Sunday, March 27, 2011

"I like Productive Lily" - Sar

Morning's aren't really my thing.  They never have been.  My mom and I like to refer to ourselves as a pair of "night owls" -  although, somehow my mom is also awake by 7:30am most mornings, so I'm positive that is at least one trait I did not inherit from her.  I don't often see the AMs on the weekend, which is something that I'm totally fine with.  Sleep is awesome.

Yesterday morning, however, I agreed to help Sar with preparing for a birthday party for a family for which she's been a long-time babysitter.  We were in charge of putting together tea sandwiches for around 12 kids and 12 adults.  Nancy, mom-extraordinaire, had everything ready to go and had decorated the apartment for the perfect princess birthday tea party for Ma'yan, her now-four-year-old daughter.

I love party prep - even when it means waking up at 7:20am and being out the door by 8:15.  Even on a weekend.  I was ready so sacrifice some sleep to join Sar.

At Nancy's request we made:
- puzzle-shaped cucumber & cream cheese sandwiches
- jam & ricotta roll-ups
- pitettes (mini pitas) stuffed with pomegranate guacamole (which was AMAZING - who'd have thought?!)
- cream cheese, smoked salmon, & cucumber sandwiches for the adults
- cucumber, carrot, & celery spears

I had assumed I'd go home and sleep some more because, hey, it was Sunday!  But no!  All of that rolling, spreading, cutting, mixing, and chopping had really got me going.  I had morphed into Productive Lily - someone who hasn't shown her face on a weekend in God knows how long.

Productive Lily knew what she was going to do with the rest of the day - she was going to blog!

Enough of this third-person stuff...I was pumped to get baking again and had my eye on this recipe from the authors of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.  It shows you how to make enough dough to bake 4 loaves of bread over a 2 week period by mixing a master batch and letting it hang out in the fridge - a lot like sourdough.  I went out, got a big enough container to make a 2-loaf batch of dough (that's all I could find), went grocery shopping, did the dishes twice, and cleaned my room.  Oh yeah, I also mixed together the dough.  Sar was proud to come back from yoga and find me making egg salad for lunch tomorrow.  "I like Productive Lily", said Sar.

As I said, I halved the recipe, but also made a few other changes to the flours used.  I love rye flour, and also wanted the bread to be a bit more on the whole-wheat side, so I used 1 cup rye flour, 1 cup whole wheat, and 1 1/4 cup AP flour rather than the full 3 1/4 cup AP flour that the original half-recipe called for.  Consequently, I also had to add a touch more water (maybe 1/4 cup total) to make up for all of the whole grains.

After watching the dough more than double in the required 2-hour rise period, I popped it in the fridge for another few hours.  It's definitely easier to work with cold because this is a wet dough.   I took out a 1lb hunk of dough (measured on this scale, which I'm in love with), formed a boule, and let it rise for another hour.  I slashed an X into the top and popped it in the oven.  When I took it out, it took all of my effort to tell myself I wouldn't cut into it until this morning.  Self-restraint is not my thing, so I naturally ate a warm slice and...let me tell you...this bread is THE bread.  Let's weigh the pros and cons:

- No kneading necessary
- One batch can last you 2 weeks if you make the full recipe
- It easily adapts to be mostly whole grain
- It tastes like heaven

- had I not found this recipe earlier???  GO MAKE YOURSELF SOME DOUGH!

I enjoyed toast for breakfast and my egg salad sandwich at lunch today.  Sar and I have been known to have loaves last less than 2 days in this apartment...I'm giving this loaf 36 hours before it's finished.

Now, really, stop reading and make some bread.  You're seriously  missing out if you don't.

Here's to full-day Sundays!
<3 Lil

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