My Favorite White Bread

Several years ago, I picked up The Best of Amish Cooking by Phyllis Pellman Good – it is quite literally my very favorite cookbook.  I have tried for years to find a white bread recipe that my kids like as much as the white bread in this cookbook – and I haven’t been able to find one.

Dissolve 1 package of yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in 1/2 cup lukewarm water.  (I usually do this in a large mixing cup).

Then Mix 2 cups lukewarm water, 1 1/4 tsp salt, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1 3/4 tbsp unsalted sweet cream butter.  (i mix this all in my kitchen aid).  Then add the yeast mixture, and gradually 7 – 8 cups of flour.

****Stopping here for a hint.  You may not use 7 – 8 cups of flour.  You want to gradually mix in the flour one cup at a time until you can touch the dough and it not stick ooey gooey to your finger.  It needs to be pulled completely off of the mixing bowl and forming a strange ball on your dough hook.  Depending on heat and humidity, this can be as little as 6 cups or as many as 10 (rare)!*****

Because my kitchen aid bowl is stainless steel, I just leave the dough in there.  If you are mixing in a plastic bowl, switch the dough now to a greased bowl (grease the sides with more butter).  Cover with a dish towel and set it in a warm place to rise until double.  This usually takes about an hour.

Punch it down.  Literally.  Form a fist and punch the middle.  Then Use your hand to scoop the dough off the side of the bowl and into the middle.  Cover and let rise again (another hour or so).

Get two large loaf pans out and cover the sides and bottom with yummy butter.  I usually take a stick, peel off the wrapper, and then just “color” the pans with butter.  Now go get your dough.  Cut it in the middle with your hand.  If you do it right, you should be able to cut it in half with your right hand, and then grab the left side of the dough, scooping it up and set it gently into the loaf pan with a perfectly formed loaf – this takes practice, but you can do it!  Now use your left hand and scoop the right side out and put it into the second loaf pan!  Waalaa!

Oh wait…shoot….you are not done!  Cover both loaf pans and let it rise again (another hour or so).  Take the cover off after it has risen, and bake at 350* for 1/2 hour.

It makes beautiful bread.  Perfect for covering in yummy apple butter and noshing right out of the oven.  It doesn’t do french toast or the toaster well though.  Just an fyi!

ENJOY!!!!  And seriously, purchase the book.  I think you can get it for a penny used on Amazon!

Anne Rice, A Christian???

Call me late for the party, call me completely behind, call me utterly dumbfounded!

As a college age young lady (kind of) I was a HUGE fan of Anne Rice.  I loved her vampire series and I even loved some of her lesser followed books. I was not a huge fan of the movies, but the books were read over and over until the covers tore off.  When Barbie was about a year old she was having intense nightmares, and so was I.  In a complete act of utter desperation I went through every book in the house and got rid of all of my horror books.  That was a ton of books!!!!!!  Strangely enough, or maybe not so strangely, the nightmares stopped shortly after that.  Sadly, my Anne Rice books went with them.

I’ve been trying to keep the “yeast” out of my house, so my visits to the local library have been slightly frustrating.  I’ve been searching and searching for books that I wouldn’t be ashamed to read in front of the Pope or my Pastor.  That is not as easy as it sounds when you read as prolifically as I do!  I was searching in the aisle with R – S and discovered “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt”.  I snatched it up and quickly scanned the back of the book and the inside leaflet.  It looked promising, and it was.

In her own familiar style, Ms. Rice quickly swept me away to Egypt and immersed me into the family of Mary and Joseph.  Told from the story of the Christ child as truly a child.  He understands that He can do marvelous, scary things, but He doesn’t understand why.  And all of the adults around Him do understand why and are simultaneously adoring and in awe.  It was a magical book, I can’t say enough about it.

I am a word nerd, so I must admit, I read the entire book cover to cover….Including her reasonings behind writing the book, and her justification of herself as a woman of faith.  I can not judge if she is truly a Christ follower.  I read that she claims to be.  I can judge her book….and it was entrancing.

I can not wait for her to do more in this genre of book.  I read recently that she was putting out another Lestat book, so I don’t know that we’ll get anymore from her about the Christ child.  It would be greatly disappointing if that was the case.

Interested enough to check out this book, you can read more about it here   http://www.annerice.com/ChristTheLord-OutOfEgypt-Editions.html

What was I talking about when I said “yeast”….check that out on my post Saturday, Baking Day http://holykneeshomeschoolacademy.com/2014/03/22/saturday-baking-day/ .

Saturday Baking Day

1 Corinthians 5:6 and 7 Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 

Do you allow your children to have sleepovers? We have for quite some time, but there are days that I think that may have been a bad idea. I remember one particular sleepover several years ago.  Barbie had come home and I was drowsily napping on the couch.   At around 8:30 pm I received a phone call from my daughter’s friend’s mother, who was a very good friend of mine. She didn’t call just to gab, and I could tell this because her opening remark was, “Are you sitting down?” I sleepily answered yes, not aware that my safe little cocoon of peace was about to be blown to bits. She, not so calmly, related that our beautiful daughters (her’s was 9 and Barbie was 10) had been playing a game the night before, and not one we would have approved of. They had been playing and somehow sex came into the equation. We weren’t sure of the exact issue, but knew (through some papers they had conveniently written on) that things had progressed in their game somewhat further then either one of us was comfortable with. We both agreed that something had to be done, but that as both girls were sleeping, we would tackle it in the morning and then confer later.
The next morning I talked to my daughter and after some cajoling, she told me that they had been pretending to have sex (not with each other) and that it had been intermixed with several other games. I then called my friend and relayed what I had been told. This talking to our respective daughters and then to each other by phone went on for a good part of the day. By noon or so, we were both confident that nothing too serious had gone on, mostly just some play that is a natural part of development. We were concerned, however; with where they had gotten the idea from. I was fairly confident that it had come from the other girl, because my daughter is rarely unsupervised by a trusted adult, and the other girl goes to public school. Imagine my surprise when the fact was revealed that MY daughter had been the one starting the play. It was HER idea. I was shocked, and horrified, and not just a little angry.
I immediately went to my daughter and asked where she got the idea from. Imagine how shocked I was when she told me it was from one of MY books. I’m an avid and prolific reader, and will read anything put in front of me. She inherited that (a good thing) and had picked up a couple of romance books that I had received from someone. I didn’t even realize she had them, let alone that she had read them.
Here I was, feeling ever so superior, and it had been ME all along. I had brought the bad influence into my home, and it had corrupted my daughter and her friend. Like yeast added to a batch of dough, it had worked its way throughout my home and expanded on to another home.

Obviously, this was quite some time ago, but it seems the lesson has still not been learned – by ME!  I just recently again went through all of the music in the house and got rid of anything that I wouldn’t want Jesus hearing.  I got rid of any videos that I wouldn’t want the kids watching.  I’m waiting for Papi to go through any video games with me.  And then i will, yet again, go through the books. 😦

It’s pervasive, and sneaky,  It creeps in when you’re not looking – at least it seems that way. So

stop

Make it a point today to really look around your home. Look at what you and your children watch on tv, play on the computer, listen to on the radio, and yes, even read. Are you bringing yeast into the dough of your home? Is it time to get rid of some old things or habits that you are holding on to? It is not just you that the yeast is corrupting, it is spreading to someone you love.  Stop the yeast from spreading.  Get it all out.