This is My "Real" Blog: A Rainy Monday Means Bread Baking! You can do it, I promise!

Angie's Blog!

Monday, January 05, 2009

A Rainy Monday Means Bread Baking! You can do it, I promise!

It's one of those gray Monday afternoons. It's getting chillier as the afternoon progresses. And, from what the weather guys say, we'll be getting 2-4 inches of more rain tomorrow. Yeah, this is paradise!

There are few things that make rainy afternoons blissful. One thing that does? The delicious smell of bread baking. I know what you're thinking:

"Oh great, here she goes. She's going to launch into one of her blog posts where she brags about how much she's baked. And I canNOT bake bread."

Pish Posh. That's not my intention at all. I'm going to enrich your life with this recipe and show you just how easy it is to bake a couple loaves of really yummy bread.

This recipe is for English Muffin Bread -- thanks to the great folks at Gooseberry Patch.

Now, please don't think that you're going to make this bread and it will revolutionize your grocery store shopping. This is not a replacement for sandwich bread -- that is a much more tedious process. But, this bread *will* make great toast in the morning, and it goes great with a meal. It also can be sliced, and the slices halved to go with cheese balls. YUM.

English Muffin Bread

6 c. all purpose flour (divided)
2 pkg. instant yeast
1 T. sugar
2 t. salt (I use kosher salt)
1/4 t. baking soda
2 c. milk
1/2 c. water
2 T. cornmeal (divided)

Sift together 3 cups of flour and other dry ingredients (except for cornmeal). Heat milk & water in saucepan until it reaches 120 - 130 degrees. Add milk/water to dry mixture; beat well. Stir in remaining flour to make a stiff batter. (I usually switch from the paddle on my mixer to the dough hook in between these two steps)

Add a tablespoon of cornmeal into the bottom of two bread pans. (I usually give them a shot of cooking spray before adding the cornmeal). Divide dough in half and put into pans. You can press the dough out to fill out the pans, if you'd like. However, in the rising process, they usually fill out the pans.

Cover with plastic wrap sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack.

*I usually brush the top of the bread loaves with a little butter. Helps make a shiny crust on top.
*I also made this batch with skim milk -- so it's even more "legal" than ever!

Like I said, this bread is easy!!! If you've never experimented with yeast bread, you just about cannot fail with this recipe. Just be sure that your milk/water mixture isn't too hot, because it will kill the yeast. And, if you like the taste of english muffins, you cannot go wrong with this recipe.

Tonight, we are headed over to my mom & dad's house for dinner with some of their oldest friends. (years known them -- not age) Calvin & Joyce and their boys (Chris & Brian) have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Chris was probably my first "boyfriend" if you count relationships at age two. Brian was the little brother I never had. Brian also just "happened" to have Down syndrome. He was, and still is, a very significant part of my life. Brian gave the toast at my wedding (as well as my sister's wedding) and would have been a very special "uncle" to both of my kids.

Sadly, Brian passed away when Edison was just 4 months old. The first chance I had to introduce Edison to the family was when Brian died in April, 1995.

I firmly believe that part of Brian's purpose during his short life on earth (28 years) was to teach me about the precious gift that someone with Down syndrome is to a family. He was never anything but a joy in our lives. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He taught us to imagine and pretend. He showed us unconditional love.

. . .and I believe he prepared us for Caroline.

So tonight, re-acquainting her with Brian's parents will be a joy and delight. It will also be another chance for me to learn from them. One thing they taught me by their example is that Caroline is to be treated just like any other kid. When Brian got into trouble -- buddy, he got into trouble. He wasn't spoiled. He wasn't coddled. He was Brian. He was part of the family. He had chores, responsibilities, and expectations.

And that example has meant more to me than I can express.

So tonight, while eating a delicious dinner made by my mom (which includes my English Muffin bread -- currently cooling on the counter), we will spend time with people that I love. People that love me. People that love my kids.

And that makes today a great (albeit gray & rainy) day!

Now, stop reading and go bake some bread!!


Blogger Rock 'n Roll Momma¬© said...

i love to brag about making bread...but if it can't be done in a machine, i don't make it. well, with the exception of banana nut bread. this machine is just about the coolest "new" thing i've gotten!

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like the makings of a wonderful night...

Anthony was the same way... no spoiling, no coddling...he was just one of us...I admit though that I do spoil him a bit every now and then now...

6:51 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I don't remember Calvin and Joyce - or Brian.

Glad you do, and glad you're able to spend time with the family.

God works in mysterious ways, doesn't He?

7:50 PM  
Blogger 20Birds said...

too early in the morning to make me cry angie but i am glad you do it... you move me...

8:16 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

If we ever get to visit again you'll have to ask Jim about the Donny Story...unless we already told it to you guys.
I just might make that bread tomorrow now that I don't have to report for Jury until Wednesday Night to see if I go on Thursday.

6:35 PM  

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