Monday, November 21, 2011

So, the heat is on since Friday, November 18. It was a cold day, and in the late afternoon, I realized it's not just me I have to worry about, but the house plants too. I've turned it to 16C, that's enough warmth. On Saturday I was thinking about turning it off again, it was such a balmy Spring like day. As I write this, it's Sunday morning, and I can't seem to stop sneezing! I hope I don't get a cold now.

frosted fern with Reindeer
(This is instead of bread pictures. It was too cute to not bring it home. It's frosty fern, and I hope it will at least last until Christmas)

Another thing I did over this past weekend was baking bread. I used to do this more regularly in the past, but then stopped. We like rye bread, but that's hard to find here, not the way we like it anyway, and I don't like it with preservatives, and other additives in it either. I've never gotten used to the bread you can buy here. It looks nice, but it's just not right. It feels fake. After a lecture my son attended last week at University, we decided to start baking our own bread again, with a little help of a breadmaker.

I had my doubts about this machine, but at the same time curious. So it arrived on Friday, I read the manual, set it up, switched to the recipe part of the booklet, and used the first and easiest White bread recipe to see how it works. It can make 1.0lb -2.0lbs of bread. I started with the smallest amount. The whole process lasted 3hours 45minutes, which included me measuring the ingredients, and putting it all into the machine. Once I pressed START, I was tempted to stand beside it, and watch it work, but finally thought better of it, and did some other work. There were some peeping sounds, and others, which alarmed me, but since it always stopped by itself, and no smoke was coming out anywhere, I left it to finish it's work.

At some point it started to smell like a bakery throughout the house, that was nice. That made me hopeful, that there actually would be some bread at the end of this process! After it's final peep, I took out the pan, and tried to get the bread out of it, but the paddle was stuck deep in the dough, and at first it would not come loose. With the help of my son it eventually did. There it was - bread! (no pictures, because as soon as it was cooled down a little it was sliced, and eaten, well most of it).

It was perfect White bread (at least it was unbleached, organic flour), really, it tasted very good.

So, Saturday I made another bread, this time Oatmeal bread, because I didn't have anything else at home, to try different doughs etc. But I made the large amount, and I was so excited that I forgot to but the paddle in first. You have to add the ingredients in a certain order, and I had to dump it all out to add the paddle first. Of course the order was no more, I tried it anyway. It turned out a nice, tense brick of bread. I think it would have needed some more water. Anyway, no pictures of that one either. It looked funny on top, but the taste was good too. Anyway, I see more bread coming on. I'd like to get some Whole Wheat flower, and rye flour, but most of all some Spelt flour, which I like best, and I'll be off to make many different breads with many different ingredients, form nuts, to dried fruits, sweet bread, and dark bread. Can't wait! Eventually there might be some pictures to show too. :o) (I hope the bread maker lasts!)

O.K. enough of that! Here's some knitting! I did that hat as a test knit for Stephen West, I don't think I've shown it here. It's been a while.

Helm hat test knit done

pattern: Helm by Stephen West
yarn: Elann Peruvian Collection Highland Wool, 1.5 skeins
needles: 3.75mm
size: one size


what I didn't like about the pattern was, that the cables where not centered


what I did like was, the short row ear flaps

rustic yarn shot

All in all it's a nice warm hat, already in use.
Helm & Breathe Deep mittens
More about the mittens next time.

I need to go find some tissues, because I've got a runny nose now. Darn.



2paw said...

Well done on making your own bread. We have spelt flour here, milled in the Midlands. I love sourdough rye, it's my favourite. I hope you are not getting a cold.
I agree, I would like the hat's cables to be centred, it irks me!! Love the ear flaps and it looks nice and warm.

cauchy09 said...

oh, i like my bread machine. the loaves are not photogenic, but they do taste great.

i hope you feel better soon.

Chery said...

Oooh, rye bread! I love it and I should get out the bread maker.

I agree about the cables, need to be centered. Looked fine on the head, but not laid flat. Nice though.

Delusional Knitter said...

I hope you are not getting a cold too! Love the hat, what a cool pattern, looks great in that color.

Anonymous said...

Oh how this reminds me of my bread baking days. We ate that warm bread straight out of the machine. I baked all different kinds, mixes from the box, then recipes from a book. Ahhh, it was sooo goood! And then our clothes started to fit differently. And then I quit baking that wonderful, delicious bread! We still miss it. Maybe I should give the baking another try and learn to practice some self control.... (smiles)...Happy baking! Gruesze aus Indiana, Fritzi

Maryse said...

Real nice hat and mittens! Hope you are feeling ok now...

monica said...

You are making me want to mak my own bread. :) I hope you aren't getting a cold! Despite the uncentered cable I still like that hat. Probably because of the color you used and your always great knitting.

Pat said...

I love that hat - there is a similarly shaped one in the latest Piecework that I'm planning on knitting from some merino fleece - maybe I'll do Steven's pattern instead (except I'll center the cables!)
Hope you're not getting a cold!

Sandra said...

I have a bread machine (have had it for years), and we love it. It's especially nice for pizza dough, but I make all kinds of breads in it. The problem is as soon as you make a loaf, you tend to eat it, then have to wait another 4 hours for the next one...

Susan said...

I haven't used my bread machine in ages. It makes good white bread but I've had trouble convincing it to make any bread with healthy stuff in it. Some day I might invest in a Zojirushi machine. I bought the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day books and they are really wonderful easy breads.

We had temps in the -20's over the weekend. Our furnace has been running for quite some time.

The short rows on the ear flaps of that hat are a smart idea.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

I love the smell of break baking... but I don't make it. I like to steal a loaf or two from my grandma whenever we visit.

Lynn One, Purl Two said...

My sister gave me a frosty fern for my birthday! Aren't they beautiful?

Love the hat!

Unknown said...

That's a really nice hat. I love the color and the style - but I too am a stickler for cable placement. If you're catching a cold, that hat might come in handy.

Oh ... and I can smell the bread from here. Wish I'd been there when the bread came out. Warm bread with butter and tea. Yum!

Beverly said...

I've used a breakmaker for years and as a matter of fact I'm on my second one. I wore the first one out.

I would suggest you keep and eye on the bread while it does the first mixing. Depending on the weather and humidity you may need to add more water or more flour.