Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My adventures in cooking part 1

Ok, our Stake Presidency issued a 90 day challenge to become more self sufficient. To do so, they sent a letter laying out some goals for families to work towards. Some of those goals were to bake bread and make meals completely from scratch at least once a week.

The meals from scratch wasn't really that much of a problem for us b/c Sam and I have been slowly moving away from using mixes recently. The bread was more of a challenge as I have never made bread by myself except for sweet quick breads. (I make a mean chocolate chip pumpkin bread...YUM!) So a couple of weeks ago our RS set up a breadmaking class at church, and I successfully baked 2 loaves of white/wheat bread (under supervision). So, last Wednesday for craft group, we decided to try making bread on our own. I found a new recipe that you're supposed to be able to completely make in your Kitchenaid. It was a Honey Oat Wheat bread. Let the games begin...first, I think this recipe was for a bigger Kitchenaid than mine. So kneading it was a trick, but I succeeded. Feeling pretty good about my new breadmaking prowess, I was just about the put it to rest and rise, when I noticed that I had forgotten to add the eggs!! So, back in the bowl it goes, I crack in 2 eggs and start the mixer again. It starts splattering eggs all over the place!!! Ahhh...so I quickly add more flour, and finally get an acceptable lump of dough again. I put it in a bowl on the stove to rise a little worried about what the 2nd knead has done to it, but it rises, albeit slowly. I punch it down, shape it up and put it in the bread pan and set it for the 2nd rise. At this point everyone has left to finish at home, and the oven is no longer being used. I went ahead and turned in on to 375 in preparation for baking and so the stovetop will be warm to aid in rising. They rise beautifully and I am once again excited. I put them in the oven to bake know that the oven should really be nice and hot and set the timer for 40 mins. The fact that I've forgotten something is in the back of my mind, but I ignore it.

Ding...40 mins. Woo hoo fresh bread, by myself!! I open the oven and they're not brown. WHAT??? I touch it and it's still doughy. I look at the stove and realize that somehow I turned the oven off!! So I turn it back on (I really should have removed the bread, but I didn't). Set the timer for another 40 mins and wait. Ding...this time the house smells like bread, good sign. I open the oven and the top crust is a little darker than I would like, but since I'm cooking in glass pans, I can see the sides are brown, so it should be done.

I pulled to bread out of the oven and slide the loaves out of the pans and onto a cooling rack. Worried about if they're done, I immediately slice into one loaf to see what all my goofs have done to it. It looks and tastes fine. A little chewy, but good. Then I look at what I just did to the loaf. In slicing while it was still hot, I've squished the loaf! Oh well. Guess if I make all the mistakes the 1st time, maybe when I make bread for this week, it will go better! LOL Here's a picture of my squished loaf.

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