Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wine Anyone?

The day is slowly winding down, and by slowly I mean my 21 month old son who is fighting sleep like a champ. Come on baby boy, just give in already! He's squirming and talking himself out of it with a vigor. It's definitely a glass of wine kind of night.

Before I forget, Happy Saint Patrick's Day! We celebrated with corned beef and cabbage for supper, gave the husband a Guinness float to wash it down with. No worries, the kids got Coke floats. We all had green of some sort on as well.

Today was decently productive. Added onto the compost, fixed the landscapers horrid mulch dumping, (yes...piles of mulch dumped...right on top of my strawberry plants don't ya know!) along with all the other fix ins of an average day in this household.

Ah. He's still awake...but barely, Daddy has rock-the-baby-to-sleep-duty tonight. That's normally a Mommy job. Hoping he nods off soon. I've been craving a slice of this citrus olive oil cake I made earlier in the week with some fresh strawberries..maybe mashed into some sort of goopy sauce.

Oooh speaking of baked goodies. I made the cinnamon-sugar craisin swirl bread that I talked about in the previous entry. See the delicious pictures...ah if only they smell-o-vision. Breakfast is sure to be an A+.

How can you make this? (yes...yes you can!...remember..the little engine that could? you can too.)

I adpated the recipe from a fantastic book titled How to Bake Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day. If you love to bake and want to bake bread you need to get this book. Mine is covered in flour marks and grease stains where dough was stuck between pages.

The dough recipe makes three 1 1/2 pound loaves. The batch of dough gave me 2 beautiful loaves of sandwich bread and one sexy loaf of breakfast deliciousness. So let's dive in.

For the Dough: (Note: this recipe is for 3 loaves, if you only want one loaf you'll need to reduce your measurements)

3 cups of warm water
2 packets of yeast (make sure you aren't using expired isn't as reliable)
1 1/2 tablespoons of salt
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter melted (you'll additional melted butter to brush on top of the loaf)
7 cups of flour (I like to use KAF's Unbleached All Purpose Flour)
one beaten egg and one tbsp of water
1/3 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons Saigon cinnamon
3/4 cup craisins

1. Grab yourself a mixing bowl that holds at least 5 qts. (I use the my Kitchen Aid Mixer's bowl). Pour in your water, sprinkle the yeast on top then add the rest of the ingredients (yes flour goes in all at once).
2. Mix everything until all of the flour is incorporated. If you are using your stand mixer make sure to use the dough hook attachment.
3. Cover and let it calm down for about 2 hours.
4. Unless you plan on using your dough immediately, now is the time to refrigerate the dough (its easier to work with when it's cold)
5. We're going to pretend you're not refrigerating it. Take out a melon size ball of dough and sprinkle it with flour. Shape into a ball and smooth the top over to the bottom turning as you go, the bottom will look all bunched up and weird but trust me it all smooths out here in a second.
6. Grease a loaf pan with a neutral oil like canola or vegetable.
7. Sprinkle the countertop with flour and bust out the old school rolling pin, dust that baby with flour as well. Get to rolling. Roll your dough out into a rectangle (mine always looks like a circle who wants to be square). I do mine to about a 1/4 inch thickness.
8. Now it's time for some egg wash. Take a beaten egg and mix it with a tablespoon of water. Now brush the surface of your dough all over with it
9. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and evenly distribute on top of your egg washed dough, now add the craisins again be sure to evenly distribute them.
10. Here's the fun part. Take one end and slowly roll your dough up like a jellyroll then pinch the seam and ends and fold the ends under.
11. Place your dough into a loaf pan to proof again(if using fresh dough let sit for 40 minutes if refrigerated give it an hour and 40 minutes)
12. 5 minutes before it's done preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then bake your loaf for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. When I pull mine out I like to rub a tablespoon of butter all over it and let it all melt beautifully.
13. Let it cool COMPLETELY!! I stress that because if you try to slice it while it's still warm you won't get very pretty slices.
and BAM. homemade delicious bread. Not to mention the bonus aroma your house is filled with! Hours later I picked up the oldest from school and as soon as she walked in the door "Mommy...what is that smell?? Did you make...CINNAMON ROLLS?!"

It's so worth it. And you know what's going into your bread, no worries about crazy preservatives.

Yes. He's finally asleep. It's cake and wine time. My apologies for the less than splendid picture quality. Microsoft Words publish feature was not being friendly last night. Any techies out there want to give a girl a hand?

What’s in store for tomorrow? Eh, I think I’ll introduce you to our little garden. See you tomorrow.


  1. gardening...Yea! We don't get to start that for a few more weeks, I mean months :)

  2. =) Robin, my seedling disaster was from being to eager to get started..oops lol.

  3. Now there's an idea...growing in a kiddie pool! Can't wait to see how that turns out as it gives people with no access to a plot of dirt an option for a garden still.

    I think I'll be trying that bread too. I accidentally bought two packages of craisins, plus I've never been a fan of raisins, so this is right up my alley.