Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Baking and Breaking Bread

"40 Loaves" would be a misnomer, and is also misleadingly Lenten sounding, but that's what I'm calling this little effort. Actually, it's for the whole year, and and it's not limited to actual loaves of bread, but goes for any bread-type food I can bake up. And I'm thinking I'm not stopping once I hit 40 recipes.

I have this mindset which makes starting the hardest part of a project, cooking or otherwise. I've done pretty well so far, turning out six recipes, including the French bread that kickstarted the resolution. I've made the French bread recipe several times; it's probably my favorite so far in the bread machine manual, which you can dig through, if you're so inclined.

So, you can see I'm not limiting myself to only new recipes (although I count each recipe only once for this little experiment). Here's another one that I recently made that's not new to me. Several times I've had these 30 Minute Rolls when I don't have a bread for dinner and it's too late to use the bread machine. It takes me closer to an hour, because I'm slow. But they're good, and they're big enough that the dozen the recipe makes is sufficient for my family.

This rosemary bread is the bread that, years ago, taught me to love my bread machine. When my carb-loving son, who has survived on bread alone (just about) for five years, asks me to make bread, this is usually the one he wants. And it smells divine.

This Sweet Hawaiian yeast bread recipe caught my eye because we love Kings Hawaiian around here, especially the Hawaiian Sweet rolls with Sunday Chicken. To be honest, (maybe it's my bread machine, and/or my lack of breadmaking skills,) this bread really isn't like the rolls much at all— it's denser and it's not as sweet. But it is a good, yummy bread— I think it would be a good sandwich bread. The kids loved it.

Speaking of sandwich breads, I found this recipe on a search after deciding to make more of the bread we use for lunch. One lunch uses up a whole store-bought loaf, so I was thinking I might be able to stretch our grocery budget a little if I could find a way to make it ourselves. This honey wheat bread machine bread recipe is promising, if I could just cut it thin enough... Maybe I need one of those bread-slicing boxes? No matter. We've only had it for dinner anyway, where everybody liked it well enough.

bread machine corn bread
Picturesque loaves are not the bread machine's strong suite.

Today's bread is a corn bread, from the manual. It wasn't what I was looking for to go with the corned beef stew we had last night for dinner—it used quite a lot of bread flour and not nearly enough cornmeal—but I decided to go ahead and try it anyway, and just whipped up some corn muffins from a boxed mix for dinner. It smelled so wonderful as it baked. But bread always does, doesn't it?

sliced corn bread
Mmm... get the butter.

I'm pulling some more ideas that I can't wait to try. Caleb (the carb-lover) and I have found a "beginner's bread" recipe that he wants to try all by himself.  I have three Irish soda bread options lined up for St. Patrick's Day. And St. Joseph's feast day is after that, although I'll probably fall back on my French bread recipe for our St. Joseph table. Do you have a favorite recipe?

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