I’ve been baking again.
It can’t be helped. I keep getting all these ideas, and I must put them to the test in my mother’s kitchen.
It’s another rainy day here in New Brunswick. I’m much too sore from my full-body lifting workout to exercise. This kind of weather calls for movie watching, laundry, and now apparently baking.
I gathered up my cast of characters.
The key ingredient here is baking soda.
While having our afternoon scones yesterday (which both Ellie and my Nana have informed me are pronounced “sk-onn” and not “sk-own”), my mother started talking about the soda bread of her childhood.
Apparently soda bread is an incredibly simple loaf to make, something our ancestors lived off of in the barren northern climates.
My mom says Nana used to make soda bread and serve it with cheddar cheese and molasses as an after-school snack. Don’t even get me started on how intrigued I am by the thought of a cheddar cheese and molasses sandwich.
Once again, the seed was planted. I got the idea of baking in my head and I couldn’t shake it. I scoured the internets for the best recipe I could find. I ended up going back to basics. The same simple bread our ancestors made, with the addition of a little whole wheat for good measure.
From The Food Network
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with a little flour.
Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk. Using one hand, stir in full circles (starting in the center of the bowl working toward the outside of the bowl) until all the flour is incorporated. The dough should be soft but not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, in a matter of seconds, turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Clean dough off your hand.
Pat and roll the dough gently with floury hands, just enough to tidy it up and give it a round shape. Flip over and flatten slightly to about 2 inches. Transfer the loaf to the prepared baking sheet. Mark with a deep cross using a serrated knife and prick each of the four quadrants.
Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400° and continue to bake until the loaf is brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped, 30 to 35 minutes more. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes.
Renee wrote a post a while back about how baking makes her happy. It got me thinking about how I myself have fallen in love with baking.
Baking used to intimidate me. At least with cooking, you are always in control. A tweak here, a pinch of something there. It’s fun to throw ingredients together and see what you can create.
But with baking, all you can do is assemble the ingredients the best you can – and then you wait. Praying, wishing, hoping that the preparation you put into it will deem a delicious result.
There is something SO satisfying when you pull your creation out of the oven, smelling, looking and even better, tasting perfect. The happiness that comes from baking a perfect product goes a lot deeper!
And lets be honest with ourselves here. There are few things greater in life than putting a smear of butter on a slice of bread warm out of the oven.
I haven’t just been baking bread today!
Pancakes were had to celebrate Pancake Sunday. Dairy-Free (ish) Protein Pancakes to be exact.
With the addition of sliced almonds, coconut and almond extract to make Almond Coconut Protein Pancakes.
So fluffy. So good.
I also polished off the Meatloaf Pizza for lunch.
Avec une salade.
Dressing was laughing cow cheese whisked with buttermilk. Nothing short of amazing.
But I don’t know how this got on my camera.
I don’t eat chocolate. Especially not Belgian dusted truffles. Disgusting. Who’s teeth-marks are those? :P
This afternoon, I made my own version of strawberry shortcake using Homemade Wholegrain Maple Oatmeal Scones.
Except, we didn’t have any strawberries, so I used raspberries.
And I’m not the world’s biggest fan of whipped cream, but I do love yogurt. Stellar snack!
Soon the smell of freshly baked bread was replaced with that of bbq chicken.
Once again, my mom pulled together a fabulous meal.
A chicken thigh in a sauce of bbq sauce, ketchup, soy sauce and top-secret spices. Paired with roasted parsnip, carrots, sweet potato and potato. This meal was to die for. I think I may just bring my mom to Toronto with me instead of bothering to come back here :P
Apparently a lot of reverse photoshopping is done to too-thin models to make them look healthier. You hear so much about editors tucking in little pudges and rolls, that I never considered that some women need to have their bony bodies hidden. This deeply saddens me. Read about it here. One editor blames shrinking designer sample sizes, so magazines have no choice but to hire too-thin models to wear them.
A recent study says that you can burn more fat by skipping breakfast before your morning workout. They claim that without stored carbohydrates to pull on, your body will look for fat to fuel activity. I only have basic training on how these energy systems work, but I do know that the fatty acids in your muscles aren’t the same as the fat that sits around your tummy. Why would you want to risk being in a catabolic state and breaking down your muscles? A better idea is to have at least 100 calories worth of simple carbs (fruit juice, a banana, yogurt, etc) before your morning workout. It will give you tons more energy, and I betcha you’ll burn a lot more calories when you aren’t dragging through your workout hungry and dizzy.
Finally, this is the most awkward exercise I’ve ever seen. Please don’t ever do this. Thank you.
Question of the Day: Now that I know all about your favourite kinds of pizza – what’s your favourite kind of bread?? Brown bread over here please :) Or, if flatbreads are included (why not, it’s my question after all!) I luuuurve naan.