raising and rising

taking a quick peek
getting ready to rise


I know it has been a while since I’ve last posted anything; this moving thing is keeping me quite busy!

As I go about my days, I reflect a little on what our lives have become ~ temporary, transitional, trailblazing days intermingled with sometimes meaningful, sometimes meaningless encounters ~ but they have all made an impact on us.  We are far richer for our experiences this life has brought us, and for each of you who have touched our lives, I thank you.  

As I speed ahead booking trips and spa days, packers and yard sales, I find great comfort in the home-y things I can still manage.  One of the greatest, bread making ~ I love the feel of the dough as I knead it into a smooth pillow of flour, the smell of the warm dough rising, and the smiles on my family’s faces as they bite into it.  I have taken to grinding spelt and oatmeal to add to my bread flour, but I won’t put you through all that extra work.  Bread flour works out just as well!

Val’s Honey Bread

  • shaping into loaves

    5-6 cups bread flour

  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 T Honey
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 T butter, melted
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 T molasses
  • 2 1/4 cup warm water (same temp as the inside of your wrist, 90 – 110 degrees)

Place yeast, sugar and one cup of flour in a large bowl; add one cup of water, stir; cover and let rest (proof) for 5 – 10 minutes.  Add 4 cups of flour, remaining 1 1/4 cup of water and the rest of the ingredients; stir well with large wooden spoon; turn out onto lightly floured surface; adding flour as needed, knead until dough is no longer sticky, about 5 – 10 minutes; let rest for 5 minutes; in a large bowl (I wash the one I started with), either spray with non-stick spray (less calories), or coat with melted butter (more taste : o), place dough in bowl, turning so both sides are coated; cover with plastic wrap or clean tea towel; place in warm, draft-free area until dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes to an hour; after dough has risen, turn onto lightly floured surface, divide dough in half; here is where you can get creative and make whatever shape suits you ~ I usually make one loaf pan and one “farm” or rustic loaf (free form) on parchment paper covered baking sheet, but feel free to make dinner rolls, braided loaf, or whatever suits your fancy. Cover dough and allow to rise again, until doubled in size, 45 minutes – 1 hour. 

note: I usually dust my parchment covered baking sheet with oatmeal or cornmeal for a more rustic look

Preheat oven to 425 degrees; place bread into hot oven ~ I mist the door and sides of the oven with water (the steam helps create a nice crust and an airiness to the bread); bake for 25 – 40 minutes ~ free form shapes on baking sheet require less time, loaf pans, a little more time ~ remove from oven, cool on wire racks and enjoy!

this bread freezes well, and will last about 7 days in the fridge; store ziplock bags ~

Pillow of dough

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