machine does all the hard work and when it’s done you can cook it right away, store in the fridge for 24 hours or store in the freezer for 3 months.

As a working mom who handles most of the cooking I feel like this has opened up a whole new world for dinner options. My family gets home between 5 and 5:30 and everyone is hungry, especially the kids. I can’t take an hour to cook dinner or there will be meltdowns. It’s just how it is with our littles right now and I know it will change when they get older. But as it stand now, during the week I have to plan meals that can come together quickly.

So holy cow, I can make up dough the night before and put fresh rolls, homemade pizza or whatever else I can think of in the oven for a few minutes when I get home. This has kind of fired up my cooking mojo and maybe I can shake up our recipe rut a little this spring.

What is your favorite (and quick) thing to do with basic dough?

Bread Machine Fail

I grew in a strongly Norwegian and Swedish influenced family. One of my fondest memories was Swedish Rye bread straight out of my Grandpa’s oven slathered in butter. My family makes dark brown loaf flavored with molasses and textured with medium ground rye flour. We omit the caraway seeds and other ingredients some people put in other rye breads.

Well, PB likes when I eat bread so I have been cranking loaves of Swedish Rye out of my bread machine for toast and sandwiches to keep said fetus happy. Jellybean has affectionately nicknamed it “mommy toast” and now requests that for breakfast four or five time a week. Well this latest loaf…..complete flop….literally….

Me thinks that pregnancy brain either mis-measured the yeast and put too much in….or I forgot to the put the salt in to keep the yeast in check. I sliced this loaf and it was dense and awful. Thank goodness for do-overs!

 

Beer N Cheese Bread

My Beer N Cheese bread came out gorgeous!

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My recipe came from my favorite bread book, The Bread Lovers Bread Machine Cookbook. I chose to use Copperhead Pale Ale from Free State Beer. This is a locally brewed Kansas pale ale beer. However, I mostly chose this beer because it was the last of the sample box I purchased and I didn’t want to drink it. It had been staring at me forlornly from the fridge…

Therein lies my mistake. This bread raised and baked beautifully. It was tender and moist on the inside and a nice toothy crust on the outside. I was terribly excited to slice it up. But my hopes were crushed, I just didn’t like how it tasted!! The reason I didn’t like the beer was because it had a bitter bite to it. And this came through in the bread. Lesson learned: don’t cook with a wine or beer that you wouldn’t otherwise drink!!

Don’t get me wrong, Free State has awesome beer and I especially love their wheat beer! I highly recommend this Lawrence, KS brewery and restaurant. It’s just that the Copperhead isn’t for me.

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This bread is okay with either lots of butter or jam. But I feel that this batch is destined for the community kitchen at work. This is my way of “frogging” my baked goods, lol! Next time I will use a tastier beer that I enjoy!!

Happy Knitting!

Nothing Beats the Smell of Baking Bread

My mother is an AMAZING baker, for almost 15 years she churned out homemade buns, biscuits, rolls, crust, and everything in between. All done daily in the local elementary school kitchen for hundreds of hungry tummies. She can make anything from scratch and her cinnamon rolls and pretzels are particularly amazing. This being said I have inherited her taste for fine homemade goods……just not the patience to do it by hand.

Two Christmas’s ago I received a bread machine and last Christmas I got the most wonderful cookbook to go with it, The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook. This book is jam packed with 300+ recipes for both bread in and out of my machine. It’s literally to die for! So thanks to this wonderful book I bring you today, Applesauce Bread!

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It’s sooooo easy to cook in the bread machine. Step one: add all wet ingredients to bottom of the pan.

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Step two: mix all dry ingredients together (except yeast) and pour over wet ingredients.

Step three: add yeast on top of dry goods.

Step four: punch in the machine settings for you bread type, hit start, and walk away!

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The machine does all the mixing, kneading, proofing, and baking! Three hours later you get this….

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This bread turned out golden and perfect. It has a nice dense texture perfect for toast and a lovely hint of apple pie flavor. This recipe gets a star in my copy of the book to definitely use again!

I packed some for breakfast today along with some of my homemade jam and it was beyond delicious for breakfast on this cool autumn morning!

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The machine lets me be my mothers’ daughter, just in my own way! I love the way my house smells because of baking bread, and this way I still get to knit at the same time!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my FO Friday and one of my largest finished projects ever!!!!

Happy Knitting! (And baking 🙂 )