A Battle Won

It is THANKSGIVING WEEK!! That means… In a few days I get to see my family from out of town and I can hardly wait! I may or may not cry from excitement- blaming it on the pregnancy hormones. 🙂  I’m writing this on Sunday, so bear with me, as you’ll probably be reading this on Tuesday. Last week was a whirlwind and I lacked the foresight and energy to blog. And I really missed it… So I was really looking forward to sitting here with my hot cup of tea, browsing other blogs, and gettin’ back in touch with ya’ll. Oh, and I have K’s snickerdoodle blondies in the oven, ready to take to our church group tonight. There’s cinnamon in the air and it smells so goooood! Have you made them yet??

Last week, I got to go look at nursery colors with my MIL-  She was incredibly sweet and bought our baby bedding so we could hold it up and see what colors looked good with it! I might be the luckiest girl ever to have such a sweet mom-in-law. And after that, I got to spend some time with my other momma! And she taught me how to bake homemade bread and almond rolls, and thus conquer my greatest enemy in the kitchen. Yeast.

I don’t know why I struggled so much with yeast doughs, but I’m happy to say those days are behind me! There’s no better person to learn things than from your momma.

We used the recipe from Southern Living, and I would highly recommend it! You can use this dough for bread, flavored rolls, pizza dough, buns, anything!! It seemed a little complicated to me at first, because we had to have a thermometer to get the liquid mixture to a perfect temp before we could mix it with the dry ingredients, but that’s the nature of yeast! Stupid yeast, why can’t you be easier to use? Anyways, now that yeast and I are friends, I shouldn’t talk like that. (Sorry, I just realized yeast is kind of a gross word. Bear with me. Maybe that’s another reason we didn’t get along.)

 

I think the reason I wanted to master the yeast dough so badly is because it’s one of those things that I have always pictured making for my family on special occasions– cinnamon rolls on Sunday mornings… homemade bread with jam… My grandma would always make sticky buns for me during my college Thanksgiving stay at their house, and it was definitely a highlight that I always looked forward to! It’s just one of those things I associate with family, I guess. Plus… nothing- and I repeat, nothing tastes better than bread straight from the oven.

Mom and I made whole wheat bread, but the dough recipe I want to share with you is their Basic White Bread– That’s what we used for the almond rolls and it’s a guaranteed delicious bread recipe as well!

 

~M

P.S. Now that homemade bread is a must… I am considering the option of a bread machine. My mother in law offered to let me give hers a whirl to see if I like it. I shall report back!

 

Do any of you have bread machines?

Basic White Bread

recipe from the Southern Living Cookbook

prep: 40 min  cook: 50 min  other: 2 hours

Ingredients

About 7 1/4 cups all purpose flour, divided

3 Tbsp sugar

2 1/2 tsp salt

2 (1/4 oz) packets active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup milk

3 Tbsp butter

Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl; stir well. Combine water, milk , and butter; heat until butter melts, stirring often. Cool to 120-130 degrees.

Gradually add liquid mixture to flour mixture, beating well at high speed with an electric mixer. Beat 2 more minutes at medium speed. Gradually add 3/4 cup flour, beating 2 minutes at medium speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Turn dough out on a floured surface (mom and I left the dough in the mixing bowl and kneaded it in there, and let it rise in the same bowl) knead until smooth and elastic (10 minutes) Shape into a ball; place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (we turned the oven on and let it barely heat up, then turned it completely off and set the dough inside) (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Divide dough in half. Roll 1 portion of dough into a 14×7 inch rectangle. Roll up dough, starting at narrow end, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch ends to seal. Place dough, seam side down, in a well-greased 9×5 inch loafpan. Repeat procedure with remaining dough.

Cover and let rise in a arm place, free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove bread from pans immediately; cool on wire racks.

Yield: 2 loaves.

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