It's been a semi-normal week around here... school is happening, laundry is being kept up with, I mopped the shows-everything wood laminate floor, etc. What has not been totally normal is my three oldest girls' baking spree that has been going on for a few days. Yep, I think we are just tired of waiting for winter, or else with these cold days we're having in the 90's we think it's here already.
So Amy wanted to make a loaf of whole-wheat-bread-in-a-bag, the recipe for which we saw some time ago at Biblical Womanhood. I was all for trying a bread recipe that sounded like the ingredients would be contained, and not flying all over my kitchen. At the same time, Alison, who normally gets paralyzed with anxiety when asked to do any sort of cooking, decided she ALSO would like to make a loaf of bread from scratch, only something different, a braided loaf, the inspiration for which also came from Biblical Womanhood. We really needed to have a real Grandma around here to show us how to do it, but since we didn't have one handy, we struck out on our own into unknown territory.
The wheat bread was interesting... we ended up dumping the contents onto the counter and kneading there instead of in the bag. So the ingredients were not totally contained, but not as bad as I thought. I think maybe my whole wheat flour is too old, or maybe it was that the recipe didn't call for any salt (?), but it turned out small and hard and tasted sour. We ate half the loaf with supper anyway -- who can resist fresh bread? The rest went into the trash when we all decided we didn't really like it.
Alison's braid, on the other hand, came out small and dense also, but very pretty and tasty. So we ate all of hers. She was very proud to have produced something edible from the place of her greatest fears, the kitchen.
So then the NEXT day Elisabeth wanted to make bread, of course, since she was left out of all the kitchen activities the day before. Bread-making failure Mom, feeling none-too-confident, gave a sigh and said, "Oookaaaayyy." You know that old saying, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again"? Well the third attempt was a success!! We did the same egg bread recipe Alie used, only we rolled it out and sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar, then baked it in a pan, rather than as a braid. It was beautiful! (It's a good thing, too, or else I would have pointed every one of those girls to the bread machine the next time they got some crazy bread-baking idea!) Here is Elisabeth's pretty cinnamon loaf:
So then, the NEXT day, Alison decided she wanted to try her braid again. We realized we had not followed the instructions exactly, so we were more careful this time. Success! Is this just perfect, or what? Now we are very pleased to be among those who truly can bake a loaf of bread.
Somehow, breads were not enough. We also baked three different types of cookies. We will all be waddling out the door for church pretty soon, so I will tell you about our other activities of the week in another post!