Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Aroma of it all!

Today was bread making day. Not regular bread, but Sweet Breads. One of my very best friends ever came over to bake with me. Actually, she talked me into the whole idea of bread baking seeing that I was still being Scrooge and having the fa, la, la, la, blah attitude.

I am not a baker by nature. I am only a cooker by nature. Baking takes too much organization and I'm the kinda gal who likes a pinch of this or a pinch of that. I rarely ever follow a recipe and if I do I am just presumptuous enough to tweak it to my own liking. I'm a slowly learning to change my whole baking attitude for the sake of the mini-Monks. They love to help me and for some reason baking is what they like to do best. Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor.

Back to the story.

Anyway, said friend comes over and we begin to bake. First, the Pumpkin Bread. I love Pumpkin Bread. Too me it just screams fall and the holidays. My friend talks of how she loves this for breakfast with a cup 'o' java. I agree. Who doesn't love a sweet bread for breakfast? Afterall, it is nothing more than glorified cake! Cake for breakfast is a good thing. This recipe was mine and came out of an old church cookbook.

Next came my friends recipe. Maple Bread. Sounds good, huh? Since I've never tasted Maple Bread I was thrilled at the prospect of having a new flavor of "cake" for breakfast. My friend doubled the recipe so we would have two loaves a piece. We baked these in a
Pampered Chef Mini-Loaf stone pan. This stone cooks 4 mini-loaves at one time. While these little breads were cooking we noticed how high their tops were rising. I was impressed and looking forward to a taste. When they came out of the oven they were a lovely color and looked simply divine. Since my friend was coming back tomorrow for some more torture..er..uh..I mean fun, we decided I would wrap the breads after they cooled. We moved on to next bread.

Amish Friendship Bread is not for the faint of heart. I was given a starter about 10 days ago and I debated as to whether I had it in me to complete the process. This recipe is for tried and true bakers, not schmucks like me who whine about baking. This bread took commitment. You know --the stir once on days 1-5, add 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of flour, blah, blah, blah. I decided it was time to buck up. Afterall, the Proverbs 31 lady would do it and do it cheerfully. So, today was the day I could actually add the rest of the ingredients and bake it. All I can say is: I came, I baked, I conquered. Yep, my bread turned out wonderful! Much to the delight of everyone in the family! Not to mention the baker!

After we finished all the baking my good friend departed for home. I couldn't stand the anticipation and I decided to bust out a loaf of Maple Bread. It looked beautiful and as I was cutting through it I noticed the heaviness of it. Heavy bread is always tasty bread. In great anticipation I took a bite....and spewed it from my mouth! The Mad Monk is sniggering heartily at this point. I decide it was possibly a bad spot in the bread and decide to subject myself to one more taste test. This time I managed to spew it into the trash can as opposed to the counter. It tasted nothing like maple, but rather of flour and lots of it. Something had definitely gone amuck with the Maple Bread. I had to call my friend.

As I tell my friend the story she just wants to die of embarassment. We then try to determine the cause of the untasty bread. We realize two problems: 1. In all probablility, some of the flour my friend used (from her container) was probably self-rising flour, thus the impressive height of thus said bread. 2. During all of our chit-chat she probably added an extra cup of flour (from the taste of it maybe 2 or 3).

So, tomorrow we attempt Maple Bread again. My friend is not looking forward to the unending vexation she will have to endure from The Mad Monk. Poor girl.

Things I learned while making Sweet Bread:

1. Amish Friendship Bread is worth the wait.

2. I'm not a schmuck, afterall.

3. Maple Bread should not taste like flour, but..uh..maple.

4. Try not to talk while measuring flour

5. Never, ever, ever ,ever mess up a recipe around The Mad Monk.

6. Friends who make one bake Sweet Bread even when one feels like being Scrooge are the bestest friends
of all!

Pro 17:17 A friend loveth at all times

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