Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sandwich Loaf Day

Wow. It's been a looong day and since noon Mummy and I have been baking bread. This morning, I put on my brown apron and pinned up my hair, and we started baking at noon.

Our whole idea was to do a Subway-themed lunch spread tomorrow, so sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce are prepare din the fridge, and we're going to boil black pepper sausages and floss chicken breasts for mayonaise and flossed chicken. Everyone's going to make their own sandwhich. We made three kinds of the bread- Italian herb, fluffy Butter, and honey-oat-wheat. The honey oat wheat is fresh out of the oven... it look so good.

Each loaf is shaped about 6 inches long and 3 inches wide. One recipe of country seed bread will make 8 free-form mini-loaves that are like half a subway loaf.

I started with grinding a handful of peppercorns, home-grown-dried-and-frozen rosemary, same with the dill, and Indian Spice oregano, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of this was added to the following recipe, another 1/2 tablespoon was mixed with olive oil and spread on the bread, working together with a tray of steam in the oven to produce an immensely crisp and light crust over the light bread. After the bread was brushed with olive oil twice, once before rising and the second time after rising, I sprinkled sea salt liberally, and I loved the flavor of sea salt on the herb-scented bread. Yum!

The first round I did was 2x this recipe. 

This recipe is so incredibly easy - it only has one resting time, one rise, and so few ingredients (I used whole milk instead of water and dry milk)

Pullman Loaf Sandwich Bread (Pain de Mie)
By Rose Levy Beranbaum,  The Bread Bible
4 cups unbleached all purpose flour (Gold Medal, King Arthur, or Pillsbury)
1/4 cup dry whole milk
1 Tbsp dry instant yeast
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 liquid cups water (70-90 degrees F_)
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp salt
In a large mixer bowl, whisk together the flour, dry milk, and yeast. Add the butter and mix with the dough hook on low speed (#2 if using Kitchen Aid), then add the water, honey, and salt. When all the flour is moistened, raise the speed to medium (#4 on KA) and beat for 7 minutes. The dough will be smooth, shiny, and slightly sticky to the touch. If the dough is not stiff, knead in a little flour.  If it is not at all sticky, spray it with a little water and knead it in.  It will weight about 38.5 ounces/1102 grams

On a lightly floured counter, shape the dough into a football.  Flour the top and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow to relax for 10-15 minutes. Removed the plastic wrap and gently deflate the dough, using your fingertips to spread it into a rectangle about 10" x 8" wide. Flour the counter as necessary to keep it from sticking.

Give the dough one business-letter turn, then press or roll it out again to about 12" x 5" and shape it into a 16" loaf. Set it in the prepared pan. Grease the top of the pan and slide it into place, leaving it a few inches ajar so that you can gauge the progress of the rising dough.  Cover  the exposed area with plastic wrap if not using a proof box. cover the pan with a large container or set it in a warm area, allow it to rise until it is about 1/2 inch below the top of the lid, approx 1-1 1/2 hours.  When the dough is pressed with a fingertip, the depression will very slowly fill in.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees 30 minutes before baking.  Do not use an oven stone.
Bake for 30 minutes. Gently slide off the lid and continue baking about 30 minutes or until browned. 

Remove bread from the oven and unmold it onto a large wire rack. Cool it top side up until barely warm, about 1 hour to make for easier slicing.

We basically followed this yummy and light sandwich bread recipe, only shaping it differently. After lunch I made a second batch of bread,  again 2x and brushed with melted butter before baking - perfection!... Ooooh buttery white rolls from the oven... irresistable and deadly.

Finally I ended with the Country Seed Bread Recipe, omitting all seeds and adding 1/2
cup of rolled oats to the dough. Then, I used the leftover  butter, some honey, and 1/4 cup of rolled oats to decorate the top of the bread before baking.  It looks so golden and wheaty and rich.

I'm thinking of the Feeding of the Five Thousand, because these are such sweet, individual loaves. They would be good with canned sardines and tuna. Five loaves and three fish...

Last night I went several kilometres, about 4.5 to 5.5 I think, and hit 200 calories on the elliptical! I was sneezing and sneezing at first, and working up a sweat.  Exercise is hard, but worth it. Too many cookies and carbs have been going into my system.

I just love this whole-day-baking thing and the expectation of having everyone over at my house tomorrow. As an Amish woman once said, if church doesn't come around the house won't get as clean. We clean the house a lot when it comes around. We just have so much in common with the Amish and I totally admire them.

I been watching "Amish: World's Squarest Teenagers" and "Living with the Amish", both spectacular series by Channel 4. I discover I have so many things in common with the Amish teens. I wish that youths here would appreciate an evening of sitting on the porch, singing hymns and doing Bible study, as  much as the Amish do. Sometimes I feel lonely, I wish I have friends like Leah Miller, Martha Miller, and Becky Shrock, who love God and God's Word so much, living such lovely plain lives.

I'm very thankful, however. It's just a joy when I line up all the children that come and it's great fun doing dishes together. They are so hard-working and it's surprising that 6 and 7 year olds can wash big, big pots till they shine. They're so diligent and we have so much fun together. It feels real "Amish".

A lot of youths today talk about quitting Facebook for the day and that being "Going Amish". I am really into that, but from a different angle. Well, I love plain clothes, and do have some that look pretty "Amish", as well as some "Little House on the Prairie". I'm try to fix up the kerosene lamp to use, and it's here by my desk I can't get the wick turner to work without jamming the wick. I'm learning to sew whole clothes by hand  (fun!), bind books, sew, wash clothes by hand, garden, and do all sorts of "Amish"  things. I think the heart of the Anabaptists is really taking the commands of Christ and the commands of discipleship seriously and literally. They're the best example of discipleship really, especially concerning the beautitudes, and the community church life in Acts.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (snarkily) depicts the Antinomianist Cheap Grace as saying, "We, then, let the Christian live like the rest of the world, let him model himself on the world's standards in every sphere of life, and not presumptuously aspire to live a different life under grace from his old life under sin. That was the heresy of the enthusiasts, the Anabaptists, and their kind."

Learning the "Shacharit" and "Asher Yatzar"... lol. Written the bread b'rachah, the first shema, and Adon Olam into my own tunes. I wonder if they're authentic enough.


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