Friday, December 16, 2011

Bread Success! (and fail)

so...i got some crazy wild baking/cooking hair in my pants this weekend...i went nuts - i made 2 different types of pumpkin bread, a loaf of bread (fail), granola bars, soup and some healthy snack thing that turned out awful and my kids looked at me like i was poisoning them...dont you like us mom? why would you make that? i dont know...i was trying to be healthy...but baking and healthy is not always the best combinations...sometimes you just need "a litta bitta butter" as Paula Deen would say!

i have been thinking about bread and the smell of fresh baked bread and how i want my kids to have those smell memories. part of my job when i worked at this Alzheimer home was to do the bread machine every day as a part of aroma-therapy for the residents...there is something healing about bread. so i have made a sort of goal for myself to attempt it at least once a month for a year...maybe trying different kinds of breads and things, but of course trying to master or semi-master this amazing recipe.

i was trying to call my mom to get her bread "recipe" before i attempted bread, but no luck, so i printed one out from the interwebs somewhere and it was awful...and complicated...bread shouldnt be so complicated i dont think... i dont own a kitchenaid mixer...and it seems like every recipe i find in blogs and stuff for baking and bread calls for one...i dont know but my mom never had one and made bread just anyways - my sister was able to get her recipe and i wanted to share it- both for selfish purposes and knowing i can have access to it whenever i need...wherever i may be...and also for your benefit as well.

my mom and her sisters and cousins wrote down a bunch of family recipes for a family cookbook, complete with stories and everything...i thought it was so touching...wanted to share..

Basic Barmore Bread Recipe
1 cup warm water (see yeast pkg. for temp-not too hot or the yeast will die.)
2 packages dry yeast (rapid rise)

Mix together yeast and water: add 1 tsp. sugar and set aside for 10 minutes until bubbly.

Mix in:
1/4 cup soft or cooled melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup old fashion oats
1 tsp. salt

1 cup flour-mix together (Total flour will be around 3-4 cups)

After the flour is mixed in, continue to add in 1 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the mixture cannot be mixed easily with a spoon.
**warning**careful here:  the key is to knead the dough until it is no longer sticky. Grandma said that this is the key part to making a loaf and it is mostly by feel of the dough.  If you add too much flour, the bread does not rise.  Flour a breadboard and knead the dough until no longer sticky.

Butter a bowl and set the dough in the bowl.  Cover with hot towel and let rise 1 hour.  After 1 hour (it should have risen to twice its size)  punch down the dough.  Roll out with a rolling pin and roll to fit into a buttered loaf pan.  Cover with damp warm towel and let sit for 1/2  to 1 hour.  Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake the bread for 40-45 minutes.  Pull the bread from the oven and coat the top with butter to soften the crust.

"I had Grandma show me how to make bread when she visited my home when my kids were young. She would grab the butter dish and throw in an undetermined amount, then shake the salt in, handful of oatmeal, etc. It was so hard to actually stop her to get some sort of measurement since it was so random and fast. I'm sure this is how she had to make the 30 or so loaves of bread every day in Jungo, NV when she had to get up at 4:00 am and ride 20 miles to the ranch to bake and cook for the ranch hands.

But finally- after many failures- I was able to make a loaf that  resembled hers somewhat. This basic dough can be used to make cinnamon rolls or flavored bread of any kind by just adding different ingredients in with he wet ingredients."

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