Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Fulfilling Day

This morning I decided I was gonna start making some bread. I think I started making bread back in 2001. My mom was among many of the Y2K "panic" and she stocked up on dry goods. We're talking about the 50 pound bags of various goods, which included sea salt, sunflower seeds, and several different kinds of wheat berries. She also had an electronic and hand grinder. I loved grinding up Nova Wheat Berries for break making. Yes, I used the electronic grinder since it wasn't as tricky as the hand grinder. But that and the oven were the only electronic things I use to make bread.

I strongly recommend "Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book" by Laurel Robertson. I see that they have an updated version available at Amazon if anybody's interested. What I really like about Laurel is that she isn't like most cookbooks that say "ok, mix all the ingredients together, kneed it until it's supple, let it rise until double..." I've tried that... disaster! It never rose properly. Laurel actually tells exactly what to do. She said to kneed the dough for at least 20 minutes or 600 strokes. It might be a crazy amount, but the results are fantastic! She also explains what happens when you poke the dough - too early, it'll start to fill back in, just right it'll stay poked, too late the dough will "sigh". I've had that happened to me once or twice. :P

But today's results produced the biggest loaves I have ever seen from homemade bread! It went nearly double over the edge of the loaf dish. I'm just thrill, it tastes great and I always feel good when my husband will eat lots of slices. I should do it more often! :)

Nevermind that it did take me about 7 hours from start to finish to make those loaves. I used the rising times to sew! I'm happily working on Bonnie's Star Struck... although I think I'm gonna have to call my version "A Day Late and a Dollar Short".

I already mentioned the woes of running out of thread right before I was finished in my previous post. Well yesterday I was sewing on the corner triangles (gotta love 'aim and shoot!') and I was exactly 2 black squares short. D'oh! Today I started to put all pieces into blocks... and you can see that I'm one block shy of 20. I'm planning on more blocks, but I hadn't cut enough black for it yet. I just keep getting the feeling that I'm going to be a little short again and again on this quilt! ;) But it's too pretty and easy to think about giving up. I'm seriously considering making it bed size... for my own bed! What else is a gal supposed to do with her very first batch of hand dyes? :)

And if you want a slice of the bread? Come on over! Although I might need to run to Costco and grab a 50 pound bag of their Bread Wheat flour... but I have plenty of butter. Anybody have some homemade honey? I've tried it before and it's sooooooooo good! :)



DubiQuilts said...

Another great quilt! I hate when i run out of things to finish a project. I am not a good planner. UM the bread look good. Hubby makes bread the 90s way, in a bread maker. He does make mighty good cookies the old fashions way.

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

What a showcase for your hand dyed fabrics. You should definately keep it for yourself!!!

I love the smell of bread baking and have been known to make a loaf or two.

I don't think you can buy sliced bread here in Austria - a standard kitchen utensil in every household is a bread slicer! You get big round balls of bread at the bakery - will have to snap a photo next time I'm there and put it up on my blog!



Dawn said...

Oh your bread looks like it is to die for! I love good homemade bread! mmmm - just plain butter for me!

And your star quilt is so cute - your hand dyes look great in it! And I think you've picked the perfect name for it!!!!

Laurie Ann said...

Really love that quilt. It is perfect for your hand dyes and you should definately make a bed size for yourself. I've got some homemade tayberry jam I can bring over! :)

Crystal Boudreaux said...

LOL I'm with you on the day-late-and-dollar-short business! I'm always missing just enough to aggravate me. Your handdyes are wonderful. I've been wanting to try dying, but just not brave enough yet....

quiltpixie said...

What a beautiful showcase for your first batch of hand dyes. I'm sure you'll really enjoy them on your bed.

cindyquilts said...

Leah ...
Glad to hear I am not the only one! Can't measure and plan for diddly.
As for the bread ... uh huh. I used to grind the wheat to make the flour to make 20 loaves of bread each week. We were fostering teeen boys, need I say more? They all loved the fresh flavor and the toasty kitchen.
Love the blocks you have done, nice work.

Finn said...

Leah, I'm in awe of both the loaves of bread and the newly pieced blocks...! The bread is beautiful..picture perfect. And I absolutely LOVE your choice of fabric for the star struck. Your quilts just get better and better!! Congratulations on hitting 2 home runs in your 7 hours...*VBS*