Hello my friends. I'm sitting here on a bright, sunny afternoon, enjoying the freshness after our rainstorm on Tuesday. When it rains, it can pour down here in southern California. Our pool is filled to the top but luckily it didn't overflow. I feel so sad for all those people who have lost life or home from the ravages of the floods due to the Thomas Fire (which is about 100 miles north of where I live). Sometimes, we can take things for granted. I'm so thankful every day.
Being thankful, I'm so thankful for the many blog friends I have met. I get so many great ideas from all of you. It can be books, fiber arts, recipes, gardening or just some great advice now and then. The other day I was reading Morning's Minion's blog and she had shared her recipe for some wonderful homemade bread. She's an expert bread baker! I used to bake bread regularly but for the past few years, my yeast baking has consisted of rolls. Today, I made the bread pictured above. You can find my recipe at the bottom of this post if you wish to try it. (I think it didn't proof enough hence the crack in the loaf).
The title of this post today mentions Etsy purchases. I've finished my latest needlepoint and I found this much needed little thread catcher on Etsy. Isn't this just an adorable little fabric bag? And, it was like $5.00!
I think I shared with you that I joined The Handmade Sock Society and I'm anxiously awaiting for the first pattern release. I wanted (but didn't need :)) a new sock project bag. I found this adorable little project bag from this seller on Etsy. It was a great buy, too! I used to sew back in the old days. But, my sewing skills are circa 1970's and it makes me nervous with clipping all those threads, etc. Hence, my love of knitting/crochet/needlepoint.
For the past few months, my dear husband has been having some medical tests are still inconclusive. On our way home from the doctor on Tuesday, during a torrential downpour, we stopped at Trader Joe's and I just had to buy this colorful cyclamen complete with the flower pot. I'm wondering if this is a plant and I can keep and have it bloom again?
My little granddaughter is here for a couple of nights. Here she is at her home helping her Mom set the table. Her older brother (my first grandchild), will join her tomorrow for a fun time with Grandma and Grandpa. The joys of being a grandparent!
I hope that the New Year is being good to you. Lilly is doing well and wanted me to send her "meows" to everyone, too! Until next time . . .
My best wishes,
Pat's Whole Wheat Bread
2 cups lukewarm water
1 package dry yeast
scant 1/3 cup honey/molasses mixture (you can use all honey if you wish or brown sugar)
2 Tablespoons oil
1/2 Tablespoon salt
3 cups Trader Joe's pastry whole wheat flour*
2 cups all purpose flour*
I used my Kitchenaid mixture to make/knead this dough. I placed the water in the warmed bowl and added the yeast. Let it sit about 5 minutes. Add in honey/molasses mixture, oil, salt and 3 cups of the whole wheat flour. Start mixer to begin combining the ingredients. You can give it a good stir with a large wooden spoon. Add in all purpose flour, gradually, until mixture becomes a ball. Don't add too much as you want a soft dough. Knead a few minutes in the machine and then remove beater and cover dough and let it rise for at least one hour.
Punch down dough and divide into four balls of equal size. Let the balls rest for about 10 minutes. Grease well two 9 x 5 bread pans. Shape each ball into a nice ball and place two balls in each pan. Let rise for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread pans in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until they sound "hollow". Place a clean tea towel on the counter and put a cooling rack on top. Remove bread from pans onto cooling rack. Brush tops with butter. Let cool and then slice or freeze them as you wish.
* I keep my whole wheat flour in the frig to prolong it's life. But, when I looked at it today, it wasn't fresh so I used instead this Trader Joe's pastry flour. It worked great as it's just a finer ground whole wheat flour. In you use regular whole wheat flour, I would use two cups whole wheat to 3 cups of all purpose flour. It's up to you whether you enjoy a fine textured bread versus a coarse textured bread.