Friday, February 22, 2013

Bread City ~ Part 4

Dishes all done and dusted while bread bakes.
Bread will cool at least four hours before being bagged.
Scarf and apron hung up for the day.

That's when I sink into a tub of steaming water to relax a while before carrying on with the day.
And wouldn't you know it, that's when the deer decide to come into the yard for lunch!
Fortunately Scott is back home doing some bookwork, and calls me when he goes to find the camera:

They approach— a doe, a yearling, and two born this spring.
The doe keeps watch out beyond the truck.
They must be seriously hungry. They are right outside the window where I'm standing, and they can see me.

"I'd hate to lose a tree to them though," Scott says. Finally he can't take it, and goes out to put the hay in their faces. And they all bounce away — sproing! sproing! — like kangaroos.

Bread-baking Day ~ Part 3

Ready to shape into loaves.
Prepared for final half-hour rise.
And into the hot oven they go for an hour.

Bread-Baking Day ~ Part 2

Covered with damp cloth so the dough doesn't dry out, it rises in the draught-free oven.
Time for the first punch-down. Then another 45 minutes to rise.
Greased, ready and waiting.

Scott informs me it was deer outside the front window. There is a set of tiny tracks alongside the larger ones. And the turds are not oblong, like moose ones. Still, I would love to have seen the animals up so close.

Bread Baking Day ~ Part One

Start with something on your head to keep hair from falling into the dough.

I get an early start by measuring out the ingredients the night before, so when I get up in the morning all I have to do is put the liquids on the stove to heat, and give the flour, yeast and salt a stir before adding the lukewarm liquid to it.

The blessed kneading machine.
I set the timer on the stove for 15 minutes once the wet ingredients are mixed into the dry. Go ahead and call it cheating if you like. I still have to lug the heavy motor around, clean the dough hook afterward and wash the giant container. Some days I'm not so sure I've got the better deal. [Yes I do. Fifteen minutes can be very long if you don't find something worth listening to on the radio before you start. Great for the biceps though]. The motor can handle 20 cups of flour so that's the maximum size of a batch; it makes enough dough for 6 loaves.

Seeds go in near the very end; otherwise they will tear the gluten as the dough is kneaded.

It's now in the oven where there's no cool draft, rising its first hour-and-a-half, and that's where I'm at this morning. It's my "easy" day of the week. Besides making the weekly batch of bread, I'll work only two or three hours scheduling social media posts for Straight Goods News. My encyclopedia work is done till Monday.

Scott called me over to the living room window a half-hour ago and pointed out the tracks two feet from the house and a nice little pile of moose turds. Guess who came to dinner? There are two cedar trees by the front step, and someone made himself welcome during the night. I just may sit up through the wee hours with a flashlight now!

In other news, now that the parents and grandparents have had a chance to spread the good word ... my nephew Marc and his wife Michelle have just had their first baby, little Lexi Lou. Lexi Lilian, actually, but she's already Lexi Lou in my mind. Can't wait to go hold and kiss her!