Okay, so I really do promise to take more pictures of the house, honestly, it’s just not as organized and tidy as I would like it to be before I take pictures.
Instead, getting settled in our new house is taking a new a fun form for me. Namely, a return to real cooking. A return to planning meals that aren’t either two step meals like a frozen stir fry and rice or a heat and eat concoction. We’ve had a lot of both of those in the last two years, but especially in the last couple of months as the move really picked up steam.
My dear friend Jennie gave me a book nearly two years ago for my birthday. When I received it the twins were two months old and I really couldn’t picture ever using it….not that I didn’t want to, but…. It was a book all about how to make healthy breads using a very easy method. And while I love baking, and I love baking bread in particular….I had new mom vision. Namely, I felt like life would never ever ever be anything normal again. I would never have hobbies again. I would never shower on the regular again. Etc.
Thank goodness I’d been through that outlook before and knew that even though I couldn’t bake bread then, and couldn’t even imagine that it would be possible. Someday things would be different. I would just have to wait (possibly 5-6 years).
Apparently I beat my timeline and here I am a mere two years later. Last Tuesday Tommy and the girls went back to work and school, and the twins took a nap at the same time.
I wanted to take advantage of this incredible nap opportunity with no one asleep in my lap. So I pulled out my book and mixed up a batch of dough. The book is Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.
Not only was this method of bread making new to me, but I tried out weighing my ingredients as well. I was always intimidated to do that (despite the fact that we have had a kitchen scale for the purposes of coffee roasting for quite some time) but the book said that weighing was actually easier than measuring with a measuring cup, and I have to say, I found that to be true. I just pushed the tare button between each ingredient so that I could add all ingredients to the same bowl and then mix it up after everything was added. I did end up mixing the dough by hand a little at the end just to get every bit of the flour moistened.
The method is really cool. You mix up a huge batch of wet dough, let it rise on the counter, store it in a non airtight container, and then pull off hunks of it as needed to form loaves. Okay, so there is a little more detail involved, but it really is very simple.
I happen to like traditional break making as well with the kneading and rising and punching down then rising again, and finally baking….but I barely ever have the time to spend all day on a single item like a loaf of bread. And usually, at the end of a bread making day my kitchen is an absolute disaster.
The burning question is probably. Does this really only take five minutes a day?
I will say that at this point in time it is still taking me more than 5 minutes a day on days when I bake (so far I’ve baked twice). The first bake took me about half an hour to an hour to just slowly make sure that I was doing everything correctly. Today was better but, I’m still going back and forth between my recipe book and my baking equipment to make sure I’m doing it right. Today I spent about 10 minutes on bread prep (not including the time that the dough rested and baked).
I pulled the dough out of the refrigerator, set my delay bake feature on my oven for one hour in the future, and then shaped my loaves and placed them on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. The loaves have to rest for 90 minutes before baking.
Right before they went into the oven the loaves got painted with water, sprinkled with poppy seeds (I didn’t have all of the seed mix toppings that the book recommended. So I figured a poppy seed topping was better than leaving it naked), and I cut those attractive little slashes into them.
I have to confess that my baking stone cracked a couple of years ago…and you know, since I haven’t been baking bread or much of anything….I have not yet replaced it. So, at the moment, I’m baking on a cookie sheet (experienced bakers probably just winced). However, I’m actually getting great results even with that minor setback.
I’ll just say that no one in the family is complaining about the crust on the breads that I made this week. I also have to confess that I forgot to take a baked bread photo before we ate it all up. I’m just going to have to remedy that situation by making some more. In case you’re wondering, I highly recommend the book.
**I am an affiliate for target.com, and if you click on a link to the book above and purchase it, I will receive a small commission. The price is the same to you whether you click my affiliate link or not, but I do greatly appreciate the support of anyone willing to purchase through my link.**