Friday, January 21, 2011

Little Loaf on the Prairie

Howdy-do, pardner! Well, slap a sunbonnet on my noggin and call me, "Pioneer Petunia!"

After receiving this from Santa Claus this Christmas, I decided to test it's mettle and see what it's got under the hood. YEEHAW! A fruit smoothie? A piece of cake. A thick milkshake? Piece of cake. Crushed ice? Piece of cake. Grinding raw wheat into a fine, dusty powder fit for down-on-the-prairie breadmaking? Cake. And since we're the proud owners of 2600 pounds (that's TWENTY-SIX HUNDRED POUNDS!!!) of raw wheat kernels tucked away in the dark recesses of our spidery basement, the discovery that I can do something with it other than popping a handful into my mouth to make "wheat bubblegum," (ew) this grinding feature is a very, very good thing.

So there I was in a wheat flour fog (I can't see! I can't see!--name the movie!*), and I decided it was time to cross over that invisible wooden log bridge and embrace my true pioneer-stock ancestry. I was determined to tackle . . . are you ready for it? . . . to tackle making bread. By hand. Without a bread machine. Without the assistance of Rhodes. Without going to my local Macey's and buying a 1.5 lb. unsliced loaf and hiding the bag pretending the bread just popped out of my oven merely minutes before. "Oh, and look, it still needs to be sliced! Yup, must be homemade!"

Have you ever had a moment where you just sit back and go, "Wait. My mother should be doing this, not me!" Yeah. This was that. I was actually kneading on my countertop. Kneading! Flour up to my eyeballs. Just like Mom used to do. I would watch that weekly routine of hers when I was a kid but I never wanted to participate (tomboy time!). Yet, here I was doing that yeast proud! Not too shabbyflabby. Both Christian and I decided the taste and texture of my bread was very much akin to Great Harvest's honey wheat bread. And that's a beautiful thing.

Bread? Piece of cake.

Well, sort of. Confidentially, I'm still getting used to the idea of having something in my mixing bowl that I could actually, um, "kill?" All this talk about not getting my water too hot or else I will "kill" the yeast? That's the part of this whole process that has always held me back from achieving my Pioneer Womanhood Recognition Award. Quite frankly, yeast scares me. There. I said it, and I'm not taking it back.

We shall NOT discuss what happened a day earlier when I tried to make wheat bread in my bread machine. Why drag you down that sad, pitiful road? Nuh uh.

By the way, does anyone need a golden-brown cinderblock that coincidentally is shaped sort of like a very squatty loaf of bread? It's rock solid and will withstand the force of a 200 lb. man jumping on top of it. It's available. It's free. Call me.

Here is a pic of Pioneer Petunia, aka, me.

*"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," only THE BEST comedy on the planet, dontcha know.


Dave said...

This is the best!!! The proof is in my even bigger waistline :) (see comment from previous post)

Beth said...

What beautiful loaves of bread! Good job!

Lisa said...

Girl, you never cease to amaze me! Recipe, please?

The Morris Family said...

I am amazed that you actually kneaded your bread by hand. I am lazy and make my kitchenaid to the kneading for me! They look delicious and I would bet they made your house smell amazing!

Ashley said...

I was hoping you would blog about your bread! It looks so yummy!