Friday, 25 July 2008

More Bread and some Thrifting

I've continued trying different things from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book. The oatmeal bread worked OK although I think I may have given it too long in the initial rise, it tasted good which is the important thing.

For dinner last weekend, on a night when my husband and I would be out in the evening and need to eat dinner soon after getting home, I made pizza. I mixed up half a batch of olive oil dough (I used whole wheat bread dough for one of the cups of flour) right before we went out which meant that when we arrived home it was time to heat the oven and make the pizza. While the oven heated I cooked up some onion to which I added kale, beet greens and scapes (all from our farmers market) and some balsamic vinegar. That mixture went on one of the pizzas along with mushrooms, tomato paste with oregano and basil and then topped with fresh mozzarella. The other pizza (which I thought my daughter was more likely to eat) had tomato paste and pesto, cheddar cheese and pepperoni.

Today I had a go at making bialys with some of my second batch of bagel dough.
My daughter and I shared one still slightly warm from the oven, she declared it good and did eat some of the onion and poppy seed topping even. I really liked the texture of the bread, and love the onion and poppy seeds (I really want there to be more of it than the recipe suggested so might think about that for next time, there will definitely be a next time).

Do you like the plate the bialys are on? It's one of my latest thrift store acquisitions. I've been trying to go less often but on Wednesday my daughter encouraged me in there as we passed by (she knows where to find all the toys and heads straight in that direction). We actually found a couple of things for her, not in the toy department though. Firstly I spotted a couple of ceramic birds which I guessed she would like as she has always enjoyed watching the sparrows when we're in town. She was very happy to see them and got herself a basket to put them in and carry them around until it was time to pay. (The birds are now perching over one of our doorways where she can, and does, spot them and point them out at regular intervals.)
Then while I was looking at fabric she spotted a little tiny "mug" which she got very excited about it has "humpy dumpy with a bue balloon" on it!

In addition to the plates I came away with two interesting looking books, two sheets and a lovely tablecloth (white with pink embroidery and appliqué). The table cloth is a bit stained but it's the kind of stain that I hope might come out, if not I'm sure I can make good use of the unstained parts in some crafting projects.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Birthday Presents

My birthday was a week or so ago and one of my presents was Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (thanks mum). I'd been hearing of it around the internet. Having had success with the No-Knead Bread recipe, and finding that my daughter always needs my attention just when I'd trying to get something time sensitive, done this method seemed intriguing. So far I haven't been disappointed.

I'm really enjoying looking through the book and giving some of the recipes a try. I started out (as suggested) with the basic recipe (although I did sub a little wholewheat and a little barley flour in there I must admit) and ended up with a very nice loaf of bread. My daughter has been more than usually excited about having toast and marmite for breakfast recently.

I'm liking not worrying about finding something to cover my loaf while it's baking (as in the no-knead method) and the multiple variations. What I will be on the lookout for is some different containers for the dough while it's residing in the fridge since I'm currently using my large (4.5 qt) mixing bowls which aren't quite big enough for the initial rise really, and take up more room in the fridge (widthwise) than is really ideal. I'd love to find something not plastic.

My second batch of dough is from the bagel recipe (here I subbed one cup of wholewheat into the recipe and used malt extract instead of sugar). Despite some slight water logging issues a couple of times while boiling, the results have been very tasty. I may have a go at pretzels with what's left of this dough, but I definitely want to try the Bialys which sound so good (onions and poppyseeds, mmm). Next up is the oatmeal bread (I actually baked some already but haven't tasted it just yet).

Sort of related (and possibly TMI for some so stop now if you'd not into girl talk), for my daughter's second birthday (almost to the hour which I find very interesting) I got my period (as in the first one since my daughter arrived on the scene)! While I'm not so much enjoying the cramping and other less enjoyable aspects of being (presumably somewhat) fertile, I'm excited in so far as we want to have another baby sometime and this would seem to be a step in that general direction. Time to sew some cloth pads, and perhaps invest in a new thermometer I do believe.