As I've mentioned before, bread-baking is like quilting in that I have a to-do list now of breads I want to bake. Yesterday, I decided it was time to try a good old American sandwich loaf. White bread. My chosen recipe came from this book that just recently made its way onto my bookshelf:
It was a simple bread that could be made in about 5 hours. I first whisked bread flour, salt, and rapid-rise yeast in the bowl of my mixer. Then I whisked whole milk, water, honey, and a little melted butter in a separate bowl. Then I turned on my mixer with the dough hook and slowly poured the liquid ingredients into the dry. It took about two minutes for all the dry flour to be incorporated and then I let it knead for another 8 minutes.
It made a nice soft dough that was put into a large bowl to rise for two hours. Isn't it cute?
After two hours, it looked like this...and maybe it doesn't look like it's doubled in volume to you, but it has.
Then I stretched it into a 6 x 8 rectangle and rolled it into a tight little log. It went into a loaf pan where it was allowed to rise for another 90 minutes.
Then into a 350°F oven for 35 minutes and Voila! Isn't that gorgeous?
It was hard to wait to cut into it, but I waited about 2/3 the designated time...a heroic effort if I do say so myself. It's very soft and so delicious, and I'll just say that it smelled heavenly.
It was really pretty easy to make...painless, you might say. I'll definitely be making this again and again. It's the sandwich bread of my dreams. There's also a way to make it whole wheat by substituting some whole wheat flour for the white flour, adding a little toasted wheat germ, and a little bit more honey. Yum. The loaf is half gone now, so I'll be making it again very soon.
Yesterday's mail was a treasure trove. I'm gearing up to make a baby quilt for a friend's grandbaby due in June. The request was for an elephant theme done up in pastel grays and aquas. I did a quick search for an elephant baby quilt and came up with this Mommy & Me pattern.
Cute, huh? I have plenty of fabrics already in my stash to use for this, but I needed something for the back and something for those large polka dots. As long as I was looking, I also found a pastel gray for the background behind the elephants. I'll use stuff from my stash for the rest, but these are the fabrics I purchased. The one on the left is for the quilt back.
"Aqua" is kind of a hard color. Is it blue? Is it green? Is it aquamarine? Anyway...I'm trusting my fabric choices will be good enough.
As for the rest, here are some other goodies I picked up, mostly so that I could qualify for free shipping. I was thinking about the Solstice blocks coming up. The one on the right below was purchased as a possibility for an April Fool's Day block. I already did one for Matthew's birthday on April 2nd, and so an April Fool's Day block would be a week late. On the other hand...my quilt, so my rules.
The one on the left above is for an Easter-themed block, but also, I want to make this little table runner recently published on the Moda Bake Shop. Did you see this? The "recipe" is right here.
It's a little late to be starting quilts for Easter, but this will go together quickly, and then I'll be ready for an Easter table next year.
But that's not all. I was still thinking about the Solstice Challenge when I chose these fabrics. I think these will help make a celebration block for Mike's retirement.
And then there's this, which was the one disappointment from the lot of them. I got this for an "April Showers bring May Flowers" block, but this is minky! I knew I would do that eventually. I totally missed the fact that it was minky. It's hardly worth the effort to return it, and so now I'm stuck with it.
Finally, I was on the lookout for fabrics that might work with my scrub jay quilt. The one on the left will be great in some of the gray parts, and the one on the right will work for the blues, of course.
So today is Smitty's 5th birthday. I know...hard to believe he was once little like this, isn't it?
We're celebrating with a trip to the vet. I know he'll be thrilled about that. He just needs his rabies vaccine, and so it'll be a quick trip. Even so, the ride in the car is the same distance, which is to say, too far. Commence me-howling now. After that, one more housekeeping chore, and then I'm going to get started on my little bunny table runner.