Sunday, September 21, 2014

Homemade Goodies

Last Sunday, I had a rare afternoon free (nowadays our church meets at 1:30, so most of the morning is spent being lazy and the afternoon is spent worshipping) and I had a baking bug that I needed to get rid of. So I made some delicious homemade white bread and used up the lemons I had in my fridge to make some lemon curd. Allow me to be a food blogger for this one post and share my creations. Plus, food photography is a tricky beast to tackle and I wanted to try my hand at it.

Crusty White Bread
Revised from a family recipe
Makes 2 regular-sized loaves

2 TBS yeast (approx. 2 packets)
2 cups water, warm (105-115 degrees, or slightly too warm to the touch)
2 TBS granulated sugar
1 TBS salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil (plus extra for brushing)
6 to 6 1/2 cups of flour
Butter/margarine for rubbing on finished loaves (optional)

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in sugar, salt, oil and let it sit 5 minutes until bubbly. Add 3 cups of flour and beat with the dough hook until smooth. If you're doing this by hand, stir it until smooth. Keep adding flour a half-cup at a time until the dough is easy to handle. If doing by hand, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic-- about 8-10 minutes. If using a mixer (like me), keep beating the dough on low for 8 minutes or until the dough no longer sticks to your skin and pulls away from the bowl.

Place dough in a greased bowl, brush the top with oil, cover and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 45 minutes.

Punch the dough and divide it in half. Shape each ball into a loaf by tucking the dough in the bottom and smoothing the top out. Make sure the ends are sealed under the loaf.

Place loaves seam-side down in greased loaf pans (I use 9x5x3 inch pans). Brush them with oil and let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400 degrees and bake about 35 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Take the loaves out of their pans and rub the tops of the hot loaves with butter/margarine if desired. Set them to cool on a wire rack or on the counter, whichever you prefer.

Eat and enjoy!

Lemon Curd
Recipe taken from Martha Stewart
Makes approximately 2 cups

1 cup sugar
1 TBS grated lemon zest
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
8 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (I used regular salt)
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

In medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, zest, and egg yolks; whisk in lemon juice and salt.

Add butter and place pan over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until butter has melted and the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and small bubbles for around the edge of the pan, approximately 5 minutes (do not boil).

Remove pan from heat while continuing to whisk. Pour curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl. Press plastic wrap against the surface of curd and refrigerate until cool.

The lemon curd was a little tricky to make. I had it on the heat a little too long and the bottom edges of the pan started burning the curd. So I have little flakes of burnt lemon curd in my jars, so I would recommend that whatever you use to stir the curd, make sure it can reach the corners of the pan. Also, the taste is a little on the intense side, so maybe a little less lemon than instructed. The next time I make curd, I'll see if I can find a recipe that uses less lemon or maybe less egg yolks. That is seriously a LOT of egg yolks! But I guess you can whip the whites into a merengue and make a lemon merengue pie.

It was a fun afternoon of baking. I can't afford to do that all the time, but when I do get a chance I always feel a sense of accomplishment. Plus, having the smell of homemade bread wafting in your apartment is SO worth the effort!

Well, today is Ryan's birthday celebration at his parents house. He's turning 25! I can't believe that when I first was married to him he was 21...time sure does fly when you're having fun :)

1 comment:

Jeanne, the mom and grandmom said...

beautiful photos. And I will have to try the lemon curd.