Friday, September 21, 2012

Returning to Blogland

 Our guests have left and we had a wonderful time. So wonderful in fact that I had to have a four hour nap. The Dawgs were a big hit and they got worn out by all the attention. Altho the first day was all rain, the second day was sunny and warm and we had a short ride to see the scenic overlook, the waterfall on the way down the mountain and a ride to the local hilltop cemetary, where the 360 view is grand. 
I got to make some real non-diet meals and of course indulged mightily. We had wine, and desserts and lavish breakfasts and lots of bread and butter. For a few days before Dan and Carol arrived I made eight loaves of bread and put them in the freezer. When needed I popped one in a warm oven and soon we had crusty, hot and fragrant butter melting goodness.

It takes only a minute to make HMB (homemade bread) and so worth it on a chilly pre-autumnal day. I use the 2006 no-knead recipe from Mark Bittman, but lately have altered it a bit, and so has he!
I use a half teaspoon of dry yeast in 12 oz of warm tap water, and mix in three cups of bread flour and a half teaspoon of salt. Cover the dough in the bowl with plastic wrap and place somewhere warm. The mantle of the fireplace (gas logs heat our house) was just perfect.
Let it rise until double, about four hours. Then punch the very wet and sticky dough down and add a bit more flour to make it kneadable, but just work it into a nice smooth ball, and return it for a second rise. About an hour later it is ready to shape into a loaf. I used an egg wash to get that golden crust. I don't put it in a Dutch oven, but place it on a heavy iron griddle, in the very hot oven.  Bake at 450 for about 30 minutes, and your house will smell wonderful.
The nice thing about having guests is clearing the house of debris and clutter and now I have a super clean studio ready for my next project. Tomorrow, Saturday, I am giving that lecture demo on Quilt As You Go, and while the first session is full, there are spaces in the Wednesday September 26 session (10:30am Eastern) Contact Three Black Sheep Shoppe to reserve a space.

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  1. Oooo... fresh bread sounds perfect. I'll have to put on a batch to raise. Yum!

  2. I always used to make bread whenever we had a storm day as a teacher. Now that I'm not working I make it more often and freeze it. I slice it all and wrap a couple of slices at a time in Saran and then a freezer bag. It works well because we don't eat much bread.
    I usually make whole wheat, rye or oatmeal.

  3. The rule at my house is that I need to invite guests every once in a while - just so that I'm sure the house WILL get a good clean! Pinned your studio - to my future studio board :) serious studio envy here!

  4. Zieknits9:45 AM

    Gorgeous-looking bread! Of course, the real challenge is to stop making (and eating) it, now the guests have gone! ;)


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