making bread…

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Is there anything quite like the aroma of freshly baked bread?

I love making bread…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love that one can’t rush bread.  It takes time, but not too much time, and patience.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One doesn’t need much to make bread.  Some water, flour, salt, yeast, sugar, a big ol’ bowl, a nice wood spoon and a baking dish.  Oh yes, and some time.

I have my mother’s bread making bowl, and I love it.  The interior of her bowl shows it’s age…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think each one of those crackles represents a loaf of bread made by my mother and relished by my sister and me.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My favorite bread recipe is the simplest to make, no kneading needed, and it makes three loaves, so it’s perfect for sharing with someone special…..

otis likes bread crumbs

otis likes bread crumbs

This recipe was given to me by Lucille Morgan, a neighbor of mine in Mackinaw City, Michigan when Randy and I were first married.  Lucille was a marvel.  She was elderly and nearly blind, but she insisted on spending her summer time alone in her cottage, listening to her books-on-tape and baking her bread which she called Spoon Bread.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lucille was so kind to me.  She not only gave me a loaf every now and then, she also gave me the recipe for her humble, crusty, chewy bread and I’ve been making, and eating it for nearly twenty years.  Though Lucille is long gone, I think of her every time I set the oven to 350* and gather together the ingredients for Spoon Bread along with my mom’s big bread making bowl.

Would you like to try a piece?   Here’s the recipe:

 

Lucille’s Spoon Bread

(oven temp, 350* ~ baking time 65 minutes)

5 cups warm water

1 pkg yeast (2.25 teaspoons)

1 tablespoon salt

5-6 cups white flour

1 cup brown sugar

4 cups whole wheat flour

Combine warm water, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl, stirring until yeast and salt are dissolved.

Add enough white flour to make a sponge (about the consistency of pancake batter)

Let rise until doubled (maybe an hour or until you remember that you’re making bread)

Stir in the brown sugar

Add enough whole wheat flour to make a thick batter ~ not so thick as a typical bread dough ~ batter should be thick but still pour-able

Pour batter into three greased loaf pans

Bake at 350* 65 minutes or until bread pulls away from the sides of the pan and is golden brown.

Best eaten warm and with a grateful heart!

rebecca

strawberries…

These strawberries were among those pieces that I stained the other day.  Both of the pearl cottons I used to punch these tiny berries are from the Valdani pearl tweed collection.  I love the way the flecks in the red floss are reminiscent of strawberry seeds!

It doesn’t take much stuffing to fill out these fruits!  When I’m drawing the strawberries onto my weavers cloth, I sketch them freehand rather than using a pattern or template.  I like my strawberries to be original, wonky and imperfect, just like the real thing.Sometimes, one strawberry is all one needs… On the other hand, it’s awfully nice to have a whole bunch!

These berries will be for sale beginning July 20 on the Primitive Handmades Mercantile site.

 

Enjoy a strawberry today!

 

rebecca