Sunday, September 23, 2007

Traveling Eggs: Guest Bakers and a Lovely Gift

Hello! We are the Traveling Eggs!!!

A few months ago, Helene at Tartlette received us in a package from Hannah of Bittersweet and decided to send us on a journey to other blogging friends. Our first stop was to the fun filled house of Lisa at La Mia Cucina where we got to sit on her desk on top of her favourite cookbooks and a picture of her dog, Nigel.

Now, we are spending the weekend in the kitchen of Breadchick, who writes the bread and baking blog "The Sour Dough".

On Friday, Breadchick got a housewarming present from Helene. The housewarming present was a tea towel in the same colours as Breadchick's kitchen and packages of yeast.

and the fabulous book "100 Great Breads" by Paul Hollywood.

She baked the "Batch Bread" on Saturday from the book and loved how crunchy the crust was and sweet the bread tasted. Since we were sitting in the kitchen when she was baking that bread, we overheard her say, "The next bread I'm going to try is the Beer Bread". Breadchick has been a wonderful hostess, letting us sit in the kitchen to watch her bake and cook. We wanted to do something nice for her. So while she was out playing in the sunshine this afternoon we decided to surprise her by making the "Beer Bread". It sounded like the perfect bread to go with the chicken noodle soup she put in the crockpot before taking her bike and book to the ocean.

First, we had to find the recipe in the book.

Once we found the recipe, we read the recipe and gather all the ingredients. Thank goodness there were no eggs in the recipe!!!

After struggling with the twist on cap of the beer bottle (we have no hands!), we measured 1 1/4 cup of it out into a glass measuring cup and let it come to room temperature.

Then we had to mix one package of yeast with the beer.

Thank goodness Breadchick left a tall cup of cold coffee on the counter for us to climb on! It was the perfect height for eggs to hold a spoon and stir things in big plastic bowls with tight fitting lids!!

Then we had to add some flour, 1 2/3 cup of bread flour to be exact. This took four of us to do! One to scoop out the flour from the canister, one to hold the spoon, one to point to where to get the flour from and one to hold the measuring cup.

Next, we stirred it up with the beer and yeast to make a ferment!

and put the lid on the bowl to make it air tight. This took all of us to do and we built an egg pyramid on the lid to shut it with a snap!!

About two hours later we checked on the ferment. Look how high it was!!

Now we had to add 2 Tbsp of melted butter, 2 tsp of salt, and 1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and knead the dough. Since this bread making is a lot of work, we decided to play a game of rugby with the dough to finish the kneading!

Next the dough went back into the container and left in a warm place to double in size.

When the buzzer went off we sure were impressed with the height of the dough! We had to all climb on to see how tall we could be!!

But we were too heavy and the dough fell down and we fell into the big hole!!

Which meant we had to climb out of the bowl...

Good thing the dough sinkhole happened, because after we finally made it back down to the counter, we read in the recipe we were suppose to "punch down" the dough after it had risen before dumping it out on the counter!

Once we tipped the bowl with the punched down dough over onto the counter

we spread the dough out into a long rectangle and folded over on side about 1/3 of the way up the rectangle.

Then folded over the other part on top of the first part, making a nice package of dough!

Now, into a butter greased glass loaf pan, seam side down, we placed the dough and covered it with plastic wrap to rise. One and a half hours later the loaf of bread had risen to 1/2 an inch above the edge of the loaf pan. This time, the dough didn't collapse when we got on top!!

After pre-heating the oven to 375 degrees, we put the bread in the oven and one of us decided to keep an eye on it while it baked because we heard Breadchick say yesterday that her new oven ran "hot" and we didn't want the bread to get too brown on top!

After 35 minutes in the oven, a perfect loaf of bread came out of the oven! We tipped the loaf pan over and let it cool. Boy oh Boy, would Breadchick be surprised when she got home! It smelled really good, like a good lager or ale!! We bet it will taste just as good too!!!

After all that hard work and before we leave tomorrow on our way to a new blogging friend, we think we need a nap!


We hope Breadchick enjoys the Beer Bread.....