I was looking at Lucky magazine over breakfast this morning. Their spring shoe sandals section. *sigh* It really made me want to go shopping, bust out my spring clothes, and go to the beach.
Unfortunately, it’s still February, and although it’s been pretty warm here the past few days, it’s still not warm enough for sandals or spring clothes, and everything is still shades of brown and gray outside. Bummer.
But looking forward to the warmth and colors of spring during the winter months is one of the things that make it so wonderful once spring finally does arrive. Don’t you think?
Now that I’m back in the U.S., I’ve realized that my winter wardrobe is severely lacking in certain areas. In Japan, due to the lack of central heating, I would always wear a long-sleeved shirt as a kind of undershirt, and then wear a sweater of some sort over it. As a result, although I have plenty of sweaters to wear, I seriously only have four long-sleeved shirts (one of which is old, and getting faded and icky). Now that I’m in the U.S. (The land of central heating!), I don’t need to wear a heavy sweater in doors usually, so I’ve ended up wearing one of my four long-sleeved shirts every day.
This is something my husband (and a lot of guys) will probably never understand, but I can’t stand wearing the same four shirts over and over. Now if I’m traveling or something, then sure, it’s not a big deal, but just at home every day? No thank you. I need variety in my life and in my wardrobe. Therefore, I think I’m going to have to go shopping this weekend for some more long-sleeved shirts. Darn! :)
I tried out a new whole wheat bread recipe this week. Like a lot of whole wheat bread recipes, this one is made with a mixture of white flour and wheat flour, but it’s about half whole wheat flour, and rises really well, so that’s a good whole wheat bread in my books.
I found this recipe in my mom’s 1975 Doubleday Cookbook. A very informative cookbook by the way. It has very detailed sections on everything from making bread, to canning and preserving, to a section on nutrition (1970′s style).
This bread was really good. The crust was chewy and crunchy (almost like a baguette crust, but not quite that tough), and the inside was light and fluffy. It goes great with soup and also makes really good toast.
Meanwhile, add 1/2 cup warm water to a large bowl. Sprinkle 5 tsp. dry yeast on the water, and mix until it dissolves. Once the milk mixture is lukewarm, pour it into the yeast mixture.
Gradually mix in 4 cups of bread flour, 1 cup at a time. Next, mix in 4 -5 cups whole wheat flour (the recipe called for 5 cups, but I could barely get 4 cups mixed in), 1 cup at a time. Although the recipe says you don’t need to knead the dough, I found it was easier to knead some of the flour in rather than trying to mix it in with a spoon near the end (of course if you have a stand mixer, this probably won’t be a problem).
Place the dough ball in a buttered or sprayed bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until double in size.
Beat down the dough (the funnest part of bread making in my opinion), and divide in half.
Shape into loaves making sure there aren’t any large air bubbles in them, and place in two greased 9 x 5 in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise for another 45 – 50 minutes. Bake in a 400° F (200°) oven for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375° F (190° C) for 45 more minutes. If the tops of the loaves start getting too dark, cover them with a sheet of aluminum foil (although this makes a “richly brown” bread as the recipe calls it).
Let loaves cool on a wire rack.
Whole Wheat Bread
(makes 2 loaves)
- 1 c. milk
- 1 1/2 c. cold water
- 1/4 c. molasses
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 1/2 c. warm water
- 5 tsp. dry yeast
- 4 c. bread flour
- 4 – 5 c. whole wheat flour
- Bring milk and cold water almost to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat and mix in molasses, sugar, butter, and salt. Let cool to lukewarm.
- Add warm water to a large bowl. Sprinkle in yeast, and mix until dissolved. Stir in cooled milk mixture.
- Mix in bread flour, one cup at a time. Then, mix in whole wheat flour, one cup at a time until you have a stiff dough.
- Place dough in a large greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Beat down dough, cut in half, shape into two loaves, and place in two greased 9 x 5 in. loaf pans. Cover, and let rise another 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Bake for 20 minutes in a 400° F (200°) oven, then reduce the temperature to 375° F (190° C), and bake for 45 more minutes, or until bottoms sound hollow. If the tops of the loaves start getting too dark, cover them with a sheet of aluminum foil.
- Remove to from pans to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm.
recipe adapted from the 1975 Doubleday Cookbook