Tag Archives: bread

an easy bannock recipe for a simple dinner bread

016I’m currently taking some time off of work to ride out a MS relapse. Normally, my MS just operates in the background of my life and I am able to mostly ignore it and work around it. Every now and again something new will pop up to make life a bit less fun and that is when my attention focuses on it again for a while, like right now.

I’m experiencing muscle weakness, spasticity and numbness and the feeling of most of my body being encased in a large overinflated blood pressure cuff. My fingers want to curl into my hands, making my hand eye-coordination a little challenging. I managed to shove my toothbrush up my nose while trying to brush my teeth the other day (the resulting minty fresh nostril was very disconcerting). I also think I lost a band-aid off of my numb finger while washing my hair and I’m still waiting for it to make an appearance somewhere in the curls – the numb hands keep me from feeling around in there to find it. And typing is interesting (obviously not impossible, just slow). I was also having some difficulty with walking and balance, but a few days worth of steroid treatment have helped greatly.

However, life, lived simply, still manages to go on. My family is a great help – my mom has been helping by driving me to the hospital and doing laundry, the girls keep up their part of household chores and my husband fills in the other spaces. And I keep doing as much as possible to appear normal. Normal feels good, even when my body feels out of whack.

So, this is a very simple pan-fried bread that is great served hot with butter as an accompaniment to some soup, chili or even curry. As you can see, the kids can be made to mix it up and make it themselves (even when they come home tired from a full day of track and field). And they like it, they really like it. It’s also a great treat when made over the campfire and served hot with butter and jam.

This recipe makes just enough for 4 portions, but can easily be doubled for more.

Easy Bannock

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 3/4 cup water

Measure dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Stir to mix.  Pour oil (or melted butter) and water and stir to make a ball.

Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead gently about 10 times.  Cut the dough ball into 4 equal balls and pat into a flat circles ~ 3/4 to 1 inch thick.

Cook in a greased frying pan over medium heat, allowing about 5-10 minutes for each side. Best when served hot.

Linked to Wildcrafting Wednesday, Frugally Sustainable, GNOWFGLINS, A Pinch of Joy

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traditional housewarming gifts, revisited

I wrote about traditional housewarming gifts a while ago when we were visiting the city cousins in their new home and I wanted to take a housewarming gift along with us. I want to do something similar for my mom, who moved into a new home recently (ok, it was two and a half months ago, but better late than never, right?). She has unpacked, decorated, made curtains, dug a fish pond and flower gardens, screened in the back porch, carpeted the basement steps.. so yeah, I’m just a little bit behind. But I think she likes me, so she’ll probably forgive that.

Just for a refresher, here is the list of traditional gifts again and their meanings:

Bread May those in your home never go hungry.
Broom May your house always be clean and free of evil spirits.
Candles May you always have light through the darkest times.
Coins May you receive luck and good fortune.
Honey May you always enjoy the sweetness of life.
Knives May your home always be protected from intruders.
Olive Oil May you be blessed with health and well-being.
Plants May your home always have life.
Rice May the love in your home multiply. (fertility)
Salt May there always be flavor and spice in your life.
Wine May you always have joy and never go thirsty.
Wood May your home have stability, harmony, and peace.

The last time I included bread, salt, honey, candles and wine in my gift basket. My mom is a teetotaler who used to run a tea room, so I thought I’d give her something a little different. I made some cheddar chive beer bread to include in the basket for the bread portion (except this time I replaced the chives with fresh dill from my pots out on the deck). Instead of traditional salt, I made up some sore muscle soak bath salts to include – she and her partner are always on the go, working hard, so I know someone will be able to use them. I included the lavender beeswax candle in a tea-cup that I made on the weekend, because she loves anything to do with tea and tea cups, and it takes care of the candle portion nicely, and finally, I made some lemon-olive oil gardener’s hand scrub – once again, because I know it’ll get used, and it covers the olive oil portion.

I found the old Ball jars with the glass tops at a yard sale recently and knew they’d be nice for gift packaging. The basket (ahem) actually belongs to my mom, so we’ll just say that I’m returning it, though I’m not sure she even knew that I had it to begin with. There’s no hard and fast rules to the whole thing, you can get a little creative and make up a nice gift basket. I hope she likes it. Shh.. don’t tell her; I’m going to give it to her this morning when she comes to put the monsters kids on the bus.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, A Pinch of Joy, Sorta Crunchy, Knick of Time Interiors

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bread baking for lazy people like me

This is the fastest, easiest, and as a bonus, possibly the cheapest bread you can make. My kids have helped me make this and they have the attention span of a gnat. It’s just that fast. And I’m lazy, so you know it has to be easy if I make it. The hardest part is the kneading, but I actually enjoy it. Its therapeutic.

With this recipe you can have two small rustic looking loaves in an hour and 15 minutes. It’s delicious warm with dinner, but also makes excellent sandwiches the next day.

I learned how to make bread when I was 12. My 4-H teachers would probably shake their heads at how easy this bread is to make.

I adapted the recipe slightly from one in The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyzyn. We use less yeast than the original recipe – it tastes better and the bread still rises just as much.

Cuban Bread

  • 5-6 cups all purpose flour (you can substitute whole wheat for 1-2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 cups hot water (120-130 degrees)
  • 1 tbsp sesame or poppy seeds (optional)

Mix 4 cups of flour with yeast, sugar and salt. Pour in hot water and beat for ~100 strokes (or 3 minutes with a mixer). Stir in remaining flour until dough is no longer sticky. Knead dough for 8 minutes.

Place dough in greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and let rise for 15 minutes (you might be tempted to let it rise longer, thinking it’ll be even better, but it really makes no difference in the end. 15 minutes or an hour and a half, the dough turns out the same).

Punch down and divide into 2 pieces. Shape into 2 round loaves and place on a baking sheet. Cut an X ½ inch deep on the top with a sharp knife. Brush with water and sprinkle with seeds.

Place on the middle shelf of a COLD oven. Place a cake pan of hot water on the lowest shelf. Heat oven to 400F. Bake 40-50 minutes until golden brown.

Linking to The Delectable Home, This Chick Cooks, Farmgirl Friday, A Pinch of Joy, GNOWFGLINS, Mind Body and Sole

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