Big, Bold, Beautiful Journey
I really don't know what has gotten in to me lately, but I am still backing. I promise I do more things than bake, but I seem to be really stuck on that right now. This week's baking was prompted mostly by my lack of desire to go to the grocery store. I ran out of bread, and rather than go to the grocery store--which I pretty much have to be desperate to get myself there--I made a loaf of bread in my bread machine. I found a really good, basic recipe about a year ago. This recipe is definitely tried and true. It's really easy, too. There are only five ingredients, and it comes out great every time. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/17215/best-bread-machine-bread/.
For rise and texture, I have found the best combination with Red Star Platinum Yeast and King Arthur bread flour. This particular combination seems to yield the greatest rise and lightest texture on a consistent basis. I've tried the Red Star Platinum yeast with other bread flours, and the loaf doesn't rise quite as much.
I was originally using a bread machine from my grandmother, but it gave up the ghost. After some online research, I chose this machine. I haven't regretted it. It's a great bread machine. You can find a link to it below.
There is just really something special about homemade bread. I love the taste of it. I've given loaves of this bread to others as gifts, and have received many compliments on it. One neighbor said they could not stop eating it. The bread machine makes it easy to make someone feel really special by making them a loaf of homemade bread. And, it makes the house smell incredible while it's baking. You can't beat that!
I really don't bake all the time, but as you know, it's been an emotional couple of weeks here in Texas. This past Thursday, I was experiencing a lot of anxiety. I don't really know why, but I knew I had to do something. So, I set out to make the coconut cream cheese pound cake.
It turned out really well, and I highly recommend it. But, what this post is really about is all the things we do to distract ourselves from doing the things that will really help us deal with the problem directly. Or, at least, all the things I do to distract myself rather than dealing with the emotions head on.
I'm part of a small group working through a program called Emotional Mastery. (You can learn more about it here: www.conscioustransformation.com.) Every two weeks, we meet to listen to a teaching related to emotional mastery, and then go through a 20 minute meditation. I started the cake before the group members got to my house. I had been anxiety-ridden all day. By the time I finished the 20 minute meditation, the anxiety had completely disappeared. I do not know why I convince myself that I do not have time to sit down and meditate at these times, but I do. Had I sat myself down earlier in the day to do the meditation, I might have had relief from the anxiety much earlier. I hope you are not like me.
The good news is that I tried a new recipe, and it turned out very well. The cake tasted delicious. You can find the recipe here: cookiesandcups.com/coconut-cream-cheese-pound-cake/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+cookiesandcups+(cookies+and+cups). This link should take you directly to the recipe itself, but if not, you can search for it on the Cookies and Cups website here: www.cookiesandcups.com.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Drizzle in oil. Add mashed bananas, creme fraiche, and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts. Pour into a lined loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
What do you do when you are rained in from the outer bands of a hurricane, and you've checked on all your friends and family, watched all the news you can stand to watch, prayed and prayed, and swept and mopped the kitchen floor? If you're anything like me, you bake banana bread. This banana bread is actually known as Flour's Famous Banana Bread. The recipe is from the Four Bakery in Boston. You can find the recipe and show video here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/flours-famous-banana-bread-recipe-2015076. I have made this recipe several times, and it has turned out great every time. I even tried to mess it up this time by adding half the sugar to the dry ingredients before I realized what I was doing. It still turned out great.
The recipe calls for toasted walnuts. When I made this recipe before, I did not toast the walnuts. I did this time, and I have seen the light. I admit the error of my ways and repent fully. From now on, only toasted walnuts in this recipe.
I doubled the recipe, and it made three loaves of banana bread. By lining the pans with parchment paper, I was able to lift the loaves out and set them on a wire rack to cool immediately upon taking them out of the oven.
Recipe courtesy of Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery in Boston. Posted on foodnetwork.com.
Living out the art of transformation in my home, in my relationships, in my life. Aunt to four amazing individuals. Adopted three years ago by a senior miniature poodle. Successfully navigating a long distance romance. XGP kidney survivor. Life is good.