Friday, March 03, 2006

Mutant Bread and Wolves

Wanting a little more variety in our bread life besides "Basic Whole Wheat Bread", I bought a 25 pound bag of Bread Flour from Costco. This flour has been doing just fine with pizza. I also wanted to try a new bread recipe - it even had milk in it. The book said to scald it... I had no idea what that meant! So I googled and the first page I came up with said to turn your stove on high with the milk in a pan and leave the room. Come back when you smell something unpleasent and proceed to throw away the milk and the pan! Uhhh... :) The next site said the best way would be to use a thick bottom pan, heat on medium and stir a lot - works for me!

Working the liquids into the flour was a nightmare. The milk made it very sticky and I just could not get the dough to mix well! Talk about frustration. I ended up saying heck with it and dumping it into the bowl to rise. A very lumpy blob. :) I even sent an email to my husband whining that the bread wasn't looking very good and I should just throw it out and why do I do this to myself?!

And it rose. Huh. Not very high or anything, but maybe it was gonna make it after all. It was much easier to handle after two proofings. So plowing on, make them into loaves, let that rise, pop them into the oven and wish them the best of luck!

After 25 minutes of cooking, I decided to peek on them... surely they're looking ok... oh heck!!! They were brushing the oven's top coils! Wow! Yank them out, lower the oven rack and let them finish cooking. I had to peek a few more times, just to make sure they weren't trying to explode out of the oven. ;)

What a nice turn of events for me. And one slice is so filling! And best of all, the bread slid out of the dishes easily. My last two batches have been I'll-fight-you-and-get-you-out-even-if-it's-the-last-thing-I-ever-do! Eh, they did come out a little scarred. :P But today's? Slid out with a mere shaking of the upturned dish. So come on over... it's gonna take us a while to get through these loaves! :)

And just for some eye candy... here's a quilt an aunt commissioned me to do for her son's retiring teacher last spring. The teacher had a passion for... wolves! Betcha you could never guess that. ;)

There were 19 students and each of them drew a wolf face. My aunt printed them out and I framed them with wolf-related fabric. Each wolf drawing was a different size! Thank goodness for my 12.5" square ruler! And yup, scrappy snuck in again. I. can't. help. it! :) (And if anybody's interested, the middle wolf in the second left row was made by my cousin).

Of course, 19 doesn't work well in quilt tops, so I had to come up with a 20th block.

I actually made two of each block - different fabrics, of course - and use the other 4 for the corners of the quilt. Also my first attempt at free-motioning with my machine - all the loopies in the border. Wasn't brave enough to try it around the drawings, so they got "framed" with outline around each one. The only thing that I'd change about this quilt is to do the quilting differently. I'm braver now. :)



JudyL said...

Quilt looks great . . bread looks fantastic! I'm kinda hungry right now! :) My white bread recipe has milk in it and the way I scald it is by heating it on low til it almost starts to bubble. I don't let it come to a simmer.

Amazing that you were thinking of throwing it out and it turned out so good.

Judy L.

deputyswife said...

I have a hard time with yeast breads also. I prefer to make sweet breads. My favorite is pumpkin raisin. I usually make whatever is in season like rhubarb, zucchini, or apple.

I liked the wolf quilt!

Finn said...

The troublesome bread looks great glad it turned out better than it started. It's really a beautiful picture!

And I really like the wolf did a neat job of it, and it feels very creative..*S* I like your solution to the 19 blocks part...LOL..good thinking!

Laura said...

The bread looks so good! My son would love to have the wolf quilt. He plans on studying the gray wolf when he gets into his zoology major.