I’m A Home Bread Baking Fool

This weekend I went a little crazy. I got in the mood to bake ~ which doesn’t strike me all that often and away I went. I was inspired by a couple websites I found last week. The first of which is where I found both the bread recipes I used this weeked. (yes, both!!) the second I saw on twitter and it featured this amazing sounding Sour Cream Spice Cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. (it didn’t just sound good it IS good ~ really good!)baking

So in my effort to create more balance in my life I’ve looked at some of the things I value and the things I want more of in my life and then have tried to find ways to do a little to make more of that.

So a couple of the things I want to have more of in my life are:

More quality time with my Hanna
Spend less on food
Make more of our own food
Teach Hanna to cook

All of those things fit in quite well in a day filled with baking.

I have a bread maker that I use regularly (in spurts) and have always wanted to try to make my own bread. My mom used to do it quite a bit when I was younger and the beginning bread recipe on Hillbillyhousewife.com seemed so simple I didn’t think there was much of a way to mess it up.

Apparently ~ there’s not. We followed the recipe and I talked to Hanna about yeast, and dough and yummy homemade food. We kneaded (which she loved) and let it rise ~ twice. Then baked it and it turned out fantastic! It is moist and tasty, the crust not too crusty. Just perfect. I made half wheat bread, because we really try to stay away from white processed foods, but this being my first time ~ I heard it was harder to make it come out right using wheat flour so we did half and half and it was delicious! (That loaf is not in the picture because it was still in the oven when I got so excited about how the Beer bread turned out and decided to take a picture!)

We started the bread and while it was doing it’s thing we put together the Sour Cream Spice cake. I cut the raisins to 1/2 a cup and added a quarter cup of dried cranberries ~ because they were on sale at the store and Hanna loves them. We had a blast measuring and pouring. (She’s still trying to get used to all the noise the mixer makes lol).  We got it in the oven and it smelled wonderful while it was cooking. I thought about getting fancy and baking it in two circle pans ~ but that would have meant I had to buy two circle pans and we are trying to save money. :) So I baked it in a 13X9 pan and it puffed up and looked wonderful.

While that was cooling we put together a quick batch of beer bread. I had one beer left in the fridge from a party we went to over the holidays. It was just sitting there looking pitiful.  The recipe called for 1/2 a block of butter. I think I may have misinterpreted what this meant. When it said “block” I assumed it meant the whole pound. Although that sounded like a LOT of butter to me. I used a stick and a half instead of two sticks. You just pour the butter over the top of the bread dough when you put it in the oven.

I am pretty sure by the way it came out I did it wrong. It looked fantastic in the pan, however, when I pulled it out of the pan the entire bottom of the bread was saturated and kind of gross with butter.

Never fear… it was only the bottom 1/4 inch so we just pulled that off and ate it anyway. It was fabulous. Funny, my husband thought it tasted sweet I thought it kind of tasted like budweiser. :)

With our spice cake cooled and the wheat bread in the oven we hooked up some cream cheese frosting for the top of the cake. Hanna wanted purple… but this time she did not get her way. The addition of the cinnamon to the frosting was huge and delicious.  When hubby got home he asked what kind of cake I made. When I said spiced cake he kind of turned his nose up at me, but I’ve seen him go back quite a few times to slice off another little sliver of cake!

The baking day was a success. We had 2 great loaves of bread, one fantastic cake (that probably won’t last long around here). I had a great time with my daughter, we saved some money making bread instead of buying it at the store. All in all it was a great day.

There are so many great bread recipes online I can’t wait to try more of them. I think I will create my own personal bread cookbook from the recipes we like.  I love recipes from the internet but I always end up getting stuff on them and then the ink smears and then I can’t find the recipe to print it again. With everything in one real cookbook I can add to over time I will always know where to find the perfect bread recipe whenever I need it!

I’d love to see your favorite bread recipe ~ leave a link in the comments so I can check it out!

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