Teacher, Student, And Grader - Heidi's Book of Noms Blog at Allrecipes.com - 90717

Heidi's Book of Noms

Teacher, Student, and Grader 
 
Apr. 20, 2009 9:11 pm 
Updated: Apr. 22, 2009 4:21 am
On nights when I know I'll be eating alone I feel like the kitchen is my girl-cave. No one to rush dinner for, no one to turn their nose up at an ingredient that they will eat but prefer to not eat or push around out of the way, no one to be polite when it turns out bad or meh...These kinds of nights are when I roam free. I try new things, which excites me (did you know the brain has a tendency to over-exaggerate the anticipated benefit or cost of something that hasn't happened to it yet?).

Of course, it's MORE fun when you get to share with others. You guys have it best! You only spend a few minutes reading and drooling over eye-candy pictures, then you get to move on with your lives and tastebuds intact.

In any case, I give myself a solid E for effort for the past few days efforts. E is a good letter. Turn it down and its a table. Turn it up and its a handy utensil caddy. Being not only the teacher, but the student and the grader, I'm going to give myself whatever grade I want to. Actually, if you consider that E is the 5th out of 26 letters, it's a good grade. We really should make more use of the rest of the letters and get rid of + and -.

But I digress. This happens often when vodka is involved (by the way, if I ever start posting about making my own booze, please, come find me, take me to a farm out in the country, put me down).

Saturday was a peaceful day. I woke up early and decided to make some homemade bread. Dad's delicious white bread. It was the loaf that got me hooked on homemade bread. It's a good late lunch bread because it takes over 3 hours to get ready. I had never made Dad's bread before. I was nervous. Dad's always do things the right way. They just know.

Okay, so really, I have learned that bread is fairly simple once you have a few tools under your belt. Magicians have to have SOME tricks I suppose. Dad can hold on to his red beans and rice tricks for some later date. Actually, there are some recipes on this site similar to this called Amish White Bread; they are in general the same recipe...just minus my awesome instructions for bread newbs.

Dad's Delicious White Bread

Makes: 2 loaves
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 20

Ingredients

5 1/2 to 6 cups bread flour
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 packages active dry yeast
2 cups water
1/4 cup shortening or oil
1 to 2 cups water

Directions

1. Turn the oven on 200F or WARM for 2 minutes, then turn off and crack door.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
3. In a small saucepan, heat water and shortening until very warm (120 to 130F). It is not necessary to melt the shortening completely.
4. Add warm liquid to dry mixture. If using a mixer, blend with the paddle attachment at low or stir speed until moistened; beat for 3 min at 2 (medium) speed. If by hand, stir the batter for the same time, 4 minutes.
5. Stir in 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour until dough pulls cleanly away from sides of bowl. If by hand, it may be necessary to work the last cup of flour in with your hands, not a spoon. If by mixer, it may be necessary to stop the mixer in between adding cups and scrape batter from the side of the bowl.
6. Let the dough rest; while resting, microwave about 1 cup of water. Place the water in a shallow bowl or pan in the oven, on the bottom rack.
7. Return to the dough. If by hand, turn to a lightly floured surface and knead it about 10 minutes with a strong push-turn-fold action or until dough is smooth and elastic with blisters under the surface. If by mixer, attach the dough hook and knead for 2 minutes on medium (2) speed, dusting the sides of bowl with flour as needed.
8. Place dough in greased bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap or greased wax paper, and a cloth towel. Let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
9. Punch down the dough several times to remove all air bubbles. Divide dough into 2 parts; mold into balls. Allow the dough to rest on a greased counter, covering each with a large inverted bowl, for 15 minutes.
10. Shape into two loaves as follows; remove air pockets by working dough with hands or rolling into two 14x7-inch rectangles. Starting from shorter side, roll up, then pinch edges together firmly to seal. If loaves are too long, fold over the ends and pinch down to the loaf. Place loaves seam side down into prepared pan. Cover with greased wax paper; let rise in warm place until dough fills pan and tops of loaves are about 1 inch above pan edges, about 1 hour.
11. Heat the water again in the microwave for 5 minutes. Pour the water into a shallow oven safe container and place in the oven. Preheat to 375F. When oven is ready, remove water or place on rack below the loaves. Bake the loaves at 375F for 45 to 55 minutes until loaves sound hollow when tapped.
12. Remove from pans immediately; cool on racks. If desired, for soft crusts brush tops of loaves with melted butter.

Footnote

If making at high altitude (above 3500 FT) omit 1 package yeast. This recipe uses the "no dissolve yeast" method. With this method, the water temperature is warmer (120 to 130F) than in the "traditional" proof method. Use a yeast or candy thermometer for greatest accuracy. You don't have to use the water in the oven as I mentioned above, but I think it does help create a light, airy texture.


So that bread was a smashing success, an A, a grand slam. I just ate that bread on Saturday and felt no worse for it. It was finished off today before a group of family and friends at the office. RIP good friend.

The theme on Sunday was being creative to make use of several ingredients that were going or would be bad shortly. Carrots from the carrot cake, the second loaf of bread from Saturday, and leftover frozen chicken nuggets. Also an assortment of onion, old celery, and old lemon.

I served carrot soup with croutons and herbed chicken nuggets. It seemed like a small dinner, but turned out to be just right...filling and warm, but not heavy. I dunno about you but I can't stand the "stuffed" feeling after some meals.

Hmm...this post is quite long. I will continue it Wednesday as tomorrow is company celebration and weekly beer night. The carrot soup you really HAVE to try, especially if you've got about 1 lb of carrots and no excuses. The wheat cracker experience from tonight is worth a read. Also, I'm going to attempt "Clone of a Cinnabon" Wednesday evening/Tuesday morning to celebrate our company's first iPhone title, Underworlds, getting approved by Apple just a few hours ago. The vodka did have a reason, see?
 
Comments
Apr. 21, 2009 5:40 am
I was intimidated to make the Clone of a Cinnabon recipe at first but it was easy and so delicious. Enjoy your beer night tonight Heidi!
 
Heidi 
Apr. 21, 2009 2:04 pm
Thanks, I certainly will! :D You come to Austin every so often, right? We're going to Guero's tonight...if you've never been you should - really great Austin tex-mex joint. Right now though I am JONESING for some cinnamon rolls! I don't have a bread machine but I think I got the nub and gist of how it works.
 
Apr. 21, 2009 3:23 pm
Yes, my husband went to college at the UT so we have a lot of friends there. I know how fun are the nights in downtown Austin (6th St or Ave???, not sure), great restaurants and friendly people. I don't think we are going this year because we have already made plans to go somewhere else, but I would love to go to those concerts in September at the UT.
 
Apr. 22, 2009 4:21 am
Uh huh, I was wondering what was causing the digression!! You go, Girl!
 
 
 
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Heidi

Home Town
Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
Living In
Lima, Ohio, USA

Member Since
May 2007

Cooking Level
Intermediate

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Vegetarian, Quick & Easy

Hobbies
Scrapbooking, Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Camping, Walking, Fishing, Hunting, Photography, Reading Books, Genealogy

Links
 
 
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About Me
I enjoy trying new recipes and unusual ingredients. There are few foods I will turn down without a second thought - sweets is one of them, and fiery hot spicy food is the other. As I'm getting older that is changing, though. I love reading cook books and doing research about food. It fascinates to no end! I usually create a recipe from several different ones. On the non-cooking side of things, I'm a Christian, native Texan and faithful Longhorn with two cats and a great boyfriend! I love the outdoors and spending time with my family and friends. I'm also somewhat obsessed with the nuclear winter and extreme survival situations.
My favorite things to cook
In general I try to cook from scratch. Any kind of bread - rolls, loaves, boules, baguettes, buns, biscuits, quick breads - will catch my eye. Pastas, soups, and cookies. I am absolutely in love with cake batter. Once I had a party in middle school where we just made a bunch of cakes and ate the batter.
My favorite family cooking traditions
The Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey/waldorf salad/mashed potatoes with gravy by my mom, buttermilk biscuits on Sunday morning before church from my Dad, grilling hamburgers in the summer in the backyard, black eyed peas for new years dinner, decorating sugar cookies on Christmas Eve with my sister, coffee any time of the night.
My cooking triumphs
I can rival my dad in his biscuit making ability. I have the perfect dinner roll recipe - my very own. I taught myself how to make jam and jelly. I taught myself how to make bread!
My cooking tragedies
dense as a stone wheat bread, homemade condensed milk tastes weird key lime pie, onions and sugar have no place hanging out together in mashed sweet potato, there's nothing puffy about my lemon meringue, and the bottom of the fish tank poached salmon.
 
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