Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Foodie PenPals Reveal!

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Back when I was kinda nerdy (no comments, please), I remember reading the back of the Boys' Life magazine (I have three brothers) and begging my parents to let me send away for those quail eggs and incubator. I had a great plan...they would hatch in my dresser drawer and follow me around everywhere and stay on the back porch, that I cleaned up all by myself, while I was at school. It was going to be perfect. But, for some reason, my parents didn't like that idea so much.

They did, however, go for the penpals idea from National Geographic Kids. That was a ton of fun! I got to send letters back and forth with new friends in Argentina and Louisiana. And now, thanks to Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean, I have the chance to participate in her Foodie Penpals Project! Each month, we get matched up with two different people to send or receive a package of sweet and savory foodie items---one person to mail a package to and another to receive a package from.

During October, I got an awesome package from Sonia of The Mexigarian. It was packed full of fudgy brownies and macarons and caramel dip and curry mix and Bob's Red Mill pancake mix and sundried tomatoes and fancy natural peanut butter and even more stuff! So, thanks again, Lindsay for organizing this each month and to Sonia for such fun surprises!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Classic White Bread

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Years ago, when we visited my grandparents out in the boonies of Pennsylvania, Mama would always have loaves of homemade bread sitting on the counter (next to zucchini bread, of course), practically begging to be cut into nice thick slices. Then you could slather your piece with homemade jam or make a spaghetti sandwich with last night's leftovers or just eat it straight up. Followed by a second slice.

I've been feeling nostalgic lately, and with Hurricane Sandy currently hanging out in my parking lot and my entire life feeling like it's been swept up in a hurricane at times, I decided that today is the perfect day to whip up the softest, most delicious white bread ever. This bread is a little sweeter than your typical white bread, but who doesn't love sweet?

And besides, nothing says comfort quite like a mouthful of carbs.

Classic White Bread [click to print]
makes 2 - 9x5" loaves
  • 6 c. flour
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1-1/2 T. dry active yeast
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. warm water
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
1) In bowl of stand mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, yeast and salt. 

2) Using dough hook, stir in water and butter. Continue kneading in mixer until dough climbs hook; it will still be pretty soft. 

3) Dump dough onto floured surface and knead gently until dough pulls together. Put dough into oiled (or nonstick-sprayed) bowl and cover with damp cloth (this will keep it from drying the dough out as it rises). Allow to sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour. 

4) Punch dough down and knead about 3 minutes or until dough shapes into a smooth ball. Shape into loaves and put in loaf pans, coated generously with nonstick cooking spray or oil. Allow to rise until dough is about 1" above top edge of pans. 

5) Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. 

Source: Adapted from All Recipes
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