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10 February 2009 @ 08:34 am
I found my bread knife!  
And replaced the bad picture of the maple bread with a better one that shows the pretty color of it a lot better.
Mike liked it a lot, even though the first slice, he tried to use a low-cal butter replacement on. A couple minutes later, he was back in the kitchen looking for butter. I told him I wrote down the recipe so I could replicate it later.
I'm keeping my notes in here so I can find them easily and work up a little booklet for the kids.

If you want a soft crust, spread margarine or butter on the top of the loaf when it comes out of the oven, and keep your loaf wrapped or bagged. I re-use commercial bread bags for this. *Don't* turn them inside out like our parents did when we were kids (you know, if you're in your mid to late 30s). The paint/printing can be a bad thing.
For a shiny loaf, use an egg wash, it will also make a crispier crust, and looks nice on pie crust, pie crust cookies, or quickie frozen phyllo dough tarts as well. At it's simplest, you can use a well whisked egg. You don't want any lumps in it. Otherwise, 1 egg and a couple spoonfuls of water make a very shiny glazed like appearance, 1 egg and a splash of milk make a more matte appearance. Brush it on before or halfway through baking.
For a rustic or artisan style bread, free form your loaf/loaves on a stone, pizza pan or parchment paper covered cookie sheet sprinkled with flour or cornmeal, then use more flour or cornmeal sprinkled on top before baking.

There was something this morning that made me think "I need to blog that." but I forgot what it was. The jokes and conversation flowed too quickly before Mike went to work. Well.. hopefully I'll remember later.
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Jadejadedone2many on February 10th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
Okay, Ms. Bread Maker, I need some help!

My hubby was telling me just yesterday that he REALLY wants some cinnamon raisin bread, but he hates how it's so expensive.
So... what's the best way to make some delicious cinnamon raisin bread? Do I need a bread maker?

p.s. The Maple Bread looks scrumptious. I'm SO hungry, I'm glad it's almost lunchtime! :)
shala_beadsshala_beads on February 10th, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
I don't use a bread machine. I like the process of kneading and mixing dough. Do you want a dense, sweet loaf or a dryer bread? Whole wheat or white flour or a mix (I like using mixes!).. I can write up a recipe for you with instructions. It would be fun!
Jadejadedone2many on February 10th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
I think we'd want more of a sweet loaf, and I'd like to do a mix of white & wheat (doing all wheat would be too much for him, I've been doing a blend of white & wheat when I bake at home).

And I bet my daughter would LOVE doing the kneading & mixing with me, so yeah, that'd be so super awesome if you'd do that for me! :)
shala_beadsshala_beads on February 10th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
But a lot of times, homemade is a little pricier per loaf then store bought unless you buy ingredients bulk and use them a lot. The taste difference is pretty incredible though, and if you enjoy the process, you can save money by making from scratch, and in a pinch.. baking powder biscuits are cheap to make and can be made with cinnamon and raisins.
Jadejadedone2many on February 10th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
I like home made better, even if it does cost a bit more. I often go to Sam's Club & buy in bulk for my chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and other things, so it wouldn't be a big deal to pick up other things I might need in bulk, too.

Hah! Baking powder biscuits... I would've never thought of that! :)
shala_beadsshala_beads on February 10th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
Baking powder biscuits are E's favorite quick bread. I'll usually mix up the dough and give her half the batch to add whatever she wants to it. She usually goes with a dried pesto herb mix and cayenne. :)
jehanna on February 10th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
For rustic-style loaves and good crusts, it's also good to introduce steam at one point during baking--it aids "oven spring" and crust development. You can use a spritz bottle of water into the oven, or a shallow pan of boiling water in the bottom for a while.
shala_beadsshala_beads on February 10th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
I usually sprinkle water into my oven for rustic style loaves, but it makes E nervous!