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Monday, May 25, 2009

Bread maker

Yesterday the girl and I made bread. From scratch. By hand. We were the bread makers.

That was a first for me. I had occasionally made bread in our old bread maker, which has since been passed onto my sister, but usually the husband was in charge of making the bread since he was the one that ate most of it. I have "helped" my mother-in-law make her family pulla bread recipe, but really that just involved some stirring and watching her do the work. But after reading my IRL (in read life) friend frugal urban post about making sourdough I was inspired to try.

We made whole-wheat honey-walnut bread from one of my Vegetarian Times magazines. It was ridiculously easy and pretty yummy. The bread didn't rise as much as it should so it is a bit doughy in the middle but I am happy with it as a first attempt.

Best of all the girl had a great time. Before lunch we prepared the yeast, water and honey mixture. This involved her scooping 3/4 of a cup of honey into the bowl with a baby spoon. That is seriously her cooking tool of choice! While the boy was napping she and I added the flour and other ingredients. Again, she used a baby spoon. Part of the problem with the dough not rising could have been the fact that not all of the ingredients made it into the bowl. The girl was also very reluctant, in fact resistant, to the mixture being stirred. I had to sneak the stirring in when she wasn't looking.

I think the girl really sees herself as the chef and me as the sou-chef. When I explained that the dough had to be kneaded for fifteen minutes she insisted that she would do it. So I showed her how. She slapped it around a little bit and declared it done. There was a small stand off before I called the husband in to distract her so I could finish up. He offered her a story.

"I want a cookie", she said.

"No", said the husband.

"I'm not talking to you", said the girl indignantly. "I'm talking to myself". She turned away from him and started muttering "No, yes, no, yes, no".

Always mature, the husband said, "Well, I'm not talking to you. No you can't have a cookie, yes I want a cookie, no, yes".

My friend is going to offer me some of her sourdough starter so I think I will try that next. In all honesty I don't care too much how good the bread actually is as long as the making of it provides a good, long distraction for the girl. And using a baby spoon to transfer six cups of flour into the bowl can take a looong time.

In case you were wondering how swimming class went yesterday, it didn't. After three bad nights of little sleep and sick kids the husband and I decided that we didn't have the energy for a repeat of last week. We'll go again next week. Or when the girl turns sixteen.

Finally, a few words on the boy now for the grandparents. Poor kid, I hardly ever mention him since he is so overshadowed by the antics of his sister. He is well though and doing new things all the time. The crawling is coming together and he pulled himself up in his crib for the first time yesterday. He is liking standing and holding onto the side of the couch. He is also ridiculously cute. Just like his sister.


  1. I'm so glad you decided to make bread, and that you're interested in the sourdough. Thanks for linking to my blog!

  2. Ooh, that makes me miss my VT subscription. I have one of their cookbooks (and a stash of well-used old issues...) hmm, maybe time to re-subscribe.
    Hey, congrats on winning the Fuzzibunz over at My Organized Chaos! Just saw your name there :)