Friday, December 15, 2006

Clean House

My friends just left after cleaning my house and doing what little "yard" work I have on the cement outside. It looks beautiful and I am deeply thankful for their help. And I think it was reciprocated as they are looking at moving by January 1st, and have no idea where in LA they can afford a place to live. And then I opened our earnings statement for this period and found that we were given a bonus. Blessings abound!

The furniture has been moved so now we can go out and buy a Christmas tree! The spot is waiting! Maybe tonight.

Yesterday I made bread. A friend of mine is allergic to milk so I made French bread and used about 1/3 whole wheat flour in it.

Laurel's Kitchen French Bread

Dissolve 1 packet active dry yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. When yeast has proofed, add 2 1/4 cups very cold water and 5 1/2 cups bread flour white or whole wheat or a combination)and 2 1/2 teaspoons salt.

That's it for ingredients. The methods for french bread are what set it apart from ordinary, mortal bread. French bread is slow rise, and so after you knead it forever, you set it to rise and you 'deflate' it twice. Because of the very cold water in the ingredients, the first rising is especially slow. I made two long loaves but forgot that bread rises OUT not UP when it's not in a loaf pan. Next time I'll make very skinny loaves so I don't get the flat bread look I got last night. The key to making the bread crusty is to start with a very hot oven (425) and SPRAY warm water on the bread before you put it in, then every 4 minutes until the crust is golden brown. THEN you lower the heat to 350 and finish baking (total about 1 hour). Final product was delicious (if I do say so myself). I'd show you a photo, but- ahem - we already ate most of both loaves. Next time, maybe.

I am prepared for my class tomorrow. I get to masquerade as a college teacher and be a guest presenter in an education class (curriculum, I think). Then in the evening, we are going to Gautum and Vicki's wedding! I think the groom and his roommates will be here over night because the apt is full of family members. viva la wedding and congratulations to the bridal couple!

Monday is my last school day until after New Years. I am so looking forward to enjoying my break.

Our family will gather together to celebrate Christmas!

I have big plans for the photo album mess, I want to get in some long walks and bike rides, and of course I am hatching all kinds of ideas for knitting. I really want to knit up some pillows, afghans and maybe a tea cozy or two. I have some special yarn for a vest that is calling...what to do first. Oh yeah, finish the Christmas presents.

1 comment:

Life is a Marathon said...

Just the word "Active" in yeast makes me nervous. I always wanted to try making bread. Once we have a house where the OVEN works (currently only the stove works), maybe I'll give Laurel's recipe a shot. Thanks Willow! =)