Friday, October 7, 2011

Worth The Effort

Five of our girls wore boots to Wednesday night church. Julia referred to Galina as Elastigirl!
Anastasia, Sveta, Galina, Annalyn,and Rachel
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It was cold that night so Caleb put on my jacket.  He had all his sisters believing that he was going to wear it.
Ha ha!

How sweet.  When I saw this I had to grab the camera.  Dad is rubbing Annalyn's back
and Annalyn is rubbing Rachel's.
I thought it was time to learn how to bake bread.  Julia and I tried a french baguette recipe like the ones they carry at Costco.  This first attempt frustrated us.  The dough was sticky, and tough to pull into a loaf shape.  Our sink had a stack full of dirty dishes. I was certain that homemade bread wasn't worth the effort.
But oh was I wrong!
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
  This was the best tasting bread our family has ever had.  They all agreed!
And so we made more today.  Triple the batch we made yesterday.
And you know what?
This time it was easier. 
We got the temperature of the water just right.  We oiled our hands before kneading the dough.  We used parchment paper on our baking sheets.
Here are our beautiful loaves of bread.
Today we went to Costco.  Usually I put two or three packages of the fresh, french baguettes in the cart.
Today I didn't.  There was no ned with these waiting at home.
Smiling big.

I think I am ready to open a bakery!

I challenge you today!
Go bake yourself some bread!
You'll be glad you did!

FRENCH BAGUETTES

1 envelope quickrise/rapid dry yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1 3/4 tsp. salt
2 c. warm water
4 c. flour

In a bowl dissolve yeast, sugar, and salt in warm (not lukewarm) water. Let stand 15 minutes while you measure the flour. Stir in 4 cups flour. Oil up your hands and take off your rings.  Turn out onto floured surface.  Knead. Add more flour if need be. Knead 3 or 4 minutes until you can form into a ball.  Put dough in a clean bowl wiped with oil on the inside, cover, and let rise in warm place until doubled (45 minutes). I turn my oven on  to 350 for 30 seconds and then turn it off.  This makes the perfect place for my dough to rise. Turn dough back out onto your floured surface, dust with flour, and then pat down.   Knead for one minute then return to bowl and let rise 30 minutes. If you let it rise for up to an additional hour so you can run to Costco, you should be fine. Turn dough out onto floured surface, and pat down so that your dough looks like one large square . Cut into 3 or 4 strips of dough that will bake into loaves.  I use a pizza cutter for this.  Place on a greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Let rise for 10 more minutes as your oven preheats. Brush loaves with well-beaten egg and 1/4 cup water mixture. Bake in 450 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Enjoy!

14 comments:

  1. Once you start making your own breads, it's hard to stop. You should take a look at some of the bread recipes on The Pioneer Woman web site. Great photos and excellent directions!

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  2. Hi Christine!
    I highly recommend the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day". Their recipes are fantastic and they share ways to mix large quantities and bake the bread as you need it. You can probably borrow it from your local library.

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  3. When I was younger I used to bake the family bread every single day. We never bought bread. I had my own wheat grinder and everything.
    Then... in my 40's I found out I was gluten intolerant, and I am just getting brave enough to bake my own gluten free bread. :)
    ENJOY! It is great fun!

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  4. Ha ha ha I had a good giggle when you suggested baking bread. What's funny is that ever since I started reading your blog, 3 years ago, I always wanted to make cinnamon buns. In the last few days I have made 2 batches now and have requests for more from friends and inlaws. LOL. Now I'm on my way tomorrow to try baking buns for Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday. :) I will probably try this recipes and make small baguettes instead of buns. :) or both. :) what's great is that I'm finally beginning to get Oksana Interested in learning how to cook and bake also.

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  5. Yum, the bread looks so good! :-) Thanks for sharing the recipe you used!

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  6. Hard to beat French baguettes with butter! Rachel's hair looks awesome in that top picture. You did a great job with her cut!

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  7. I also highly recommend the book that Marie mentioned!! We always have a hunk of bread dough in the fridge. And a little secret? When you run out of dough in the fridge, DO NOT wash the container...just add your freshly made dough to the container that you had in the fridge. It turns into this delicious sourdough lusciousness!! YUMMY!! I've got all the recipes and directions. Email me if you would like me to send them to you!!
    Blessings!
    Deb

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  8. Good for you baking your own bread. Baking bread just takes practice, practice, practice. You'll just learn to get a feel for it! I love baking bread.

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  9. We bake our own challah every week... and I bake at least two loaves of regular bread every week... because it's so much better. A tad more expensive than store bought, but so worth it!

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  10. This is so timely! Halle just made no knead artisan bread the other day...it was so good and eaten so fast that she is making 2 more loafs...an olive rosemary one and a cheddar dill loaf. Sadly, I don't have my blog to post pictures anymore :( Will email you later!
    Blessings,
    Holly

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  11. I have to say, I want to come for dinner at your house!! My mom and I make bread sometimes, but we haven't mastered the art of multiple loaves at once!!!

    Christine, can you please spread the word about Jack. He is 11 and has HIV. I wrote a post on him here

    http://nobabynoblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/jack.html

    I know you know a LOT about adopting older children and I was hoping you could spread the word/help me to convince people it is not a herculean task to adopt an older child!!

    Jack said ""what do I need to do for a Mom to come? Do you know where she is? Is she looking for me?" and I knew I had to advocate for him.

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  12. oh NOTHING beats the smell of freshly baked bread, really fabulous.

    We have a sourdough starter in the 'fridge these days - slow slow slow but super yummy and seriously addictive.

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  13. Hi! The bread that was baked for the Ukraine Church's Fall Harvest Festival was wonderful and a couple of the loaves looked similar to what you baked.Happy baking, Pat

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  14. Oh that looks wonderful! Much better than the rock hard Ukrainian bread I've been eating the last three weeks lol... could I skip the egg and water brushing (egg allergy)?

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I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.