lunch

Baker Baker

I need some advice! But first, a cute photo of Logan and me cuddling on the couch early Saturday morning:

Over the long weekend I finally got to try my very first loaf of sourdough bread. I’ve never made bread before (except for Sheepherder’s Bread and I think I killed the yeast and it never rose) but it’s been something that both Michael and I have wanted to try doing for years.

My friend gave me some of her sourdough starter probably a month or so ago. I’ve been feeding it every week and it smelled so good and sour. I was really excited to try this. So Saturday morning after the gym I got started on prepping and making the dough because I knew it would be an all day process.

First off, having the Kitchenaid mixer for making bread is AMAZING. I barely had to do any of the kneading.

Second, even though I fed the starter a lot and gave it extra leading up to the weekend, I still didn’t have quite enough for the recipe. So I had to feed the starter more right before. Maybe that changed things? I don’t honestly know.

I followed the instructions of the recipe I used (recommended by my friend). I had found another recipe, too, that I thought sounded good. I think I will try that recipe next time and see how it goes.

EASY SOURDOUGH ARTISAN BREAD RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour (white whole wheat, whole wheat, unbleached, or a combo)
  • 1-1/4 cups water (may need less if your starter is “wetter”- mine is a 100% hydration starter, fed an equal ratio of flour to water)
  • 3/4 cup active sourdough starter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) just until combined and then let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Using a dough hook, knead for 5 minutes. If making by hand, knead for 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl, lightly coated with oil. Cover with plastic and let rise for 3 hours, turning and folding the dough once or twice.
  4. Remove dough, turn and fold again, and place it back in the bowl, seam-side up. Let rise for another 2 hours.
  5. After the second rise, place a square of parchment on a cookie sheet and gently shape the dough into a ball or oval (using lots of flour, as the dough is moist) and set on the parchment. Make sure there’s a good coating of flour on the top, as this will make slicing the top later easier.
  6. Set an enameled, cast iron dutch oven into a cold oven and turn heat to 450 degrees (alternately, you can use a baking stone), and set the timer for 40 minutes.
  7. When the timer goes off, slash the top of the loaf with a serrated knife (in 2-3 places) and transfer it to the hot pot by holding the edges of the parchment (or stone).
  8. Replace the hot lid and bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking for another 13-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  9. Remove to a wire rack to cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.
  10. NOTES
  11. Slicing tip: if you don’t have a good serrated knife, try using an electric knife to easily slice through crusty artisan bread. I works like a charm and even cuts through warm breads without squishing the crusts like regular knives do.

Notes

From: https://anoregoncottage.com/easy-sourdough-artisan-bread/2/

http://www.110pounds.com/?p=54767

Since this was my first loaf ever, I didn’t have high expectations. I knew it would take practice but I was still a little bummed out it didn’t turn out like it should. I think I should have let it rise longer than the 5 hours the recipe called for. Because the dough didn’t really look like it rose all that much from when I started it…

Next time, I won’t use my dutch oven to bake it, either. One of the options of the recipe was to use a baking/pizza stone. We have one that makes GREAT pizza so I will try that next time.

Overall the bread was OK but not great. It was really dense. It weighed a freakin’ ton. It wasn’t the light, airy sourdough I was expecting. I’m not sure what I need to do differently in the future. I read through some messages boards online and none of them were really clear. It could have been too wet, not wet enough, maybe I didn’t let it rise enough, maybe it had too much gluten in it, maybe not enough…HELPFUL.

So I could definitely use some advice from bread baking experts out there! What did I do wrong? How do I make the bread LIGHT and AIRY?

In other news…on Sunday we went out to lunch for Logan’s BFF’s birthday. I had an AMAZING burger on AMAZING bread. 😀

Lunch was at Hopworks. It’s a great place, good food and it’s very kid-friendly, which is nice. We were in a back room for kids so that was good, too.

Seriously, look at that bun! It was SO GOOD. I wish I could make bread like that. My burger had swiss cheese, toasted hazelnuts, caramelized onions, arugula and lemon aioli on it. It was to die for. One of the best burgers I’ve had in a long time.

The above photo was the toys at the restaurant in the kid’s area. (Great idea!) Logan had cheese pizza with apple slices on the side (decent pizza, too).

QUESTION: Master bakers, HELP ME!

Mother’s Day Weekend

My parents came down to visit for the weekend. On Saturday they watched Logan for us while we went to a Celebration of Life for a family friend who passed away recently. It was a really nice service.

My parents had a blast taking care of Logan. He was excited to see them, too, and to show off his new biking skills. 😉

Then on Sunday we had a mother’s day lunch at our house. Michael’s mom and stepdad came over and Michael’s brother Doug brought tulips for all the moms. It was very sweet. <3

Unfortunately, I ended up with a stomach bug Saturday so that kind of ruined my Mother’s Day. 🙁 Michael and my mom did all the food prep and cooking. I didn’t want to risk infecting anyone. Michael made a frittata:

It was pretty good. If we make it again I’d put some cheese on top. 🙂 This is the recipe:

One Pan BLT Skillet Frittata

Yield: 4

Calories per serving: 146

Carbs per serving: 3

Protein per serving: 9

Ingredients

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices Wright Brand Bacon, chopped (I used their Applewood Smoked Bacon)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • Fresh basil, chopped, as garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together your eggs, milk, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Cook your chopped bacon until crispy. Here is a great link with some tips!
  4. Add olive oil, garlic and spinach to the skillet and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. Add in the tomatoes and stir to combine.
  5. Pour the egg mixture over the spinach and then stir in the bacon. Stir the entire skillet once or until well combined. Let sit (without stirring) for about 2 minutes, just until the edges are set.
  6. Place the entire skillet in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until the eggs are set and slightly golden.
  7. Top with some freshly chopped basil if desired.
  8. Slice and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

From: https://www.thecookierookie.com/one-pan-blt-skillet-frittata/

http://www.110pounds.com/?p=54710

On the side we had fruit salad and a Trader Joe’s kale and broccoli salad mix. I felt really bad that the lunch didn’t go quite as I planned because I got sick. Such a bummer! But the food turned out really well and we all sat outside on the deck in the gorgeous summery weather.

Dessert was the Trader Joe’s Key Lime Pie. I’ve never bought it before–SO GOOD! It was smaller than I was expecting but it turned out to be the perfect size for the lunch.

We opened Mother’s Day cards and gifts. Logan made me a card and this present at daycare:

How cute is that? 😀

Despite being sick for most of the weekend, it was nice seeing family and spending time together. I’m really looking forward to more meal outside on our deck. Happy Mother’s day!