Monday, May 24, 2010

The Urban Farmer's Wife

As I mentioned in my previous post, my staging area was consumed by seedlings. Well, I would like to report that the seedlings are all in the ground! And, what better way to celebrate being a farmer's wife than to make really good wheat bread? Well, you can cover a warm slice with mini chocolate that's a way to celebrate!

I found this recipe in a a baking edition of a CIA cook book for home cooks, I believe it was Baking at Home with the CIA, but I'm not 100% on that. I've made this several times, and I've found that 1) it works best if you don't bake in a loaf pan, and 2) this bread makes a mean grilled cheese.

In garden news (which will soon be related to food news), I have a few pictures of our gardens (flower and veggie), and our CHICKEN COOP!!!!! (Note: bread recipe to follow pictures)
From left to right: covered chicken run, chicken coop, garden with picket fence made by Greg.

One cute chick. I'm not sure what species this is, we have 4 different kinds.
Garden! We have a shade-tent frame up, it's easy to put the cover on solo, very difficult to assemble the whole thing alone. The cover is really nice to work under when it is blazing hot, or drizzling. Thus far, I believe we have the following planted: Tomatoes (3 varieties), onions (2 variates), leeks, bell peppers, hot peppers (3 varieties), squash (summer and winter), melons (cantaloupe, red & orange water melon), strawberries, asparagus, lima beans, lettuce and arugula (though they bolted this weekend and are now pulled up), egg plant, carrots, parsnips, turnips, string beans...and maybe I could very well have missed something. Like I said, I am now the wife of an Urban Farmer.
Lovely old red rose. We were told when we bought the house, that these roses were there when the previous owner purchased the house, 47 years ago.
A few iris that we transplanted last summer, plus the fence sans any pickets. A lot of the flowers in the yard were so over grown that they did not bloom last year. Greg and I thinned and moved what feels like hundreds of flowers. It was so fun to watch what colors the flowers have been.

And now, the bread recipe (thanks for your patience !!!)

Recipe: makes 2 loafs

2 1/2 C. warm water
1/4 C. honey
3 1/3 C. bread flour
2 1/2 C. whole wheat flour
1 tsp yeast
1 tbs salt

-Mix warm water and honey to dissolve. Add yeast and let bloom for about 10 minutes.

-Mix flours and salt together. Slowly add to water mixture. Kneed for about 10 minutes once the dough turns smooth.

-Let rise in a warm place for about an hour to double in size.

-Gently punch down, turn onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Shape into rounds or baguettes. If you would like to roll dough in seeds/nuts, this would be the time. Score bread as desired.

-With the oven at 475 and a small bowl of water in oven (oven proof bowl please), place shaped dough in oven. Turn the temp down to 450 and bake for 12 minutes. Turn the temp down again to 425 and bake for another 18 minutes.