Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow Day

 On Tuesday, we had a normally rare snow day due to the freezing rain/sleet the night before, followed by freezing temperatures which resulted in the roads turning into solid sheets of ice.  Being from the Midwest, this type of thing never used to phase me, but since they don't have salt trucks down here (and barely even have sand), it makes driving pretty hazardous.  So E and I took advantage of the lazy day at home to hang out, do some craft projects and bake!


First, I made my friend Jacki's super yummy bread recipe.  Basically, you toss all the ingredients into a bread machine and let it mix and rise, but then take it out to form it into loaves and bake it in your regular oven.  Works like a charm and it's a great, no-fuss no-muss way to have freshly baked bread almost anytime.  I bought a cheap used bread machine pretty much just for this purpose. 

One minor change I make: since I substitute slightly less than half the white flour for whole wheat, I've found that it tends to rise a bit less than I'd like, so I compensate by increasing the yeast to 1 full tablespoon.  Both Troy and the kiddo go crazy for this bread whenever I make it and usually we manage to plow through an entire loaf in less than a day.  Luckily, the recipe makes enough dough for 2 loaves. ;)


After the bread was done, I let E help me mix up a batch of Congo Bars from Bakerella's website.  As per her recommendation, we mixed them completely by hand, but I'm not sure it made much of a difference in the texture since they came out so underbaked, even after I added about 5 minutes to the bake time. I think next time I will bake them for longer at a lower temperature.  
Even underbaked, they are still sinfully good and so easy to make with ingredients I keep on hand. I added a cup of butterscotch chips, just because I had them handy, and it might have been a bit over the top since they are already so sweet.  I may also try cutting the sugar next time by a couple ounces and see what happens.