Precision Timing

The best laid plans... It was all worked out in my mind how I'd have plenty of time to bake two loaves of bread this morning and still have time to make bagels today. Then I received a reminder call from my hairdresser. I'm supposed to get a haircut today, which makes sense because the Einstein's Bagel Shop is right next to my hairdresser...and I was planning to pick up schmears at the same time...and that was what prompted the bagels in the first place...and you can see where my mind left out the critical step of actually driving to my hairdresser's shop and getting my hair cut. Okay, well it's all going to work out, so don't you worry.

This morning I was up at 6:00 a.m. preheating the oven and getting ready to bake yesterday's loaves. They looked like this coming out of the refrigerator after their overnight chill. (I believe this step enhances their flavor.)

These are a Multigrain Sourdough Sandwich Bread loaves from the King Arthur website. The temperatures listed in the recipe are too high, preheating the oven to 500°F and then turning it down to 475°F once the loaves are put into the oven. I turned it down to 450°F and after 20 minutes, down to 425°F. They were very brown by that time, but not yet done, and so I turned it down to 350°F. I was dismayed when after another ten minutes both loaves were very, very brown, but one loaf was not done yet. I removed the loaf that was done, and then covered the other one with foil and gave it another ten minutes. That did the trick. It might have helped if I'd remembered to put a pan of water into the oven to create steam, but no matter. They look pretty darned good to me.

In tomorrow's post, I'll give you a picture of the inside and report back on their flavor. With bread-baking, everything must be individualized, and every recipe adjusted for the conditions in one's own kitchen. For sure, I've discovered that anything hotter than 450°F is going to cause my bread to burn.

It took far longer to get the bread ready for its chill yesterday than anticipated, and so I didn't get to the grocery store until 1:00. That meant I didn't get to sewing until around 3:00. Still, I managed to finish the rest of the hair and head. Now he has an ear on the left side.

And with so much help, how could I go wrong?

Mom! A little purrivacy while I finish bathing, if you don't mind!

With their help, I was able to finish a portion of the kerchief, the shoulder, and most of the arm.

The hand was sewn together too, but I had the pieces put together wrong, wrong fabrics...pretty much everything about it was wrong, and so I took it apart and tried again. About that time, Mike came home, and I had to stop for the day before finishing it.

After all that, we were all plum tuckered out. Smitty decided to take a nap on Sadie's quilt. He hangs off the edge just slightly. Yes, he's become a very big boy.

Sadie said it was okay because she decided to take her nap on the couch.

This morning, while the bread was baking, I put the hand back together. 

It looks a little funny in this picture because there's still a notch of fabric missing from the wrist. What do you want? A blog post, or a finished arm? You can have one or the other, but not both.

And that leads me to bagels. I'm going to start them as soon as I get up out of this chair. They start with a "soaker"...or maybe it's a "sponge"...all these baking terms start running together after a while. It's something to do with water and wetness. Anyway...that has to sit for a couple of hours before I get onto the actual bagels, and so I'll let that do its magic while I get my hair cut. I'll finish the rest this afternoon and bake them off tomorrow morning. It's precision timing at its most precise, if you must know.

So off I go. I'm hoping to get that arm finished today, and then I'll continue on down with a part of the snake's body and back up toward the overalls again. Sewing these together is an orderly process, each step in its turn.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

The bread looks fabulous! Your 'snips' quilt is coming along nicely. Now stopping at a bagel shop, but making your own bagels - that sounds off to me. I'd make it one trip and be done, but I hate to bake.

Denise :) said...

I'll be interested in your bagel baking thoughts. I adore bagels but didn't have good luck the first time I attempted to bake them. Haven't tried again. Your furbabies are so sweet! I miss cat snuggles! :)

Lynette said...

Beautiful bread. And cats crack me up so much - sitting on mini quilts smaller than they are with the same serenity as doing so with a piece of paper. Aren't they great?

Kate said...

The bread looks delicious. Your quilt is really coming along, it's been fun to watch each part develop, like watching a photograph develop.

gpc said...

Your increased confidence since you last took that class is a joy to observe. The photo is coming to life beautifully. Speaking of confidence, Sadie has really come into her own, too -- that must be a good feeling! And your bread . . . . ah, it is so lucky I do not live in your corner of the world. I would not be able to resist becoming a major pest.

claudia said...

Your schedule is tight! I don't do that much and yet still forgot that I had an appointment with my tax person last week. And every day I forget to call to apologize and reschedule. Man, I am rude!
That bread looks delicious. I want some bagels!!!

Brown Family said...

The bread looks yummy! I hope the timing for all of your errands worked out so you could get back to sewing!

Dana Gaffney said...

I'm enjoying your brother coming together, it looks so good especially his head. You know I would just buy bagels while I was there and save time to sew more.

Wendy Tuma said...

Those loaves look delicious! Bet they were too! You were one busy lady, up at 6 and getting all that done. I think I need a nap just after reading your post. Hehe. The quilt is coming along; those little pieces still amaze me. Enjoy your day, noshing on those bagels and whatnot.

Susan said...

The bread looks good and the subject of your quilt is really looking recognizable.

quiltzyx said...

The sandwich sourdough loaves look wonderful. Don't forget to tell us how it tastes as a sandwich!

Sadie & Smitty look so great - settled & shiny. Love Smitty using Sadie's quilt too! Silly boy!

I may have to stop on the way home for a bagel now too.