Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sourdough bread: 9 Rachel: 2

Okay. I have been OBSESSED with making bread recently. Why? I have no idea, but it has been very important to figure out this age old way of feeding ones self.

Nine tries. It has taken me nine tries at making sourdough bread, and finally... FINALLY... not only have I dominated sourdough bread, but I have kicked its tail and told it who was boss: ME.

So, please, let me share how to make a starter ... and then... how to make sourdough, all without yeast.

Take equal parts of water and flour and mix together to make a gooey mess. Add equal parts of flour and water to this original mixture everyday until you have about 2 cups for about three days. Next, toss out half of the mixture and add back equal parts of flour and water for another 4-5 days. It should start to have oodles of bubbles and smell yummy... like beer and bread. 

To make oh-so-good sourdough bread: Pull out about a cup of the starter and sprinkle with both sugar and flour. Let it sit for several hours until bubbles are throughout all of the goo. (a clear glass pyrex bowl is ideal) Once the bubbles are there, in a separate bowl, whisk together about 1 tbsp. of olive oil, 2 tsp. of sugar, and about 1 tsp. of salt. To this, add the "proofed" starter and about 2 cups of flour and less than 2 cups of water, interchanging adding water and then flour. I use the vague terms as the flour and water amounts will vary depending on the weather. You want a dough. 

Pull it out and knead it into a ball and coat with oil. Let it sit in a well-oiled bowl until it doubles in size. Punch it down and place on a cookie sheet. NOW preheat your oven to 425 for about 30-45 minutes. Cook for 35 minutes or until it looks too good to resist. 

Please let me know how it turns out!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Where'd she go?!


It's been busy, busy, BUSY around 2640-A. And believe me, it has everything to do with the little 16 pound rugrat with no teeth and 18 snippets of hair.

She crawls.
She pulls up.
She reaches and says DaDaDa to Husband.
She poops. A lot.
She feeds herself.
She, all around, rules.

Eileen has becoming quite the little person with the most precious personality. The occasional fit she throws is subdued when she realizes that the Battle of Will Cagles & Battle of Rachel Cagles will not be won with a tantrum. Her schedule is strict from 7:30 to oh, about 4:15... and then she rolls with what the dice throw her.

Her favorite toys are my old Blackberry, DaDas LED flashlight, and PETF's gift of a tea set that sings. She puts the purple cup on her head, sticks out her tongue, her eyes slowly raise as if she can see the new hat and then shakes her head back and forth for it to fall. Immediate giggling ensues.

We have been making bread recently. She sits at my feet, pulls up on the stove, licks the door and laughs like there is no tomorrow when the flour lands in her hair. Well, I say hair... maybe I should say peach fuzz.

We are new with a sippy cup, but old hands with feeding ourselves puffs.

I am so proud of our little one. She makes me laugh and makes me smile. She also makes me realize that she is hungry and it's time to eat!