#47 and #48 marbled rye and bread dough sculptures

It has been a while since I acutally made this rye bread, but I am feeling rather burnt out on typing all these directions.  So please oh please, make some of these breads, so all my efforts are not in vain.  It will be fun, I promise.

This one I cannot pass a true judgement on because I used white whole wheat flour for the whole thing quite by accident!  It took me a week to realize why it was so tough.  It was baffling.  Regardless, it was a beauty and makes a large amount of bread to enjoy.

light rye-

stir together 1.5 cups of white rye flour and 3 cups of white flour, pinch of salt, 2 tsp. yeast, and 1.5 tsp. of caraway seeds.  Dd 1 tablespoon of molasses, 2 tablespoons of softened butter, and 1.25 cups of water.  Mix until it becomes a ball adding more water only if necessary.  Knead for about 8 minutes and place in a buttered bowl covered with a towel.

dark rye-

mix same ratio of flour and salt and yeast, molasses, caraway seeds, and butter together then add in 2 heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder.  Knead for 8 minutes and place in a buttered bowl with a towel on top.  Let rise for about an hour and a half until doubled.

To marble-

There are three ways you can marble.  You can flatten both the light and dark rye, place one on top of the other and tightly roll them up.  Or you can roll a log with half the dark and flatten the rest rolling them up around the log to form a bull’s eye, or you can chunk up each and smash them together all willy nilly.  Each will make two loaves no matter which way you marble it.  Place them into a buttered bread pan and let rise until about an inch over the top of the pan.

Brush with a beaten egg and one tsp. of water.  Place into a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until it registers at 190 or until it sounds good and hollow when you tap the bottom.

And for the sculpted dough bread….

Odd choice I am sure, but with a sick boy watching (gasp!) a movie… I decided to do something fun.  My Nana gave me a ginormous tub full of magazines, patterns, ideas and general crafting glory a few months back and I will tell you, it is the gift that keeps on giving.  I found this inside a Decorating and Craft Ideas Magazine, which sadly is no longer being published.  This magazine is so glorious.  It has everything from needle point to painting to baking to weaving pine needles for goodness sake!  It is the thing (my) dreams are made of.

So off with you!  Follow my directions, make your family something soothing and crisp on a cold november night.  You only have 48 to choose from!  Whew!

#46 Acorn squash bread Stuffing with cherries and pecans

While stuffing surely isn’t bread, it isn’t exactly anything else though now is it?!  So, because I make up the rules, I am including my stuffing recipe.

Make two loaves of Acorn Squash Bread.

Let it get stale for two days, or slice and chop and toast in the lowest setting your oven has for a few hours.  Sauté an onion and about 5 stalks of celery with the leaves in some butter.  Toss the bread chunks in.  Mix in about 3-4 tablespoons of sage and rosemary and thyme all freshly chopped.  And about 1-2 tablespoons of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley (although I am quite sure curly would be fantastic too).  Toss in 3/4 cup of chopped pecans and 3/4 cup of dried cherries.  Melt 2 sticks of butter and pour in coating evenly throughout.  Finally gently fold in 1/2 cup of whole milk.  Salt to taste, and place in a baking dish in the oven at 350 for about 2 hours.  Or of course you could stuff it into your turkey!

Somehow I managed to delete all my thanksgiving preparation photographs… That is the downfall of digital I suppose!  So, you will have to use your imagination, but don’t strain too hard, it looked exactly like all stuffings do, just with cherries….

Bread #45 Acorn Squash Bread

A bread with squash is like a cookie with chocolate chips.  It just makes sense!!  This recipe is so wonderful and beautiful nd moist and well generally delicious!

Acorn Squash Loaf

Pop the whole acorn squash in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes until it is fork tender.  Scoop out the seeds, feed em to your chickens or toss em, and peel the skin.  Plop the yummy orange pulp into a bowl and let it cool until your dough is ready.

Combine 4 tsp. of yeast, one tablespoon sugar, and a half a cup of warm water in a bowl and let it proof.  After about five minutes, add in 3 tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon salt and two eggs.  Blend it all up until there is no lumps.  Add in up to 4 cups of flour alternating with the squash until you have the whole squash incorporated and the dough is springy and smooth.  Shape it into a ball and let it proof in a buttered bowl covered with a damp towel.  Let it double in bulk.

Punch the dough down, shape back into a ball and let it rest for a few more minutes.  Split into two equal balls and using the envelope method of making a loaf fold her up.  Place each loaf into a buttered loaf pan.  Let them rise once more until doubled.

Brush with an egg wash (one egg beat until frothy with a touch of cream) and place in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes until it registers at 190 or sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom.

Bread #44 Cinnamon Buns

It is almost finals for that man of mine… which translates to he might as well sleep at his office for he NEVER is home…  which is the equivalent of saying I am desperately searching all avenues of comfort after wrangling two crazy boys all day.  Typically that comes in the form of a certain golden liquid but also, more often than not, it appears in the form of a baked good.  So, this week, I chose the gloriously gooey cinnamon bun.

And what a choice it was.

Looks like the frosting pouring got a little of hand….

Cinnamon buns

Cream 6.5 tablespoons of sugar with 5.5 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of dried milk until smooth.  Add in an egg and 1 tsp. of almond extract.  Add 3.5 cups of all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of yeast and 1 cup of water and mix until the dough forms a ball.  Knead for about 15 minutes adding flour as needed.  Flip into an oiled bowl and let ferment for 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface until about 2/3 of an inch thick.  Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar.  Roll it up and slice em.  They should be about 1.5 inches thick for each slice.  Place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with plastic for about an hour and a half until they are all giant and touching one another.

Place them in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  Once they are golden brown you can take them out.  When they have cooled just a bit pour the frosting on.  Oh yes, this is how you make the classic fondant-  Mix about 4 cups of sifted confectioners sugar into a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of almond extract.  Add one tablespoon at a time of warm milk until the mix is quite thick.  You will probably add 4-6 tablespoons.

Oh yes.  Comfort Food.  Delicious heated up the next day too.  Or even enjoyed straight of the fridge in desperate times.

Bread #41 Sarabeth’s House Bread

I have been thinking lately… why so many breads?  Why?  For this is surely a hefty resolution I have been quite adamant about keeping, so how come?  Of course I have pondered this before and it seems that each time I come up with a different logic.

But, this time I think I have figured it out once and for all.

Each time, I stand in front of my cook book filled window frame, sighing and squinting trying to decide where I shall find my inspiration for the day, a little man no bigger than two and a half feet tall, with a dirty blonde mushroom cut, comes and stands beside me.  Silent.  Sometimes he asks, “What kind are you making today mama?”.

This question usually elicits a simple response.  We take a few books down and drool over the gorgeous loaves and their possibilities.  And then, we begin.  My sweet boy perches on the counter kneading his little piece and playing with the spices while I step over my other little cherub time and time again as he “mixes” some concoction of his own.

Perhaps, this is the thing their first memories will be made of.  Perhaps the yeasty smell of dough rising will remind them of their old mama one day.  Maybe the sight of a home-made bagel or slice of toast will bring back a flood of memories of their first days walking around this here life they live.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

For it is true, so many days, I wonder if I fail them.  So many times I think to myself, “Now, I could have done that quite differently.”  Or I silently scorn myself for losing my temper.  Or I wish I had taken that incident more in stride.  You get the idea.

But, while so many moments are hurried and frazzled (or perhaps filled with guilt), with two little ones in tote, these days of bread rising and baking are good.  Maybe even peaceful.

The most recent loaf was mixed up for the vegan and dairy intolerant of the crowd at a recent pot luck the boys and I went to.  The ladies there were oh-so-sweet, a breath of fresh air really.  Us girls are like that aren’t we?  It seems like you get a group of ladies together, with kind hearts, and there is no end to the amount of sweet words that flow around.  It is really something.

This loaf is tweaked a bit from its original Sarabeth’s House Bread.  She included sunflower seeds and I just didn’t have any.  But, I did have pumpkin seeds so I chopped and sprinkled and it turned out just fine.

Sprinkle 3.5 teaspoons of yeast over 1/4 cup of warm water.  Add in 2 cups of cold water and 1/4 cup of honey when the yeast begins to froth.  Combine 3 cups of wheat flour, 2 1/4 cups of bread flour, 2 tablespoons of yellow cornmeal (stone ground grits here), 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds, 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, and 2 tablespoons of crushed pumpkin seeds in a large bowl.  Slowly add the yeast mix.  When it becomes to difficult to stir place on a dusted with flour surface and knead away.  Five or ten minutes should do.

Let it rise in an olive oiled (or buttered if dairy is ok with you) bowl for about an hour until its doubles.

Cut the dough in half and flatten out then roll into a loaf, sealing the sides as you go.  Place in an oiled bread pan and let rise in a plastic bag with a tall cup of hot water holding the middle of the bag up.  This is a fantastic way to let all your bread rise I have found.

After about 45 minutes your bread should dome over the top of the pan.  At this point brush them both with a beaten egg quite thoroughly.  If you would like coat the tops with pumpking seeds.  I found that to be a delicious addition in one of my loaves.  The picture doesn’t show it, but this was such a good loaf I made it twice, the second time experimenting with the pumpkin seeds.  Finally, place them in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Cool and slice.

I always try to reach back for my first memories.  I try so hard my brain hurts.  And as far as I can tell, it is either riding on the bike seat past mackerel cove with my dad, or tasting sand at the beach for the first time.  Whichever happened first, they both bring a smile to my face.  What is your oldest memory?