bread on Thursdays

I love to bake bread. There is no other smell I can think of, that can make your whole house smell so delightful.... as baking bread.
When Lindsay and I had just had Thomas and Dominic, I went over to her apartment to try our first attempt at baking bread. She grew up with her mom baking bread once a week. So, with Damaris on the phone, she walked us through our first try at bread making. We had such a fun day together, holding our babies, measuring flour and praying that the bread would turn out. I've used this recipe card now for, well, about eight years. This recipe is still the best bread I've ever made and I have a hard time branching out and trying others.

I have made bread off and on now for these eight years, but I've always had a bread baking day. It's Thursday. I like knowing that every week, I have the time set aside to bake. For the last couple years both Thomas and Annie have helped me with the bread making! Especially Annie! Oh how she loves to help with bread. We started a tradition about two or three years ago of singing while we kneed. And for whatever reason, we always sing the same songs.

They are:

Immaculate Mary

On Top of Spaghetti

O Christmas Tree

Weird choices I know. But we sing them every time. Annie has three aprons and before we start baking she always asks me which apron she should wear today. She likes to kneed and we each give the bread a pat, pat, pat, when it's done. We know it's done because it should feel soft as a baby's bottom.... we say. When she was smaller I would use bread making as an opportunity to help teach her to count and recognize measuring cups. I can still hear her little voice saying....one....two....three as she pours in the flour.

Today was so different. Thomas and Annie were both in school, George was off playing or watching a Thomas the Train video, and Evie was wandering around holding a baby. So, I began by myself.

I missed Annie.

Sure, it was nice to get going and make it by myself, and hey, there was NO cleaning up a pound of flour off the floor after I was done. It was much easier, but sad in a way too. It takes so much extra effort to engage our children in what we are doing, especially baking or cooking. But I think it is so worth it.

Seeing as I was by myself, I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures of the whole bread making process....

First....soak yeast and oats in water.

Add butter, eggs, honey, and salt.

Next come eight cups of flour. Probably ten cups in my case. I don't measure very well. This is how one should measure flour....
And this is how I measure....
After adding 8-10 cups of flour and stirring it all together, this is what you get. A gloppy, mass of dough all dumped out on the counter ready for kneading.
I only take my wedding ring off for two things. Making hamburger patties, and kneading bread. (oh, apparently I take it off while sleeping. While we were at the cabin a few weeks ago I woke up to find my ring not on my finger. We looked all around and I found it in between the couch cushions where I had slept that night.)
Anyways, kneading bread dough is fun. It's also your arm workout for the day. No need for the push ups in the morning when you're kneading bread. After the first time kneading, I was sore. Really sore.
Getting there....
Done. Soft as a baby's bottom.
As the dough is rising for two hours, out they come.... this recipe makes six loaves.
They rise for another hour and then....

Aha...fresh bread. Is there anything better? I seriously think not.
Well, this may be the only thing better. Slathering a hot slice with butter. Lots of butter.


HangerMom said...

I am practically drooling over that bread. And it's so pretty with all your glass pans. I don't own 6 loaf pans... But I may have to pick some up and give this a try. How do you store it during the week to keep it fresh? I love home made bread, but it seems like it tends to get dry/tough faster than store bought, so I'm wondering if I'm just handling it wrong.

Last question - is there a back side of the recipe card that we're missing? Cause I love the ingredients in this - the wholesomeness of oats and honey, but I don't actually honey or eggs on the card. Thanks! I feel like I'm harassing you via comments.

Kristi said...

I will bring you a loaf to bible study tomorrow! I leave out two loaves- one get's eaten within five minutes of coming out of the oven, and the other gets eaten the next day or so. I put the bread in either gallon size baggies or bread bags that I got from Lindsay. Then freeze them. We eat most of our bread as toast. I cut super thick slices and broil them in the oven...we don't have a toaster!! I will email you the recipe.

fullofgracex7 said...

Mmmm...I hadn't ever tried a pie crust, so I was only afraid of failing there. Bread? I have tried and tried and tried bread and? Failed EVERY time!!! I will have to try Damaris's recipe. It looks so yummy!!

Anonymous said...

I'm salivating. You keep posting recipes and pictures and I'm going to have no other choice but to start baking.

Laurie said...

You mother, cook and photograph like an artist and it is beautiful.