Friday, October 28, 2011

A narrative of a fall Sunday

This past Sunday it was so nice out, we decided to eat our lunch outside. So, we finished preparing our lunch after church and trekked it out to the lawn.

Our friend Jay came over for lunch. I believe at this moment he and Caleb were studying Katrina--perplexing, to be sure.

This is Mom.

And this is Dad. lol

I've been wanting to get some target practicing in before deer season(Opening day November 12th! yay!), so after lunch I pulled out some targets, the 22 and several boxes of ammo. Everyone got in on the fun--even Mom!

This is me. I like this.

No Mom, I don't always shoot in my Sunday clothes, only when I feel like it.

After awhile we headed over to our friends the Browns. My very good friends Cody and Chancy Brown turned 19 Sunday, so we were kind of celebrating that. After some more shooting, this time with hand guns, we played washer board for quite some time.

The story of my life. really. Except usually I've got a smile. or try to anyways.
Crystal. nuf said.

The gang around the table for an intense game of Spoons after supper.

Melody and Justin playing at the last, with Cody trying to get in on the action.

 And believe me, get in on the action he did. When everyone else sat down to watch a movie I snuck outside and gave some long deserved retribution. Long story. But it was really fun to give. =)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Perfect 100% Whole Wheat Bread

One thing that I've found since I have begun learning to eat healthy, is that I am now enjoying cooking and baking! I've always been able to do it and I did it often enough, but I never did it for fun. Now it's fun! I think it's partly because the challenge of making something healthy that tastes really good is appealing to me. I love a challenge! I also love good tasting food. And especially healthy good tasting food! I've always made the bread for our family, and I was pretty hesitant about trying something 100% whole wheat and sugar free. I don't like the whole wheat taste and texture that comes through in many things(whole wheat pasta for instance), so I wasn't very optimistic when I tried this recipe from The Healthy Choices cookbook published by Keeper's at Home. However, I was totally blown away by how good it was! Okay, actually, it wasn't very good the first time because I forgot the salt. Go figure. Don't do it, it doesn't work. However, after I tried it again, I was sold! We use Prairie Gold whole wheat flour, which is a very fine 100% whole grain flour. It has some "whole wheat taste", but the texture is mostly like white flour. I do use 3/4 c flour when a recipe calls for 1 cup, but it turns out great for picky eaters like me. I've made this bread for coworkers and friends and everyone loves it--most people can't tell it's 100% whole wheat or sugar free. Here, for you to try, is the recipe for Perfect Whole Wheat Bread.  Note: This is for a Bosch mixer. I've never made bread without one, so I can't help you if you don't have one. One day I'll learn to make bread without one, but I love this recipe so much that I haven't risked it yet. Also, this hasn't been rising very high for me. I'm considering making a double batch and still making only five or six loaves. If you divide it evenly into loaves they get as high as a bread pan, but not much over. Update10/10: I made a batch this morning into three loaves, which worked really well. I've only been using about 9 cups of flour, so it turns out to 3 cups of flour per loaf, which is what my old recipe used, so I figured that's about right. Also, I've modified this recipe for use with regular yeast instead of instant yeast.

4 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3/4 c olive oil
1/2 c honey
1/4 c yeast
2 T lecithin(granules or liquid)
2 heaping T wheat Gluten
1 1/2 T salt
9-14 c whole wheat flour (I use mostly Prairie Gold, with some fine stone ground whole wheat as well)
Briefly mix together yeast and 1 c water in a small dish and set aside until bubbly. Put remaining water, oil, and honey in Bosch mixer. Mix briefly. Now add next four ingredients and yeast mixture. Mix briefly. Next add 6 cups flour. Mix well. Add 5 more cups flour, switch to the dough hook, and mix well again. Continue adding flour 1/2 cup at a time (while mixer is on speed 1) until dough starts cleaning side of bowl. Mix for 10 minutes on speed 1. Let set 5 minutes, put into a  large, oiled dish pan to rise. It rises best if you preheat your oven to 200 degrees, then shut the oven off, and set it inside to rise with a dish towel over top. Let it rise at least an hour. Once you feel that it is risen, divide it into 5 loaves and "spank"* each loaf as you put it into greased bread pans. Let them rise as high as you want them, then bake at 300 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans and let set on cooling racks. Lightly brush a stick of butter over the tops while they are still warm. Let them cool before putting into bags. Freeze until you want them and store in the fridge unless you're going to eat it really fast (As in, a day or two). To relive the moment of slicing that warm bread just after it's out of the oven, warm a thawed loaf for 1 minute to enjoy it's wonderful tastiness. Great with butter and honey, jam, apple butter, or anything else your heart should desire.

This will feel very different than your normal bread dough. The first time I made it I was sure I had flopped it. It's very elastic and unusual feeling. It also has a tendency to fall more than any other bread I've ever baked, so be careful when taking it out of the oven and pans.

*Slapping the tops with your fingers together helps eliminate air bubbles. You may also prick the tops with a fork for this purpose.
Now, enjoy!

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