Friday, January 20, 2017

Baking Bread /// Loaves for Session

One of the goals that I have for this legislative session has nothing to do with politics at all. It is to learn how to bake bread. Like, legit bake bread.

Baking bread proved to be therapeutic for me the first session when I had two itty bitty kids. (4 and 2 years old). Wednesdays were always my hardest days so I redeemed them by filling my home with the smell of warm, yeasty, gluten.

But last session I had a BABY - a real, live screaming and crying and crawling newborn - and baking bread was a far cry from the survival mode that I was perpetually in.

Baking bread - if you are unfamiliar with the process - can take a TON of time. Lots of rising and kneading and baking time. For me, it seems to be a symbol of an idealized life that is slow, romantic, calm and quiet - something that I desire but God simply doesn't have for me in this season.

I crave the still, quiet, slow, peace, warmth. There are nuggets of these traits in our daily life, but it just isn't where we are. And I'm good with that - but it doesn't mean I don't think about making our home a little less noisy, a little more calm and a little less crazy. We live - despite all of our efforts - fast paced, ever-changing, slightly chaotic, fun and full lives. There's nowhere I'd rather be, in all honesty, but just like the saying goes - the grass is always greener on the other side.

So instead of letting my heart continue to long for something that God has not called our family to at this moment - I bake.

For Christmas, my beautiful sister in law got me the Test Kitchen's Bread Illustrated. I am more than a tad excited about this cookbook - adding it to my ever growing collection of favorite books in my home. I actually think that I would risk my life, if my house was on fire, to go back in and save my cookbook collection.

This week I started off with the Easy Sandwich Bread. I used the wrong size pan - it was a little larger than what was called for - so I think my bread looked a little flat. But it tasted fluffy and, honestly, just like honey wheat sandwich bread I buy at the store! 


I'd love for y'all to follow me along on this journey... to yeasted heaven.  Grab yourself a copy of this sweet little cookbook!!! If I can do it, you can do it too (with the help of the Test Kitchen)!!! Promise!

In no particular order, here are the loaves I will be aiming for ::

1. Quick Cheese Bread (page 41)
2. Almost No-Knead Bread (page 52)
3. Classic Italian Bread (page 55)
4. Easy Sandwich Bread (page 59)
5. Fluffy Dinner Rolls (page 63)
6. Popovers (page 148)
7. Thin Crust Whole Wheat Pizza (page 184)
8. American Sandwich Bread - Whole Wheat (page 89)
9. Rustic dinner Rolls (page 129)
10. Morning Buns (page 226)
11. Pan Grilled Flatbread (page 72)
12. Potato Dill Sandwich Bread (page 102)
13. Kaiser Rolls (page 151)
14. Yeasted Donuts (page 279)
15. Butter Fan Rolls (page 67)
16. Deli Rye Bread (page 115)
17. Cheddar and Black Pepper Bread (page 314)
18. Ciabatta (page 345)
19. English Muffins (page 159)
20. No Knead Brioche (page 98)
21. Honey Wheat Dinner Rolls (page 133)
22. Ballpark Pretzels (page 177)

Let me know if you join in on the fun!!! You can follow along on Instagram here. 

Happy baking, y'all!

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