Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A (much) Better Day

My rump hurts from all the kicking I've been giving it these past few days so I thought I'd give it a rest and do something that is both constructive AND make me feel better.

Like tackling the List-of-Things-to-Do-Around-the-House and Resolutions. Remember that one about baking bread at least once a month. So far I have held true to the pledge and I thought why not today?

I love the smell of dough with yeast. I was pondering making an herbal bread recipe when Rachel called to tell me she was making pistachio bread! Well, that did it. Here we are, two generations four states apart comparing recipes and expounding on the joy of kneading. I prefer to use my KitchenAid mixer but she's a massage therapist with strong arm muscles (and no mixer of her own) (yet), and did the old-fashion way.

My bread is cheddar sage bread recipe I got off of GardenWeb and changed a few things around.

Cheddar Sage Bread

1/2 tsp dry mustard
3 tbls fresh sage, minced
2 - 2 1/2 cups flour (I prefer bread flour, but all purpose will work just fine)
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
1 cup milk
3 oz shredded sharp cheddar
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 tbls sugar
1 tbls oil
1 egg
2 tbls butter (optional)

Dissolve mustard in 1 tsp. warm water. Combine 2 cups flour, 1 cup wheat flour with salt, pepper, and sage. Warm the milk.
In a large mixing bowl combine the milk, yeast, (I always proof yeast PRIOR to adding it*) sugar, and oil. Stir or process to combine. Add the egg and mix well. Add cheese. Add mustard and flour mixtures, adding more white flour as necessary so mixture forms a stiff dough and comes together in a ball.
Turn dough out onto floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as necessary, about 10 minutes. (or use a mixer master)
Put dough in a lightly buttered bowl and turn to coat top. Cover with towel and let rise until doubled, about an hour. Punch down, shape in a loaf, place on baking paper on cookie sheet (or in a form if you want a specific shape) let rise until doubled, another hour.
Heat oven to 375. (optional- Melt butter. Brush loaf with melted butter) and bake until loaf is golden brown, about 50 minutes. Cool on rack.
Oh heck, don't bother cooling it. Just slice in and try not to eat the whole loaf.

I started this morning off by marching my bruised rump down to the scene of the crime and pruning all the dead leaves away from the affected tomato plants. I just couldn't stand the reminders of my folly taunting me. They look better now. And at LEAST I didn't douse all of them with the spray to the point of no return. But SOME of them are dreadful. Ah me.

The chickens cheered me up. Rooster Stu may well have earned a stay of eviction. For now at least. I watered the raised beds well and came away with 4 tomatillos. I may have picked them a little too early but I'll leave them on the counter for a day or two and see if they ripen like a tomato. Anyone out there know something about tomatillos?


Rachel said...

MMMMM I can't wait to try this bread. YUMMY! Also, the asparagoose beds look great.

Cats and Quilts said...

It is really good. I made another loaf yesterday and now that reread this post, I realize I forgot to add the mustard..... hmmmmmm.