Monday, June 30, 2008

Second Chances and a Recipe

In light of the fact that I have been too busy with mothering lately to blog as much as I would like, I am going to extend the date for submissions to Relishing Motherhood's writing contest. The contest will go through Wednesday, July 16th, and the winner will be announced no later than the following Monday.

I am sure that the reason that only a couple of you have entered is because you have been so swamped with important summertime activities like swimming, vacationing, organizing your house, and reading a book while your kids rot in front of the TV for a few hours. It couldn't possibly be that my readers haven't had any ah-ha moments in motherhood, nor that they aren't clamoring for a copy of my cookbook! I'm sure that it has to be something else. In fact, I am going to sweeten the deal a little (assuming that anyone is interested in this giveaway.) I will send a CD copy of this cookbook to everyone who submits an entry! That means that if you win you get all the glory and accolades, but even if you don't, you'll get a prize for participation. Because let's face it--what I really want is for people to share things that they've learned about motherhood. That way we can learn from each other. (If you don't have a blog, or if your blog is dedicated to something specific like cooking, all things organic, or underwater basket weaving, feel free to submit your essay to me via email--sleepymumATgmailDOTcom-- and I will post it on my own blog for the readers to enjoy.)

Okay, hopefully that is enough of a pep talk. Maybe I just need to accept defeat and move on--but I'm too stubborn to do so at this point.

I thought I'd take a minute to share a recipe with you. One of my favorite things since childhood has been homemade wheat bread. My mom made it for us while we were growing up. I have made it sporadically throughout my mothering years, and have made it twice a week for the past six months (I haven't had to buy any sandwich bread, which has been so great.) I have been playing with the recipe a bit lately to fill it up with healthy things, since my kids will eat bread like there's no tomorrow. So, here's the recipe and I'll include a few options at the bottom.

Rhonda's Whole Wheat Bread

  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • scant Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6 cups whole wheat flour (I like white wheat flour best, from whole white wheat)
Mix ingredients in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, proof the yeast:
  • 3/4 cup very warm water
  • 3 Tablespoons yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
When yeast is proofed, add to bread mixture along with:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups white, all-purpose flour
Mix on low or medium to incorporate, then on high for 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.

Turn out into bowl sprayed with cooking spray and allow to rise in a warm place for 25 minutes. Turn dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and separate into four loaves. Shape loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Allow to rise for 25 minutes more.

Bake in 350 oven for 25-30 minutes, until bread is golden brown. Remove from oven and from pans immediately. Rub or brush tops of the loaves with butter. Allow to cool on wire cooling rack.

Variations: Substitute 1/4 cup of the oil with an equal amount of applesauce. Substitute 1/2 cup flour with equal amount ground flax seed (my current favorite), toasted wheat germ, or leftover oatmeal. Add 1/2 cup sunflower seeds with final 4 cups of flour (my kids don't love this version).

This bread is perfect for toast, sandwiches, or just with some butter on it. I generally freeze the loaves that I won't use immediately and then defrost them at room temp one at a time as needed. Since it is summer, I generally start this as soon as I wake up in the morning or after I've put the kids to bed, since I don't like to have the oven on in the middle of the day. It takes about 2 hours from start to finish.

Now, go write your entry for the contest!:)


Macy said...

I love this recipe. And great idea to add the flax meal in place of the flour. I tried to substitute the oil for flax and it did NOT work. :) Wish we were going to be in Utah at the same time too! We'll coming back through on July 6 and leaving on July 8, so I think we'll see some of the family. Another time...

scrap chair potato said...

Mmmmmm! I want some homemade wheat bread now. It has been a while since I have made some. Maybe I will do that tomorrow, and use one of your variations. Yummy!

Prudy said...

OK-I'm in! I need my particpation prize. I'm intrigued by the small amount of ginger in the recipe. Is it perceptible or very subtle? I'll just have to try it myself. I better head back to print it off.

Michal said...

the ginger is subtle, but i can tell the difference if i leave it out.
can't wait to see you!

Angela said...

OOh we make wheat bread twice a week from scratch, so I will have to give this a try! Looks Yummy! I too, have been swamped with summer fun, that I haven't been on the computer much! It has been good for me :)

Sonja said...

Oh thank you! I've been want to do this and then this weekend I got sick. Really sick. Then the kids followed suit. So...Thanks!
AND thanks for the recipe. :-)

You're the best!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I'm glad you reminded me. I have been busy... I promise! =)

When I did my chocolate giveaway I was disturbed that so few people entered. It was free chocolate! But I will try to get my entry done.

Michal said...

i'm so sad that we are very booked on the days that you'll be in town--and very booked in salt lake. bummer.
ice cream,
i think that having a baby last week is a good reason to be a bit behind on things! i think that the chocolate give-away was when i started reading your blog, actually. come to think of it, i don't think that i entered the contest, though.

Jana said...

Thank you for all of your comments on my blog. I just read about your writing contest, and I think that it is a wonderful idea. I'm very excited to see what people submit. Great thinking!


Rebecca said...

Contest? Wow, I've been missing a lot! Missed you a bunch! I'll have to further look at this writing contest thingy you have going on.

Way cool.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Could the contest entry be an older post, so long as I refer to the contest in a new post? That's how Scribbit handles it...

Nice to meet you!

Christine said...

It looks fabulous! However- I have found that I cannot make homemade bread. Not becasue I am a bad baker- on the contrary, I have won blue ribbons in 4H for my bread. However- I cannot help but eat it. And not just one piece. And not without butter, and not without jam. And so- my family suffers as I watch my carb intake. I even started buying Eggo waffles, as I cannot help but to eat my ever so fabulous, beaten egg whites homemade ones. This has made the kids very happy, as it seams they prefer the "cicle waffles".

Stacey said...

I somehow stummbled onto your blog and I loved the idea of the contest, but with a vacation and 5 kids I just didn't get around to writing. Thanks for extending and I plan on writing a post about relishing my motherhood. Also, thanks for the recipe. I think we'll try it this week.

david mcmahon said...

Hope you're having a wonderful summer break, Michal.

And just some quiet advice - NEVER, ever, ever accept defeat. Not some as brilliant as you.

Change your strategy, but never fly a white flag.

Kimberly said...

Thanks for extending the deadline - I plan on posting my entry this week, really I do!

And the recipe...oh my...whole wheat bread is literally my favourite food in all the world. Quite different from the recipe I'm using right now so I'm going to give it a try!