Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cocoa. Homemade Bread. Sweatshirts. Rain. Snuggles. We love cooler weather!

We are so happy to have cooler weather in the desert that it makes us want to snuggle and have hot cocoa or Abuelita most every night (well,we would love it every night but it is more like every couple of nights). I love sharing my life with these fun people:

(This boy wanted to put tinfoil on his teeth to have "braces".  So silly!)

Last week Blake and I made homemade bread. It's funny how when the weather drops in temperature, homemade bread, soups, cocoa... homemade food all sound so delicious and nothing is better than homemade bread!

Brittany Dean (from previous post) made homemade bread for our General Conference Wrap-up Party and we've been using her recipe that she uses. It's easy and works! I've always had trouble with homemade bread as it takes too much time or my yeast never works right or I have to go pick up a child from school right when I should be kneading it. This one works out great.

Funny story.  After Brittany made this for us, the following Saturday, I drove Carson and the church kids to the dance.  I finally fell into my bed at 1:15 a.m. Sunday morning.  A few minutes later, Carson comes running into my room and announces, "Mom, I forgot to get the sacrament bread!"  I told him, "Set your alarm clock for 6:00 a.m.  We'll have to get up and make some before church (which starts at 9:00 a.m.)."  Granted the "ox was in the mire" and we probably could have gone to the local store on the way to church but what does that teach my kids?  Nothing.  Luckily I felt prompted by the Spirit to take this opportunity to teach Carson a skill (bread making) and also teach him that obeying the Sabbath Day is important.  So we both woke up, exhausted but made and completed homemade bread for the sacrament that day.  He didn't forget the sacrament bread the rest of the month as he had a sticky note on his door to purchase it prior to Sunday.   Lesson taught :)  I love it when you feel "right" about what you are teaching your children.  I don't always get that feeling but I really felt it through this experience.  I'm grateful for the Lord teaching me and him.

Here is the recipe from singer/songwriter Jenny Phillips:

"For those of you who have been asking for the 'My Perfect Bread Recipe' that came from my 12-year journey to make the perfect bread with ONLY 100% whole wheat, yeast, water, salt, olive oil, and honey, here it is! Follow directions carefully or I can't be held accountable for failure :)

Jenny Phillips' Perfect Bread Recipe

1. Mix the following in a bowl:

2 3/4 Cups of Hot Water (Don't forget the "2". I did that one time. It is 2 3/4 cups.)

1/3 cup olive oil (or applesauce or pumpkin works great too)

1/3 cup honey (sometimes I add 1 TBSP molasses too)

1 TBSP salt

2. Add and mix:

2 cups whole grain wheat flour

2 TBSP active dry yeast

3. Add 1/2 cup flour at a time until the dough quits sticking to the counter or the bowl (if you're doing this in a mixer, you should switch to your bread hook now). This is one of the most important parts here. Too much or too little flour won't make good bread. It is usually around 7 cups total for me in this recipe (the two you already put in plus around 5 more). It should feel barely sticky when you touch it, but not sticking to the bowl or counter. Once it gets to this point, don't mix or knead anymore. Just cover the bowl and let dough rise for 30 minutes right in the mixer.

4. Knock down dough. Form into two loaves and put in greased bread pans. Allow bread to rise 20-30 minutes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes.