I meant to write this post yesterday, but got busy and before you know it the day got away from me…not to mention I didn’t feel well last night and my mood was not conducive to blogging. So lots going on for me lately, although I haven’t really blogged about it…so to catch you all up:
My son came home from school yesterday with his first simple sentence books that he read to me all by himself. My son can read! I am so proud of him and excited too. Whole new worlds open up to a child once they can read, and I am thrilled for Evan. We will continue to work together, and look out chapter books, here we come!
All this past weekend I wanted to make some home made cheddar bacon bread. I’ve made it before using frozen bread dough with results that were alright, but wanted to do it from scratch using a recipe for white bread from the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion cookbook. I am a huge fan of the King Arthur Flour Company and their products and have purchased many products from them over the years from mixes to unique baking pans. Some things are overpriced and can be found elsewhere for less, but there’s a great selection of products that can only be found there and they are well worth the price.
Anyhow, I didn’t end up baking bread at all over the weekend, I was too busy running around with my brothers and my sister. On Valentine’s night my sister and I went to see the movie Taken. Pretty good movie for what it was, and I love Liam Nieson in anything. I would rent it on DVD, but I wouldn’t buy it. Fast forward to Monday, when I got to bake my bread at last. I used the following recipe for the white bread:
White Bread 101
3 C. (12 3/4 oz.) unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp. salt
3 TBSP sugar
4 TBSP butter
1/4 C. nonfat dry milk
1/4 C. potato flour, or 1/3 C. potato flakes
1 1/8 C. lukewarm water
Combine all ingredients and mix and knead them together–by hand, mixer or bread machine–until you’ve made a soft, smooth dough. Adjust the dough’s consistency with additional flour or water as needed, but remember, the more flour you add while you’re kneading, the heavier and drier your final loaf will be. Cover and let the dough rise for 1 hour, until it’s puffy (though not necessarily doubled in bulk).
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and shap it into an 8 inch log. Transfer the log to a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan, cover the pan (a proof cover works well here), and let the bread rise until the outer edge has risen about 1 inch over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Uncover the pan and bake th bread for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil for the final 10 to 15 minutes if it appears to be browning to quickly. Remove the bread from the oven, take it out of the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool completely. After 15 minutes, brush it with butter, if desired; this will give it a soft crust.
To Make Cheddar Bacon Bread:
2 packets of cheese powder from boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
1 lb. cooked bacon, crumbled
Prepare two double batches of White Bread 101. I used my stand mixer, preparing one double batch at a time. After the first rise, divide the dough into two pieces and pat each into a 6 x 9 inch rectangle. Sprinkle half a packet of cheese powder over each. Sprinkle 1/4 of the cooked, crumbled bacon over each. Roll up each loaf, top to bottom, or side to side, whichever is easiest for you.
With a baker’s bench knife (dough scraper)?chop the loaf on an angle in 1 to 1 1/2 inch segments. The cheese and bacon filling may start to fall out–this is okay. Take the chopped loaf and roll it up again, gathering stray bacon pieces into the dough as you go. Chop the loaf on an angle again. Repeat this process one more time, or until the bacon and cheese powder are distributed nicely throughout the loaf. Shape your loaves a final time for baking, and finish following the directions for White Bread 101. Enjoy!
In other news, I finally got my office clean and organized! I am so happy with it. I posted pics of the before and after on the blog at Too Faboo, click here to see the difference! This did take me two weeks longer to complete than my original deadline, but given how many other things I’ve gotten done in the interim, I don’t really feel too badly about it. Stay tuned for my next blog posting, I’ll be showing off Evan’s new chalkboard wall, one of the projects I recently finished, much to the delight of my little man.
Until next time,