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Posts Tagged ‘making bread’

And the holiday season begins. It hardly seems fair that we just get done with all the awful political ads, and they start right in on all the awful holiday ads, but oh well. Here at NDiN, I think we’ll turn off the tv and spend the week cooking.

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Here’s the turkey, which I (Xan) will actually be making for the December holidays rather than Thanksgiving this year. My sister-in-law will make Thanksgiving.

Turkey with apple-raisin stuffing
from Sphere magazine, circa 1975
1 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. butter
1 quart chopped apples (I use Granny Smiths)
1 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. golden raisins
1/4 c. fresh parsley
1 egg
1/4 c. apple cider
1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Saute onion in butter over medium heat until transparent (about 5 minutes); stir in apples and celery, simmer uncovered over medium heat sitrring occasionally (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat, lightly beat egg and stir in, stir in remaining ingredients. Stuff bird. Oops. Find a recipe/instructions for roasting a stuffed turkey. Do that. (Actually Alton Brown says make the stuffing separately, cook the bird unstuffed and spatchcocked- you heard me- and then stuff it on the sly when no ones looking, during the “resting” period after you take it out of the oven.)

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Ahhh, where does that time go. I (Sincerely, Emily) am involved in a lot of things this year that are taking me away from home during the day and I find that I seem to be scrambling to get anything done right now. In terms of our Thanksgiving dinner, so far, the only two things I have thought about are the turkey and the stuffing. The local man I was getting a turkey from let me know that the turkeys did not put on weight, therefore, he has no turkey for me. I scrambled to find an organic turkey this past week. Yesterday I started making bread for my stuffing.

I use my normal no-knead bread recipe.  Then I add seasonings.

No-Knead Bread

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp yeast (original recipe is 1/8 tsp, but I never got much of a rise so I added more!)
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 cup water (adjusted for your flour

Before I add the water I add the following herbs and spices

  • 2 T dried oregano  or minced fresh oregano
  • 2 T dried minced onions (or fresh)
  • 2 T dried ground sage or minced fresh

Mix dry ingredients together then start adding your water a little at a time.  I tend to never add the full water, I prefer my dough on the dry side. I then cover my bowl with plastic and let it sit over night or all day or until I remember to get back to it. I then knead the dough (yes, I knead the no-knead dough!) just a bit to pull it all together.) I then place it in an oiled bowl and let it rise about an hour or until it has doubled in size. I pre-heat the oven and the crock pot insert to 500F. I bake the bread, covered, for 30 minutes at 500F, then 15 minutes at 450F uncovered.  (see my above link for photo of crockpot insert)  (you can use dutch oven.) I allow the bread to completely cook before cutting it into cubes to dry for stuffing. The bread has all the wonderful herbs and spices already in it, but I do tend to add more when I make the stuff.

Ok, now I am in the mood for the holidays… or at least the food part!

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What are you making for Thanksgiving?

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My 9 year old niece is visiting us in Texas for the first time and we are doing a lot of new and fun things while she is here.

Visiting my friends next door is definitely a high point where feeding the “wild” deer has ranked #1. The first day she went out with my neighbor, then he decided she could go out on her own the next morning.  The deer were a little shy that first day on her own, but the second day she had one eating out of her bucket and she could reach out and pet it too. What an experience!

After she fed the deer, she would join Poppy (the bunny) who was out hopping and running around the yard for a little exercise. It was hard to tell who was having more fun: Poppy or my niece. Poppy would run and hide, my niece would run after him and then he would pop out and run to her. She would then pet him and he would turn and hop off in another direction. When Poppy was ready for a break, he would head for his resting spot under and bench, dig a little, then sprawl out and cool off for a while. When he was ready to go, the games continued.

Blackie (the cat) had to get in on the fun too. A good belly scratch was in order and my niece loved it as much as Blackie I think.

This list doesn’t end there. There were Koi and other fish to feed out in the water gardens. She talked to the cockatoo and the macaw.  Fed the turtles and peeked in on the doves. Our daily visit was full of adventures. Full of new experiences and learning opportunities and there was a lot of time to explore.  Then we would head home and eat our lunch before heading upstairs to make cards.

I have made cards to give to my niece before and also made cards for her to put together, but this was the first time we have made cards together, so I went through choosing designer papers, and colored papers. Talked about layouts and other creative options. She had a great time adding ribbon and using the stamps and ink and then she put the cards together. Before we knew it, she had three cards made up and was ready to send them off in the mail, so we dropped them off at the post office on our way downtown to meet my husband for dinner.

We stopped and met my husband at work to look at some of the airplanes that he flies and maintains, then we headed downtown to Riverwalk. It was a week night and not very crowded down there. We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant followed by a boat tour on the river. We had a lot of fun down there.

I also showed her how to knead bread. I completely forgot to get the aprons out, so there was a bit of flour covering her when we were done. Not a disaster by any means, it was actually funny and we both had a good laugh.

As you read this, we are out on yet another adventure. Today is my quarterly manure pick up day, so we will head out early this morning to shovel horse poo into our truck. She will get to meet my friend and cowboy (who is also a singer/songwriter). She will get to meet his four horses; 3 paints and 1 kiger mustang. And she has even asked if she can help load the manure (really, she asked!)

I have wonderful memories of spending time with my Great Aunt. She introduced me to so many creative and wonderful things.  I remember how special I felt to when I was invited to spend time with an adult (My Great Aunt.) It gave me a feeling of independence and confidence, yet I realize now that I still was under the care and watchful eye of a family member that loved me.  I only hope that I have helped to create some wonderful memories and experiences for my niece and that I have more opportunities as the years go by.

Do you have someone that made you feel special when you were younger? Someone who taught you things and opened up your world to creativity and fun?

Sincerely, Emily

You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.

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.. no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation … will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.

–M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating


I love making bread. It’s one of the first things I started making from scratch and it’s so worth it. I was pretty young when I started my baking career. I remember making bagels and other delicious bread with my mom when I was in jr high. I’ve been baking ever since. I mostly focus on breads since I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. There’s just something about homemade bread, it tastes so much better than store bought, it saves money, and it provides a connection with the past.


When I first started making bread I make traditional recipes made with fresh yeast. After mastering those recipes I decided to tackle artisan breads using the delayed fermentation method from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. When I’d learned to make delicious artisan bread, I started learning more about grains and starting grinding my own grain for baking. I then turned my attention to learning to make sourdough breads. The thought of using wild yeast was fascinating to me. Not only are sourdough breads tasty and delicious, but they’re much healthier as well.

I find making bread enjoyable and deeply satisfying on a basic level. Perhaps it’s being able to make something delicious for my family. Or the wonder of mixing flour with yeast and water and kneading it into a delicious loaf. Maybe our emotions are nourished as well as our bodies when we form a hands on connection with what we eat. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I know that it’s something I’ll be doing for the rest of my life.

Do you have an activity you do that is deeply satisfying to your soul?

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