Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Etsy Front Page, Homemade Bread, and Spring Flowers

One of my blissful country summer treasuries finally made it to the front page on Etsy! I was so happy! I still think the first one in the series was the best, but I'll take the fp for any of them. I think so far since I have been on Etsy(about 4 months)at least 8 treasuries I have made have made it to the fp counting this last one. I love making treasuries. I spend a long time on mine, picking just the right items and arranging them in just the right way. I put alot of effort into them, and I love making them, so I really do think I earn that fp every time I get it.

Blissful Country Summer4

Anyway, on to my bread making adventures! Yesterday was my bread making day. Any day that I am out of homemade bread, and have at least two loads of laundry to do, is my bread making day. I'll explain. I don't have a very good warm place in my house to let my bread rise properly. The person I learned to make bread from told me that the best place to let your bread rise is in a gas oven with a pilot light. My oven is gas, but does not have a pilot light, so I figured out my own solution to the problem. I make my bread on the day I do my laundry, and I set up a funny looking system with some sheets over my dryer to make a small chamber to keep in the heat from the dryer. I also set a pan of steaming water under my bread bowl, and then I place a towel over the pan and the bowl for the first rising, to trap even more heat. For the second rising the bread dough is shaped into 4 round loaves and placed in little cast iron skillets. I pretty much use the same system for the second rising as I do for the first, but I use 3 shelf racks for the skillets, and I place a pan of steaming water in with them, then I drape some towels over the racks. This system works very well most of the time, and since I have gotten used to it, it does not take me long to set it up or take it down anymore. Here are a few pictures to help explain a little better.

This is my bread after the first rising, and before I punched it down for the second rising.

This is a picture of my bread before the second rising, and my little system. I put the bread, and the pan of steaming water under the racks, and then I put towels over the racks, then...

The sheets are wrapped around the dryer to form a warm chamber for my bread to rise.

I know it seems complicated, but it's really not. Unfortunately, when I made my bread yesterday, I forgot about it, so I let it rise too long the second time and 3 of the loaves sank a bit, but they are still very good.

Here is a picture of the one loaf that did not sink.

Homemade bread is one of those things that I just love, and is such a simple old fashioned pleasure. Reminds me of a simpler time when most things were made by hand, and they were well made too.

I'll end my post with pictures of some flowers in my yard that have finally started to peak their shy little faces out. They are just so lovely!


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