Thursday, August 25, 2011

Of Bread and Sauce

I enjoy days dedicated to being in the kitchen because the free moments between one project from the next means I can knit a few stitches (and might I say Chase's chain mail armor is looking fabulous).

My morning started with a quick jaunt out to the garden to pick basil while the coffee was brewing. Earlier this week at the farmer's market I picked up enough plum tomatoes to make our own batch of roasted tomato sauce. I don't think we'll ever have enough tomatoes at one time coming out of our garden to make sauce, but that's okay, those tomatoes are going into quiches, sandwiches, zucchini boats, etc.

So this morning while I sipped a wonderful cup of my favorite locally roasted coffee, I was prepping three garlic bulbs for roasting. Nothing beats coffee and garlic at 6am! 

Anyway, after breakfast, Chase and I set the dishes of tomatoes in to roast. The final outcome? Twelve cups of delicious, homemade sauce. Steve commented that it smelled just like the roasted tomato mascarpone fondue I like to make (I agree, it smelled heavenly).

The sauce is all packaged up and put away in the freezer. One 4 cup bag will be going over to Dale this weekend (she is quite excited for homemade sauce). I'm just sorry I didn't get any pictures (but Elizabeth's link has great images).

I've been meaning to make bread for over a week now. First it was postponed due to the lack of flour (our co-op is going through a major growth spurt and had been closed for a couple of days), then I lost my family's bread recipe. My mom couldn't find my Montessori cookbook that the recipe was put in, and my dad had no idea if he had a copy of it. Thankfully my wonderful aunt had the complete recipe (in Gram's words, too) and was able to email it to me. And now, I am going to share the recipe with you all.

Gram Zimmerman's Bread
Put 4 cups luke warm water in large bowl.
Dissolve one large ccake yeast in 1/2 cup luke warm water, add to large bowl.
Melt one stick margarine, add to large bowl.
Add 5 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons salt, and 1/2 cup dry milk and stir.
Add 4 cups flour and beat until well mixed (low speed).
Add 3 cups flour and beat by hand (plip-plop stage) until dough is bubbly.
Add 4 cups flour and work until bowl is clean (doesn't stick to sides of bowl).
Turn out on floured table and add about 1 cup more flour (12 cups in all).
Knead until dough does not stick to hands, but not TOO muchflour (about 10 minutes).
Put dough in greased large bowl and let rise (abt. 2 hours).
Punch down and divide into 6 loaves.
Let rise 1 hour, then bake 1/2 hour at 350 degrees or real brown.
(Do not add flour after dough has risen.)

Bread making has been one of Chase's favorite things to make in the kitchen for as long as I can remember him being on this Earth. When Chase and I were living with my mom, the three of us would bake bread together. When he was about three and we were making a batch, I had said "Lets hope the bread behaves, and the dough rises!" to which Chase patted the bread dough in the bowl and said "Be good bread." From that moment on, he blesses the bread. When the dough is divided into each pan, he goes by and pats each loaf and reminds them to "Be Good". It works! If Chase is in the kitchen with me, recipes just turn out better.

Also, even though it's not in the recipe, there is the issue of "pay" (this part IS in the cookbook). Once the dough has risen and is being cut for loaves, the little helpers in the kitchen all get a little piece of dough to eat. I had forgotten this part, but Chase reminded me as I was dividing dough (he was waiting so patiently). 

dough during the first raise

Raised and ready for dividing

"Please, be good bread!"

They listened -- ready to jump in the oven

Baked and smelling so yummy!

* Side note: the jar on the counter with the green in it is egg shells being dyed for the eggshell mosaics that Ginny made with her children a few weeks past. Chase and I dyed many, many shells last week, but for some reason none were dyed green! So Chase insisted that before he could possibly start any projects, he had to have green. Tomorrow he should be ready to go.

Back to the bread. The house smells so good and they all look wonderful. The three smallest loaves are going to Dale (someone has to make sure she's eating good food while Sarah is at school :) ), and two of the larger loaves will be given to Steve's dad and his friend who are busy finishing up the front porch today!

I guess this means more bread baking will be in order soon?

Happy Thursday!


  1. That sauce sounds wonderful! I might try it next week. I have a birthday party to prep for today. I love finding old recipes - I have been working on typing up all of my family's old recipes so that as the great aunt pass they do not take everything with them. We did the egg shell mosaic too. Lots of fun.

  2. @Julia

    From the sample I had of the sauce, it is delicious! It's nice and simple and not so much of a fuss to make.

    Birthday party? Whose?

    My mom has been collecting a lot of the recipes in our family, and some of her own, and putting them into cookbooks for Chase and for me. I'm so glad we have all of these great recipes!

    I'm looking forward to the mosaics. I just put the green shells out on the porch to dry so hopefully tomorrow.

  3. My mouth was watering just reading your post! I love roasted tomaote sauce and homemade bread is something I can eat every day! I bet your house does smell fantastic! xx

  4. @Tracey

    I love homemade bread! Makes me want stew now. :) But the pasta sauce is a nice substitute with a little sliced mozzy cheese.