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
- None...how 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!