Sunday, January 30, 2011

That's How I Roll....

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” James Beard (1903-1985)

Cold weather brings out the baker in me, so making breads & rolls has been my weekly Friday 'thing' to do. It amazes me how tossing together simple basic ingredients ~ all normal every day items found in just about every kitchen ~ results in something most folks totally take for granted & don't really think about...bread. There's nothing like the taste, touch & smell of homemade bread. It's beautiful. And there is a satisfaction of knowing you took that water/milk, flour, sugar or honey, salt, butter, and added that magical ingredient ~ yeast and made it into that simple little thing called 'Our Daily Bread'.

"I am going to learn to make bread to-morrow. So you may imagine me with my sleeves rolled up, mixing flour, milk, saleratus, etc., with a deal of grace. I advise you if you don't know how to make the staff of life to learn with dispatch."
Emily Dickinson, American poet (1830-1886)

Here's some pictures of my adventures in Bread Baking....

My Yeast Runneth Over!
I usually 'proof' or soften the yeast by putting it into some warm water & adding a little bit of sugar. If it bubbles & grows, your good to go. Modern yeast is pretty reliable, so this step may not be essential, but it's still pretty cool to see it change from a grainy teaspoon full of nothing into this...

(I usually don't let it bubble up this much, but I walked away for a few minutes & returned to this!)

Mixing...I use my standup mixer, but usually end up kneading it by hand at the end. In my opinion, at some point in the process, breadmaking should be hands-on.

All kneaded & ready to rise.

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.”
Robert Browning (1812-1889) English poet

Garlic Knots - surprisingly easy to make & quite yummy. I love the texture of this dough.

Cheese Bread - easy, easy, easy! Here it is ready to be baked.

And, after its baked.

Pizza - I've been using the same pizza dough recipe for 20
+ years. It's basic, easy, and just plain good. I've tried other recipes, but just keep coming back to this one.

Cinnamon Bread - still my favorite to make & eat. A slice of cinnamon bread toast is the BEST way to start my day. The aroma that comes from this bread as it's baking is totally beyond words.
"The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight..."
M. F. K. Fisher

Honey Rolls - this is a new favorite of ours. I've been making them in large batches, but tossing most of them into the freezer to bake as we need/want them. Sure beats anything that Pillsbury Doughboy ever baked! I made a batch this morning, at Ian's request, for Youth Breakfast Sunday. Having Ian's best friend telling me 'they were really really really really really good! I ate 5 of them!' makes my heart smile. AND, as far as teenagers... If you bake for them, they will come! =)

"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."John 6:35 (KJV)


Donna said...

Hi Donna!

I definitely need the honey buns recipe, if not all of them. I just love to bake bread, and often have more than we can eat, so I put it in the freezer, too. I've never frozen the dough though, how do you do it?

I've always been a huge believer in, "If you cook it, they will come." Works on the teenagers around here every time. :-)


Marcie said...

Mmmmm,mmmmm! Your bread and rolls look wonderful. I thought you used a bread machine? Now I am thinking I might be able to bake some goodies too since I don't have a bread machine and don't think I'll be getting one. But baking that lovely bread and making butter to go with it looks satisfying. Good for you ma pal!