Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bread and More Bread

Sandwich bread Well, I wasn't getting much knitting done on my Ravelympics project for most of the day.

No, instead I had the urge to throw more flour around the kitchen.

This time I made King Arthur Flour's Classic White Bread. What I like about their blog is they give you extra little tips that aren't contained in the normal recipe. The pictures are helpful as well.

Like this whole idea of rubbing the top with a stick of butter when you first take it out of the oven, which is why mine looks so shiny. Really increases the butter flavor.

On the other hand, I'm usually going for a crispy, crunchy crust, so I'll probably stick with brushing the top with water when it first goes in the oven. But you have to try these things at least once.

Although I let it rest for five minutes after taking it out of the oven, I totally burnt my fingers trying to cut a slice (or two) so I could munch it while it was still warm.

Definitely a different flavor than the Scali bread I was making earlier in the week. But still very tasty.
Bread int
I'm not sure that mine rose as much as theirs. I think the kitchen got a little chilly. But it still fluffed up nicely and tastes good. If I keep this bread baking nonsense up I'm going to have to get a new box of dried milk and see what difference it makes.

Part of me wanted to put the large version of this picture in the blog because I'm so very please with the interior texture of this bread, but that would have been silly because the picture is so huge.

Seriously, the bottom and side crust are nice and crispy, the interior is soft and chewy, and the top crust is all soft and buttery. So many textures and so much flavor to enjoy, what's not to love?
Samson breadI'm going to have such yummy toast with breakfast tomorrow.

Obviously Samson, who is a little blurry because he was in motion when I took this, totally understands what I'm talking about. Or at least he thinks he understands and would love to experience what I'm talking about first paw.

After all, we're talking about a pup who likes bread and loves butter, so that loaf would be right up his alley. Which is why it safely tucked away in the cupboard over the stove.

I also made a loaf of banana bread. I noticed last night that our bananas had been ignored and got overripe. Whipped that up with the recipe I always use from "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cooking Basics." (What?! I bought it when I got my first apartment after college.) I like to put a half cup each of chocolate and peanut butter chips in it.

At this point, between the three loaves of bread, the peanut butter cookies, and the banana bread, I have blown through the bag of flour I bought barely two weeks ago! I need more flour. Wow, I've done a lot of baking lately.

I was a very busy girl today.

Let's see. I mixed the banana bread and put it in the oven, then mixed the sandwich bread, then went to the library, then shaped the sandwich bread, then played online, then put the bread in the oven, got the laundry going, then finally settled down to knit around like 3 pm. Oh, and I played fetch with the pups a couple time.

Knitting Banana bread
Just now before I came up I made it through the pleats section of Stella's Blouse. About 30 rows. I'm a bit concerned that it's taken me like 4 hours of knitting to work 30 rows, but they are 121 stitches each and there is a pattern.

Of course, now I'm into the smocking section, which won't go much faster. But after that it's all stockinette stitch all the time, and I'm expecting that to whip along. Especially since it's going to have far few stitches to work.

I had to stop because I have to decrease many, many stitches away before I start the smocking and I didn't want to have to figure out the math to balance it. I remember that was rather painful on the sleeves and back.

Of course, I seem to remember the one sleeve had other issues I didn't discover until I was trying to decrease.

Instead of straining my brain, I went to this calculator, which did the math for me. yipee!

At the same time, I'm having to remember to take breaks, stretch, and rest my hands. I kind of forgot the combination of the cotton yarn with the Addi Turbo needles is a bit rough on me.

Really, I'm not accustomed to working with the Addis. Oh, I like them fine, but generally I spend most of my time knitting with bamboo or birch double points for my socks, or my Denise Interchangeables, which are plastic. None of those needles are a slick as Addis and it's a bit of an adjustment.

However, it's bed time now, so more knitting is going to have to wait until tomorrow.


  1. Ann, you should have gone for it with the big picture - your bread's interior is PERFECT. Lovely. there's no better "bread and butter," toast, French toast bread around - glad it worked well for you, and thanks for highlighting it here. (Banana bread looks good, too...) PJ Hamel, King Arthur Flour baker/blogger

  2. *drool* just *drool* I think I have adequately made my point ;-)