Friday, January 9, 2009


I've had a great opportunity come my way. One of my "internet friends" is trying to finish writing a baking cookbook on a very short time frame. Well, he is running out of time and running out of waistband :) trying to get all the recipes tested. So he offered those of us who bake to test out some recipes and take pictures. He's even going to mention us in the book. It's so amazing, I've never had a chance to do anything like this before. I got to try a new raisin bread recipe as well as peach upside-down cake and lemon squares. They all turned out delicious. I can't wait for the book to be ready.

I can't share any of those recipes, but I thought I'd share my everyday white bread one. I use my bread machine to make the dough. It saves time and wear on my wrist. I also don't like the hole that is left in the loaf from the paddles if you bake it in the machine. So, I form the bread into 3 loaves and bake in the oven. Colin says some days he can smell the bread baking across the yard to the barn. A great welcome home.

Put in bread machine in the following order:

2 1/2 c warm water
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp salt
3/4 cup instant potato flakes
6 cup flour, can use up to half whole wheat if wanted
1 Tbsp instant yeast

Set your machine to dough cycle. If your machine has a warning beep for adding extra ingredients, that is a good time to check the dough and see if you need to add water or flour. You want a fairly soft dough, but not too sticky. I usually take the dough out 30 min before the end of the cycle or it could grow out the top of my machine :)

When dough is fully raised, cut into 3 pieces and form into loaves. Put into greased loaf pans and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. I usually warm my oven (then shut it off!) and put them in there.

When loaves are ready to bake, just turn the oven onto 300F and bake for 45 minutes, no need to preheat. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. If not, put bake into oven for few more minutes. Remove from pan right after taking from oven.

This recipe works when made the conventional way too.



Kjunebug said...

Hi Paula- Happy New Year!
Your recent topics are things I do pretty much daily too! First baking bread- I have been baking our daily bread for about 5 years; this family of 7 can put away a lot of bread in a day; 2 slices of toast and a sandwich each and we were into the 2nd loaf of store bought bread. I calculated the cost of baking bread vs. buying a loaf and a half per day – making it was the obvious winner; by far. My recipe makes 2 french style loaves. I chose French style because my loaf pans are kind of small. I mix it in my KitchenAid, no hand kneeding necessary. My husband loves the smell of fresh bread also, it is a nice way to welcome him home from work.
Next dish clothes- Last Autumn I knew I needed to figure out some easy inexpensive gift ideas for family and friends; I knitted lots of dish clothes, the recipients all really liked them a lot, most thought they were to pretty to scrub dirty dishes with! Now I need to make myself some, as my current supply is wearing out. I also knitted a blanket for my parents, I used yarn that I had so it didn’t cost anything but my time, and they really liked it. I am going to be much wiser about Christmas time and make things throughout the year. I recently knitted mittens for my little girlies and I am now knitting them leg warmers. The best part is that my girls are enjoying and excited to learn to knit and crochet; I will sit down to knit a little, next thing I know my girls will be right there next to me. I do need to get to some sewing too, a jumper for one of the girls and I need to make one for myself too.
And finally laundry! We have a ton, daily. Our washer and dryer are out in our non-insulated garage, and it is cold out there. Sometimes my hands just get numb when I’m switching the loads. In the spring and summer I hang dry, but it is too cold for it to dry out in the garage now, so we use the dryer. I checked out a book from the library last year about laundry, it was so overwhelming, who knew that 300 pages could be devoted to dirty clothes!
Something you might be interested in for Ella, we’ve used the handbooks from for a long time now. I see that they now have a handbook for little ones, that’s new!! We have both Keepers at Home (for the girls) and Contenders for the Faith (for the boys). We are surprising our little one with her own Keepers book for her 8th birthday this spring. The children really enjoy marking off the things they have learned in their books.

Paula said...

It's suprising how much bread we go through, just the 3 of us. With bread pushing $2 at the store, it was an easy decision for me too. DH got me the bread machine the Christmas after Ella was born. It frees up a lot of time, just dump in the ingredients and walk away. No kneading, no clean up and scraping tables. Homemade seems to fill up DH more than store bought. If you like the french style, you should try this recipe. It turned out nice as a "country loaf" but the family prefers "sandwich" style.
I made a lot of the Christmas presents this year too, not for my immediate family, but for MIL, SIL, etc. In fact for Colin's folks and sister & BIL I gave a really easy gift -treat of the month for the year. I've given them this for the last 2 years and they love it. I just bake something at the beginning of every month. Nothing fancy, often cookies. But if they don't bake, any kind of treat is good. I plan on doing homemade gifts more and more, I like gifts that mean something. Have you ever felted your knitting (on purpose-haha). I just made Ella and I felted mittens and they are wonderful. So warm and they stay dry when playing outside. I knit Ella leggings too. I love to knit socks. Have you seen the book "Knitting Circles Around Socks"? Check it out. It teaches how to knit socks on circular needles -both socks AT THE SAME TIME!!! It has revolutionized my sock knitting and it works for any round knitting -socks, mittens, leggings, sleeves...
I guess I shouldn't complain, at least I don't have to go outside to do the laundry. I know what you mean about the numb hands. I have to hang stuff outside well into the fall, until it's cool enough to put on the corn stove. I've been known to do it with gloves under kitchen gloves :) DH goes through so much laundry, especially in the summer. He'll often have to change and wear 2 sets of barn clothes, they just get so sweaty and won't dry over lunch hour. I'll often have 2 loads of just barn clothes. I'll be glad when Ella's a little older and we can get more than one day out of her dresses.
We are so alike, I have a pile of things to sew too. I'm making a smocked nightie/robe set for Ella's birthday and have a smocked dress to do for our old minister's wife (for her great neice). I need some things too -never seem to get to my pile :)
I'll check out that website. I envy (but in the good way) you a houseful of kids. We've only got Ella, and she was our miracle baby. I feel sorry she's going to be alone. But part of that is because my childhood was such a mess I wouldn't have survived without my sister. Ella won't have that problem. How old were your girls when you started to teach them to knit? Do you homeschool too?

Kjunebug said...

I do smock also. I bought a pleater a few years back, which makes the smocking smoother; however it is challenging to get the piece of fabric through the pleater itself! I haven't done a smocked project in a while, our youth pastor's wife is expecting a girl this spring, I have been thinking that a little smocked dress with a pretty little knitted sweater would be a nice gift and fun projects for me.

We do feel so blessed, with our 5 children, but not in an arrogant way. Each pregnancy was different and not always easy, the one constant was that God made Himself known each time, always reminding us of His superiority. You are blessed, with Ella. And Ella blessed to have you! The comment that I often feel the most offended by is this “You must be so amazing! I can bearly handle our (one or two) children!” If it is meant as a compliment it doesn’t sound that way, especially when said in group settings, and in front of other Momma’s who are so amazingly blessed with one child! Our oldest daughter is 20 and a half (as of yesterday) recently a young man from church has been courting her. Our boys are going to be 13 this spring, our next daughter just turned 10 and our little one will be 8 in March.
Now I have to admit, our older daughter missed out on some Momma training while I was expecting the younger children, it was during her prime time learning years… I think I first tried to teach her to knit around age 7-8; that has seemed to work pretty well. We got all the girls crochet hooks and learn to crochet books for Christmas this year, our 10 year old has caught on pretty well. Crocheting seems to be a little easier for them, with the one tool, also I can see that it is helping them to learn to hold the yarn better too. Both younger girls have been sewing since about age 6; we have a lady at church who prepares quilt kits, for preemies for a hospital here. They are really easy to assemble, all straight seams, great learning projects. I’ve helped our 10 yr. old with a jumper for herself. I think I am going to have them make some pj bottoms.
Yes, we homeschool! We didn’t get started for a while, our oldest went to a Christian school through the middle of third grade. The twins were about 8 months old, I had no clue what or how to teach her school! Thank the Lord he is gracious and persistant; for years we searched for curriculum, finally giving into writing our own, which wore me out. Which finally lead to us Rod and Staff, I teach the children and my DH corrects their work at night and he makes the weekly assignment sheets. We currently school Monday-Thursday; from the last week in august – the just before July 4. And we take off a couple weeks at Christmas. I love being near my children each and every day, definitely some days are more challenging than others.

Paula said...

I love smocking, though I don't think I would do it if I had to pick up dots like Mom did. I don't usually have too much trouble getting material through, just when I did the cordory for Ella's winter coat. The big thing I've found is to have plain seams, I oversew the raw edges by hands after pleating. I'd suggest doing a bishop dress for the new baby, that way the new mom would get the longest wear out of it. Ella still fits the bishop I made for her first birthday (very short now, but it fits). I love knitting/sewing for babies.
Wow, 20, it's hard to imagine Ella that old. Though I sometimes kid Colin that if we had gotten married when we "should" have, ie, 20ish instead of 32, when I met him, Ella would be closer to 16! We also might have taken further steps to try and have more babies. But pushing 40 isn't the time to try and override my body and have more babies. Besides, there is a lot of Downs in Colin's family and we knew we weren't up to that.
I think Mom taught me to crochet first too. It was so long ago it's hard to rememeber :) Ella likes to sit on my lap at the sewing machine. The rate she's growing she'll reach the gas peddle in no time.
Do you find the Rod & Staff material sufficient? I mean, do you intend the kids to go on to further education? I'm really torn. I'd love to just keep Ella home until her prince charming comes to claim her and take her to her new home, but sometimes one has to be more practical. I want her to be able to take care of herself. What if she doesn't find her husband until later like me? What if we aren't around? It so hard.
It's so nice talking with you. I don't have many friends up here and none that share my lifestyle and ideas.