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Our wood pile, though thoroughly buried is surely dwindling.  We will be spending the weekend slicing and sawing, that is for sure.  But, in the meantime the boys and I have been a baking.  It has been a long time since I shared a bread recipe.  I recently committed to a 30 day venture of NOT eating grains or processed sugar, and while it healed a weary tummy, my soul has been starving!  The last few days I introduced the glorious foodstuffs back and the results have been phenomenal!  My heart feels like its been placed back into my chest.


Chunked up apple cinnamon bread

(adapted from Sarabeths bakery cookbook)

2 tablespoons yeast

3 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup of whole milk

2/3 cup of water

1 egg

splash of vanilla

4 cups of flour

pinch of sea salt

4 tablespoons melted butter

2 large apples (something firm that will hold up baking I used empire)

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon


whisk yeast, sugar, water, and milk together. proof a couple minutes until it looks nice and creamy.  add vanilla, egg and butter.  one cup at a time mix in flour.  Knead for about five minutes until smooth and soft and elastic.  let rise in a toasty location (next to the wood stove!) until doubled.  This  took about an hour for me.  Put little hands to work peeling apples.  Slice and core them.  chunk into 1/2 inch cubes.  A three year old can certainly do this job.  And a five year old will excel at it!  So let your little ones do the work while you join the rising dough and warm up your tootsies.  Mix, the cinnamon, sugar, yolk and apples together.  When the dough rises flatten it out into a thick rectangle and mash in the apple mix.  Fold it all up into a messy, very messy mash.  Chunk it up with your knife and place into two well buttered, and floured bread pan with the bottoms lined with parchment.  Let rise again for about an hour.  Cook at 350 for about an hour until its just about 210 degrees F.  Cover the top with a piece of foil if it starts to burn.  


Slice and serve with lots of room temperature butter.  Great as french toast.  Trust me.

#47 and #48 marbled rye and bread dough sculptures

It has been a while since I acutally made this rye bread, but I am feeling rather burnt out on typing all these directions.  So please oh please, make some of these breads, so all my efforts are not in vain.  It will be fun, I promise.

This one I cannot pass a true judgement on because I used white whole wheat flour for the whole thing quite by accident!  It took me a week to realize why it was so tough.  It was baffling.  Regardless, it was a beauty and makes a large amount of bread to enjoy.

light rye-

stir together 1.5 cups of white rye flour and 3 cups of white flour, pinch of salt, 2 tsp. yeast, and 1.5 tsp. of caraway seeds.  Dd 1 tablespoon of molasses, 2 tablespoons of softened butter, and 1.25 cups of water.  Mix until it becomes a ball adding more water only if necessary.  Knead for about 8 minutes and place in a buttered bowl covered with a towel.

dark rye-

mix same ratio of flour and salt and yeast, molasses, caraway seeds, and butter together then add in 2 heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder.  Knead for 8 minutes and place in a buttered bowl with a towel on top.  Let rise for about an hour and a half until doubled.

To marble-

There are three ways you can marble.  You can flatten both the light and dark rye, place one on top of the other and tightly roll them up.  Or you can roll a log with half the dark and flatten the rest rolling them up around the log to form a bull’s eye, or you can chunk up each and smash them together all willy nilly.  Each will make two loaves no matter which way you marble it.  Place them into a buttered bread pan and let rise until about an inch over the top of the pan.

Brush with a beaten egg and one tsp. of water.  Place into a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until it registers at 190 or until it sounds good and hollow when you tap the bottom.

And for the sculpted dough bread….

Odd choice I am sure, but with a sick boy watching (gasp!) a movie… I decided to do something fun.  My Nana gave me a ginormous tub full of magazines, patterns, ideas and general crafting glory a few months back and I will tell you, it is the gift that keeps on giving.  I found this inside a Decorating and Craft Ideas Magazine, which sadly is no longer being published.  This magazine is so glorious.  It has everything from needle point to painting to baking to weaving pine needles for goodness sake!  It is the thing (my) dreams are made of.

So off with you!  Follow my directions, make your family something soothing and crisp on a cold november night.  You only have 48 to choose from!  Whew!

bottoms up!

Making vanilla extract is fantastically simple!

Scrape 25 vanilla beans (purchased in bulk online for very little), into 750 ml of cheap vodka, stuff in empty bean pods and voila!  

Place in a cool dark place for 4-6 months until you have a syrupy cocktail of baking goodness.  What is that you say?  You want to drink it with soda water?  I say why not!  I mean its vanilla!

While you are at it, stuff a few in your sugar jar.

Or perhaps place some in a jar of sea salt.  While I have not tried this, I have heard things about this concoction.  Strangely delicious good things.

So, bottoms up everyone!  I will meet up with you in six months for an uncorking update!

bread #40 Dutch Baby

Yesterday was one of those days in life you wish you could erase.  It was where I had more than one moment of questionable parenting decisions where I mumbled to myself, “I suck at this.”  Don’t pity me, we all have these feelings I am sure.  Right?

And to ice the cake of many layers at this point, the bread I chose to make had to rise over night.  With a sigh, I popped the dough in the refrigerator and flipped the pages of my borrowed book to pick again.  My miserable self knew that I indeed, MUST have bread!

I settled on an amazing recipe for a dutch baby.  Essentially it is a giant popover with an apple filling.  What is not to love?  It teeters on the edge of not bread-dom but if you taste it you will realize you could care less.  Bread, dessert, pastry, whatever you would like to call it, it is delicious.

I would like to include that this is an easy recipe and that it is fool-proof.  But giving the circumstances of my day and the state of my brain functioning, it turned out to be quite a frustrating little creation.  But, I assure you, if you can follow directions at all you will succeed.  Keep in mind the batter will be lumpy and that the recipe includes MILK.  So, by all means don’t try to mix it in after its been in the oven for a few minutes…. it just doesn’t work that way.

Dutch Baby 

Adapted from The Bread Bible

Mix 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 cup flour, and a bit of salt with 2 tablespoons melted butter.   The batter will be pea sized balls of dough at this point.  Mix in 2 eggs and two egg whites with a cup of milk and put them all together.  Heat up an 11 inch cast iron skillet in a 425 degree oven for 3 minutes with 2 tbs. of butter coating the whole thing.  Take it out and quickly pour the batter in.  Cook for 15 minutes, then lower the temp to 350 for an additional 30.  In the last 10 minutes of cooking poke a few holes in the monstrously rising beast to cook the center a bit.

While she is a baking away, saute up 2 pounds of apples in some butter, cinnomon and nutmeg until just tender.

Take the baby out, scoop it onto a platter, and top it with apples.   Whip up some cream too, if you have some.

So, I turned the lights out on such a discouraging day.  I have no plan on how to improve my mama status at this juncture.  But hopefully some dutch baby helped.

#39 On the Rye


After many years of my sweet brother encouraging me to open shop and call it “on the rye” (My nick name has always been ri).  I can say… well… I can say I made rye bread!  Hey, it is a start.  This recipe was so wacky and absurd I must say it was adapted to the point that it hardly resembles the original.  So, this is what I did:

Dissolve 1 tsp. of sugar, 1 tablespoon of yeast and 1/4 cup of warm water in a big bowl.  Add 3 cups of coarse ground rye flour, 2 cups of white flour, 2 cups of water, 6 tablespoons of molasses, 1 cup of brown sugar and a pinch of salt.  mix into a gooey mess, cover with a towel and let it sit for an hour.

After this first hour-long rise, add enough white flour (or wheat if you choose) until it becomes a texture you can knead.  I ended up adding at least 4 cups of flour at this point.  Knead it for a good ten minutes.  It is a sticky dough I assure you.

At this point you can shape the loaves into whatever type of pan you please.  It makes a LOT of bread.  I chose to use 6 mini bunt pans, 1 regular bread loaf, and one deep 9 inch pie pan.  Yes, this was quite glorious.  Make sure you butter the pans up really well.  Cover them up with a towel and let rise until they peek over the rims of your pans.

Pop in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  Less time is needed for the little bagel like loaves, more for the larger ones.  If you feel like it just stick a thermometer inside and make sure it registers 190.  This is a done temp for bread.  As soon as you get them out of the oven take them out of the pan (carefully!  don’t burn yourself!) and place on a cooling rack.  Brush them with a mixture of molasses and water.  This will give them a lovely sweetness and a beautiful glaze when they dry.

Yum..  On the Rye.