wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Easy Snacking Bread

Have you ever wished you had some little treat to offer a friend to go with that cup of tea or coffee you’re offering? No cookies or squares in the freezer? Here’s something that you can make ahead and freeze for any time. Now that I think about it, this would go well with beer or wine as well.

A bread machine helps but you can still mix, knead, and let the dough rise in the usual way. I’ve become lazy and use my bread machine all the time. This is a regular white bread recipe, but I’ve added about half a cup of 12-grain mix and eased off on the flour by a quarter cup. You can use any recipe you like – whole wheat if you prefer it.

My basic bread recipe is at the end of the post.

I’ve cut the dough into two portions to roll out with the rolling pin and put each one on a buttered cookie sheet.

Then I added a clove of crushed garlic to about a quarter cup of olive oil in a little bowl and mixed it around. I brushed the oil mixture onto the flattened bread dough, and then sprinkled some powdered cumin on it. I made the cumin powder by putting cumin seeds in an old coffee grinder to pulverize them.

You can use any kind of herbs or spices, whatever suits your palate. That flour you see in the cup was only for sprinkling on the dough as I used the rolling pin. Sometimes the dough is stickier than other times. I was lucky this time and hardly needed any.

I was experimenting here, so I wasn’t sure whether to cut the dough before or after baking, but as it turned out, cutting it before was the better way to do it. You don’t have to cut it all the way through. Just a quick score will do it.

Then let the dough sit in a warm place for half an hour to an hour – until it puffs up a bit.

Bake it in a hot 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Because of the scoring, the pieces break apart easily. You can then eat them as they are or cut them open and add your favourite toppings (or none). The piece with the Jalapeño Havarti cheese slice on it was SO good!

When the bread is cool, you can put the pieces into Ziploc bags and freeze them for using any time. Before serving, putting them into the microwave for a few seconds will make them taste as if they just came out of the oven.

Standard Bread Recipe

2 cups milk (heated 2 minutes in the microwave – that should make it just warm enough to melt the butter but not kill the yeast)

2 Tbsp. honey (or sugar)

2 Tbsp. butter (or oil)

2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup 12-grain mix (optional)

5 cups flour (or quarter cup less if adding the 12-grain mix)

2 tsp. fast-rising yeast

Enjoy!


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Baking Bread

I’ve been baking my own bread for a long time. Forever, I suppose. As a child, I watched my mother make bread, and I have always associated it with that warm and fuzzy homey feeling. The smell of bread baking, the warmth of the kitchen, the happy faces of those who bit into the freshly baked bread–a basic anchoring of a primitive nature.

I wrote a post about The Staff of Life last February, after I discovered how to make easy ciabatta bread. (Click on the link if you’d like to see it again.)

I mumbled to myself as I kneaded the dough for regular whole wheat bread this morning, “The staff of life … hmm … people have been baking bread for many hundreds of years.” I got hung up on the term “the staff of life,” and decided to look it up.

A staple or necessary food, especially bread. For example, Rice is the staff of life for a majority of the earth’s people. This expression, which uses staff in the sense of “a support,” was first recorded in 1638.

Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Houghton Mifflin Company.http://www.dictionary.com/browse/staff-of-life (accessed: April 27, 2016).

That got me thinking, only some cultures bake wheat bread. Some use corn, or other starches. Then there are those countries that grow rice more easily than wheat. The staff of life is rice for millions of people the world over.

Every culture has its own special kind of bread. I love experimenting with baking them, but I tend to come back to my basic whole wheat bread as the staple in my own family.

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Today I threw some caraway seeds in my whole wheat bread even though it is generally meant to go into rye bread. I know the flavour will be fine in this batch too.

Do you bake your own bread?