Yesterday was a full day, but I don’t feel like I really accomplished a whole lot. I don’t know why, because when I look back at what all I did – it’s a LOT! I got up and walked 2.5 miles (YAY me), then took a shower and met a friend to pick up some shirts she was monogramming for one of my daughters. I came home and baked 2 loaves of bread (more on that in a minute) and ran to the farmers market, the grocery store and then came home to do laundry and make dinner.
Yesterday I decided to make something creamy and comforting for dinner – broccoli cheese soup. I used this recipe from the March issue of Cooing Light magazine and it was really good! It didn’t have any whole milk or butter or cream in it… it used puréed over-puffed rice to thicken the soup base. Sorry I completely forgot to take any pictures. By the time Steve got home, the soup was ready and we attacked it like coyotes.
But just LOOK what I got at the Opelika Main Street Farmers Market yesterday! GORGEOUS squash and tomatoes and vidailas and blackberries. I even found a Lions Club booth that was selling brooms. If you have never had a Lions Club broom – you’re totally missing out. These are the best-made old-timey brooms in the world. Very sturdy and NO PLASTIC.
Ok, so back to the bread. I’ve really found a love for baking and have been trying out some different recipes. There something really exciting about mixing up a big batch of dough and kneading it by hand. That’s right, I don’t use my mixer to knead. I mean, I mix/knead it with the dough hook just long enough for it to pull away from the sides of the mixer bowl, but then I do the fun stuff by hand. It’s a great ab/upper arm workout… and I’ve found that it makes the bread fluffier when you do it by hand. In the past I’ve made white Amish bread and honey oat and whole wheat and cinnamon bread… but I haven’t really found THE ONE yet.
The recipe I used is from Chef Scott Peacock’s book, The Gift of Southern Cooking, which was co-authored by Edna Lewis. You can find the book here on Amazon.
I love this cookbook. The anecdotal stories are incredibly charming, but don’t mistake this for just a sweet book to read – the recipes are really good! After seeing that the bread chapter is called “Praise the Lard and Pass the Biscuits,” I just HAD to try his white loaf bread recipe. WOW! Not only was it easy, it turned out great! I think next time I’ll let the second proof go a bit longer – I only let it rise until the loaves were even with the top of the loaf pans (like the recipe said). Next time I’ll let it go a bit longer (so the loaves are a bit bigger). Other than that – this recipe made 2 gorgeous loaves of spongy bread and it went PERFECTLY with our dinner last night (and with butter and honey for breakfast this morning).