November 30, 2006

I'm turning into a Loaf of Bread, or 6 of them.

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Are you tired of me talking about bread yet? Tough, here’s another post. This one extends slightly beyond bread to the wonderfully festive “Parent-Teacher Interview Night.” What could be more festive than that? Smiley, happy faces all around. Maybe not. It’s hard for parents to hear that their darling angels are brats. To at least make this night more bearable, (there’s no reason everyone should suffer) some schools provide dinner for their teachers. In this case, I’ve been asked to prepare dinner for the teachers of two local schools. The principals of these schools left it up to me to decide what they were having and since this would be a substantially larger group than I usually cook for, I decided they were all getting the same thing: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Broccoli Salad, Baked Ham, Homemade Bread and for dessert Roxanne’s Millionaire Shortbread Bars, Baklava Muffins, (both Nigella recipes) and Lemon Bars. My kitchen is a mess.

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I’m just going to focus on the bread for now. A while back I made Mom’s bread and was so happy that I actually succeeded in making bread… with a little help from the Kitchen Fairy. I posted the recipe that went along with it, but what I didn’t post was the fact that I scaled it down to 1/6th of its actual size. According to Mom, she used to make a batch of this bread once a week. Of course this was before my time, I never received such treatment. A loaf here or there maybe, but the weeks of 6 loaves were only for my brother and sister. Well it’s back! I had to do it myself, but I made 6 loaves last night. And developed some more respect for Mom. Do you have any idea what it takes to knead 20 cups of flour? This wasn’t just bread, it had a life of its own. I think I heard a heartbeat. I made some changes to the recipe this time too. I was asking Mom about the recipe and she basically said that you could put anything at all into this bread. She claims to have but all sorts of leftovers into the bread, apparently tomato soup gives it a nice pinky colour… I wasn’t that adventurous. I’m still shocked every time my bread turns out so I tried not to deviate too far from the recipe.

Mom’s Bread with Bri’s Adaptations

In a pan heat: 2 c buttermilk, 4 c water, 6 tbsp butter, 6 tsp salt, 1 c sugar, cool to lukewarm.
In a bowl put 2 c lukewarm water. Stir in 3 tsp sugar. Sprinkle on 3 tbsp (or 3 envelopes) yeast. Let stand 10min.
Into a very large bowl, pour 1st mixture and mix in 6 c multigrain bread flour. Mix in 2nd mixture. Mix in 2 more c multigrain bread flour and 2 c all purpose flour. Gradually add approx. 10 c white flour at first stirring in with a wooden spoon and then kneading by hand. Knead at least 15min (I kneaded about 22min, and was actually sweating at the end of it… too much information) or until dough is soft and elastic and hands come clean.
Set to rise in a greased bowl covered in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch down and knead for a few minutes. Divide into 6 balls for loaf pans. Let stand 10min.
Grease 6 loaf pans.
Place the balls of dough into the pans.
Cover and set to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
Bake at 375°F for 10min and then at 350°F for 25min, (my oven sucks and I did this in 2 batches).
Remove from pans, butter tops, let cool.

If I can repeatedly make this bread successfully, so can you. Seriously. Go make bread, it’s festive.

Speaking of festive, Anna over at Morsels and Musings is hosting a Festive Food Fair and this is my contribution of festive food. Parent-teacher interview night is certainly a festivity and every festivity needs bread. Put one and one together and you get two, (some of those bratty kids may think otherwise, but it is indeed two).

I promise, no more bread… for at least a week.

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Anonymous said...

You are on quite the bread kick...and that is a lot of bread!!!

Elle said...

Wow!Where were you when I was on the school board? We could have used someone as talented as you are. Teachers really are unsung heros and children really are not, in almost every case, little angels. Your menu is wonderful. The bread is beautiful. Lucky teachers.

Anna (Morsels and Musings) said...

that's a lot of bread! so how festive did those teacher get after a long night of shocked parents?

Anh said...

Brylin, don't stop making bread! Cause yours look very good! :)

K and S said...

Wow! lots of bread! Looks great tool.

Anonymous said...

Holy guacamole! That's a heckuva lot of bread! There wouldn't be any left, would there? :D

Anonymous said...

You must be one busy bee right now! Keep baking :)!

wheresmymind said...

Rock on...I'm going for some bread this weekend!

Anonymous said...

That's a ton of bread Brilynn... and it looks great! I could eat it all...

Rachel said...

When I was teacher, no one ever made me anything!

Lauren said...

Damn, that is a seriously good workout kneading all that bread.

Anonymous said...

wow...those breads did rose to the occasion, didn't they? way to go brylinn!

Anonymous said...

Never fear, nobody get tired of bread baking in the oven!! That is a lot of bread and isn't it just great fun to know you can do that now. Having kneaded a bit of bread in my time, I can really appreciate the work out with 20 cups of flour!! You do rock.