Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Easiest Homemade Whole Grain Bread

It all started with me not loving the bread options at our local store- I wanted an option that didn't have a huge list of ingredients that I didn't recognize.  That coupled with the fact that the closest Trader Joes is a good distance from where I live, I ventured into making my own bread. I also love the idea of the girls growing up with their mom making bread- R really enjoys helping me mix the ingredients every week, and I hope it's a sweet memory for them as the get older. Since I wanted this to be a weekly thing, I was looking for a simple recipe- one that didn't feel overwhelming, even on bad weeks. What I stumbled upon is a recipe that literally requires me to only mix the ingredients with a spoon. Ideal. It tastes pretty incredible too! I double this recipe every week for the girls' sandwiches and Connor's toast in the morning. Now that I've been doing it for a few months, I'm thinking about trying a couple variations.

1 1/2 cups of water
3/4 Tbsp  fast acting/instant yeast ( 1 packet or 2 1/4 tsp.)
2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 Tbsp. salt
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I use Bob's red mill)
1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

*Combine warm water (bath water temp), yeast, honey, salt, and flours in a mixing bowl & stir. Once combined, form into a ball and lift dough up and coat bowl with olive oil. Cover and let rise for 2hrs at room temp. (I put it in the oven) . Let rise another 2hrs in fridge (covered).  Knead dough roughly 20 turns and form into a loaf. Make three slats in bread and cover loosely with plastic wrap & let rise another 45 min. Preheat oven to 425 and bake for 28 min. Let it cool before you slice it!

*The original recipe can be found here.

Friday, February 17, 2017

What we're reading

Reading with my girls is one of my favorite times during the day. Everything comes to a standstill as they snuggle on my lap, often cheek-to-cheek, and we enter into a story together. To grow their collection, every birthday and christmas we give them at least one book. A couple years ago I started writing inscriptions on them, and I think it will be special in the years to come. For those of you struggling- I will say that I've been there! It wasn't until she was three, that R has been able to sit still long enough to get through one non-board book (let alone five) without squirming. I remember having to have snacks on hand and making it interactive (like adding in jumps and whatnot- I kid you not) to keep her interest. C was a different child, it seemed from the get go she had an interest in books, books are her happy place. She can usually be found with a book in hand as well as a pile beside her. Whatever personality your child has, I have found that through perseverance we have come to this happy place of really enjoying reading together. I thought I would share some of our favorite children' books with you.....these are books that the girls ask me to read again and again (the illustrations are pretty too). I'd love to here your favorites!