Wednesday, March 23, 2011

oh, SNOW!! and the mid-week review

Just when the garden tools began to come out.... THUNDER ** LIGHTENING ** SNOW !!

yes, my feet are really under there

the view from the kitchen as i brewed tea

Here we go again.... and still going! Jayson plowed snow all night and it looks like he'll be out there again tonight. Dance class was canceled so Leaf and I stayed home with the fire burning. It has been a day to drink tea, bake bread, dust and sweep, dress-up and put on plays.

On the subject of bread, some friends have bugged me about my lack of "recipe-ing" so.... here's one for you that's simple, sweet, and I think anyone can do:

Honey-Wheat Bread (dairy and egg-free)
2 packages active yeast
3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
egg substitute, equivalent of 1 egg [example: 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with about 4 tablespoons rice milk (mix and set aside)]
about 4 cups all-purpose flour

combine whole wheat flour, yeast, salt. gradually beat 1 2/3 cup very hot tap water (120 degrees F) into the mixture until just blended. increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes while scraping bowl.

beat in honey, oil, flax mix and 1 cup flour to make thick batter, beat 2 minutes longer while scraping bowl. with wooden spoon, stir in 2 1/2 c
ups flour to make soft dough.

turn dough on floured surface and knead about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic, working in about 1/2 cup more flour. cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 10 minutes.

on large cookie sheet, shape dough into 10" by 5" oval loaf. cover
loosely with plastic wrap, let rise in warm place (80-85 degrees F) about 30 minutes, until doubled. with sharp knife, cut 3 diagonal slashes across top of loaf.

preheat oven to 375, sprinkle loaf lightly with flour. bake 30 minutes or until bottom of loaf sounds hollow when lightly tapped.

My notes on this: I appreciate recipes as good ideas, but have yet to truly follow one. Today I used a mixture of spelt and oat flour. I have used all sorts of different flours and each bread is delicious! You just have to know how they behave, some absorb
more liquid than others, some are more granular. I adjust accordingly and believe in experimentation! I also ran out of honey, so I used cherry-applesauce in it's place, roughly the same amount, but I didn't measure. The original recipe was written for an egg, but we don't eat these so I use a flax substitute which I think to be the best replacement. I found that shaping the loaf on a surface and then sprinkling the cookie sheet with flour before placing it on to rise is the way to go, this will prevent the bottom of the loaf from sticking to the cookie sheet.
**Vegan notes: to make this truly a vegan bread, use the applesauce substitute in place of honey. Yum, yummy!!


So, what else have we been doing since the equinox?

enjoying the spring table

more up-cycled t-shirts (we call this one the wild carrot, it had several holes which needed concealing)

exploring rotting logs and discussing lifecycles

playing in magical places with magical people

meet teeth and eyeball's new friend

enjoying the warm days and having a yard again (check out the greatest thrift store find)

homemade pitas , inspired by VeganDad

more baking: vegan carob-chip cookies made with rice and coconut flours (i snapped a photo before they all disappeared)

painting, of course (a special treat to use mama's acrylics)

oh, beatrix.. how we love you! she has been enjoying more space to twirl and dance, a good romp through the raspberry patch. she is such a sweet bunny, i have to include pictures of her

Happy Spring wherever you are and warm thoughts for those of us in snow again! It will be garden time soon enough.

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