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Archive for the ‘Baking Bread’ Category

     Today has been one of those lazy, do nothing and enjoy it kind of days.  Those are few and far between…but, so very necessary for the soul to rest and build up strength to do what must be done every other day of the week. 

      It has been cold and wet.  We woke up this morning to a growing blanket of fluffy white snow…the first of the season, to lightly coat the ground.  Of course, it did not stay there because the ground is not frozen yet…so, the warmth of the earth melted the brilliant, white snow early in the day.  This is just a mini preview of what is to come in the next few weeks.

       The snow brought joy to my child’s face…and, a look of acceptance to mine 🙂  Now is the time to contemplate making a nice homemade, chunky sort of comfort meal…like maybe a hot, hearty chicken noodle soup with homemade dumplings…or maybe a rich, smooth, smoky pea soup, or possibly a filling fall harvest kind of soup with some happy orange carrots, and some limey green cabbage surrounding floating chunks of the all american staple of potatoes in a nice rich broth of ham pieces or some pieces of bacon. However, this is work…and, cannot stand alone.  One must complement the meal with some fresh- from- the- oven homemade doughy, buttery rolls.  This is the treat that we offer ourselves when the reality of 6 months of cold, wet, dark and dreary winter comes sneaking upon us.  Oh, if that sounds ominous…then you will have to come back on another day when the snow is cherished and given glory…just not today when i have to grow to appreciate it’s beauty.

       Golly, you will just have to check back in a few weeks, when i paint the picture of a cheery morning; when the snow crystals sparkle in the sunlight and underscore the weight of the evergreen branches that bow under the weight of the heavy flakes of snow that have fallen overnight, much to our surprise.  Then you will see that the human spirit is flexible and has the wisdom to recognize all of the gifts in life. 

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       Today is the day i am making homemade bread rolls; the weather is cold, and i figured that i may as well take advantage of that and warm up the house in a pleasing way.

         It is a time consuming process…but, from the time i started heating the milk , butter and sugar for the base in a small non-stick sauce pan; i start anticipating that nutty, sweet bread smell.  The tangy yeast dissolves in the warm water quickly; and, when added to the liquid base…it starts taking on a life of it’s own.

         I started adding the eggs to the liquid base and whaaaa laaa…the grains and flour start going in.  Soon, it is time for the nitty- gritty of bread baking.

          Time to get rid of the mixing spoon, stick my well washed hands in and just start hand blending all of the ingredients; so that they are all well mixed.  It starts to take on that yeasty bread smell.   It takes a few minutes to get the sticky dough off of my hands.  Well worth the inconvience, i say!

           Put it all in a large glass mixing bowl and cover it up with a towel and let it rise in the warmth of the open oven door.  Waiting is the time consuming part.

            This particular recipe is extra- special good…but, it has to rise twice.  Once in the bowl…then, i pinch off small globs and put them into greased muffin tins.  Let them rise another 20 minutes….until they resemble puffed up, mushroom shaped rolls.

             While the oven does its stuff heating up the dough to the right temperature to finish baking them into the warm, fluffly rolls; I melt the stick of real butter that will be brushed on top to keep in the moisture and add the last finishing touch.

               There is nothing, that says welcome home, like fresh baked bread.    It’s only to be matched with a nice batch of home made chicken soup.  Ummm..it is good to be hibernating on this freezing cold day.  Thank you God for a home to be in and the ingredients to make a wonderful meal that will last for a couple of days.

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