Friday, October 26, 2012

Baking Away.....

I have never been a crafty person.  I can hear my Mom saying right now that I have to work at it.  This may be true but even if you try your hardest at something won't make you an artist.  I have some artistic friends and I just am in awe that they can create something that looks so nice and not something that a 4 year old would give you for mother's day.  Well Corey and I started a budget and I have 50 bucks a month to spend on home decor/ crafts.  So I am determined to at least try and brighten my home.  I know it is clean, but I wish it had more pizazz.  For November I have to get Danni's room painted so most of the money will go into that, but I am thinking in December maybe I should brighten my guest bathroom with a paint job.  It really needs something and I hate it when I even go in there.  When I finally get around to these things I will take pictures and post.  On to the subject of this whole post.....

So one thing I do LOVE to do is bake and cook.  I am a cookbook addict and love to collect them.  If you ever need to get me a gift just find a cookbook and I will love you.  My husband may not since I tend to not cook the same thing twice.  I love trying new recipes and he misses just steak and potatoes and some corn.  But I have found some great stuff while surfing my cookbooks and of course Pinterest.  But one thing I do know is you can't find the good old Grandma recipes.  I actually made not one, but two yesterday.  My Grandma Wilcox makes the best bread ever.  I am not lying.  Anyone who tries her bread is hooked and for years I have tried to make it just like hers and I have failed every time.  Well I got up the nerve to try again yesterday and I nailed it.  This bread turned out perfect.  It is dense and soft and oh so hearty.  I pulled 2 loaves out yesterday afternoon and one is pretty much gone already.  I think I might place the success on my Kitchen aid which I used to mix the dough.  It worked like a charm and saved me from having to use my hands.  Here is the recipe for my Grandma's bread.  I cut it in third because it made so much.  This made two loaves although I could have made 3 because the 2 were huge loaves.

First you have to mix the warm water, yeast and sugar and let it set for a little bit.  I think getting the water the right temperature is the hardest for me.  But with our tank less water heater the water comes out at 120 degrees which is perfect for yeast.  So I let the tap run for a little bit and it was magic.  1/3 C. water, 1 Tb yeast and 1/3 Tb sugar.  Next you mix up the dry ingredients.  I just put it in my kitchen Aid bowl. 4 2/3 C. white flour, 1/3 C. sugar, 1Tb salt, pinch of ginger.  Mix these ingredients together.  Then add 2 2/3 C. warm water, 1/3 C. oil and yeast mixture and mix this pretty well.  Then add another 2 2/3 C. flour in.  Mix until you get a nice dough.  Take it out of your mixer and put it in a bowl with a towel over it and let it raise.  After about an hour I took the dough out and punched it down a little bit.  Then divided it and formed loaves.  Put them into loaf pans and let raise again for about an hour.  Then put in a pre-heated 325 degree oven.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until brown on top.  Right when you take them out rub some butter on the crust.

If you are like me it will be near impossible not to take that knife and cut the big old butt off of one of the loaves and slather butter on it.  And if you happen to have a little bit of dough left because you made too much you can always do what Grandma did and fry them up into scones.  Those are oh so good as well.

Now normally I would think this was enough baking for the day but I was in the mode so I asked my mom for my Grandma Rollins Gingerbread Cookie recipe.  I know this is not every one's favorite kind of cookie.  I happen to love gingerbread and these are awesome.

3/4 Cup Shortening
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Baer Rabbit with green label Molasses
1 Egg
2 ts. Baking Soda
2 Cups Flour
1/2 ts. ground cloves
1/2 ts. ground ginger
1 ts. cinnamon
1/2 ts. salt.

Melt shortening in a pan on low heat; Remove and cool.  Add sugar, molasses and egg. Beat well.  Set aside.  Mix together flour, soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon and salt.  Add to first mixture.  Mix well and chill. (now at this point the dough is crumbly like crushed graham crackers.  I freaked out and called my mom.  But trust me just stick it in the fridge for a little bit)  Form the crumbs into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar.  Cook on cookie sheet at 375 for about 8 minutes.  You don't want to overcook these things or they will be crispy instead of soft.  My kids loved them and kept trying to sneak them as they were cooling.  I admit I had to go brush my teeth because I couldn't stay out of them.

Either recipe is so good and comforting.  Depending on what you are feeling like give one a try.


Seth and Julie said...

I am also not crafty at all and didn't learn to cook/bake until I had kids but now I love it. There is nothing like warm fresh bread. I do a lot better when the kitchenaid can knead my dough for me as well. I have a favorite bread recipe but I am excited to try your grandma's too. Sounds amazing! I am not a gingerbread fan at all but I always want to make gingerbread houses from scratch, just once. Thanks for sharing!

melissa said...

Beau read your blog and now he wants to make both. We made the ginger bread cookies a couple of years ago. Though, they may have been different bc we got the recipe from Grandma Wilcox.

Thor'sblog said...

What kinda of yeast did you use?

Kory Jane said...

Just those packet ones...our store here is limited on selection.

Sally said...

Baking and cooking are crafting, just with food! Congrats on the bread turning out! Fabric I can do, bread I cannot!

Anonymous said...

Cooking is a craft. I think you always sell yourself short. Sorry, you got that cookbook bug from me. I even take them for bathroom reading material.