Friday, February 1, 2013

Ground Hog Day

Tomorrow is Groundhog day. I wonder who thought to watch a rodent come out of a hole to predict spring. I will admit I will watch the news tomorrow to find out if he saw his shadow. Won't you? My sister saw a robin lately and maybe it is a sign of an early spring? I actually watch for the arrival of Mr. & Mrs. Mallard to return since there is a pond near us. In celebration of Groundhog Day, I thought it would be fun to make homemade bread in a porcupine/ground hog shape. It is also a great way to warm up the kitchen. It was record highs yesterday so maybe it is foreshadowing an early spring.
Homemade White Loaf
2 cups warm water (about 105 degrees F)
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
4-5 cups white bread flour
1 Tbsp salt
1 egg, beaten with a little water
2 Tbsp rosemary
  1. In a small bowl, add the water, yeast, and sugar. Set aside to proof.
  2. In a large bowl,  combine 4 cups of bread flour and salt.
  3. Add the yeast water and mix until a dough forms. If the dough is too sticky, add about 1 Tbsp of flour at a time.
  4. On a clean surface dusted with flour, knead the bread for about 10 minutes. 
  5. Form the dough into a smooth ball.
  6. Grease a large bowl and add the dough to the middle.
  7. Oil the top of the bread and cover with oiled plastic wrap. 
  8. Allow to rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  9. When the dough has doubled in size, punch down the dough and divide in half.
  10. Form two balls and allow to rise for another 1 hour on a greased cookie sheet.
  11. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  12. Gently slice the top of the dough to make crisscross patterns.
  13. Brush a little of the beaten egg onto the dough and sprinkle with rosemary.
  14. Cook for 25 minutes or until cooked through. Tap the bottom of the loaves and it should sound hallow.
Recipes adapted from The Ultimate Bread & Baking Book.
One year ago........................I made Coleslaw.
Did you already know..........
-Another name for a groundhog is woodchuck.
-Groundhogs hibernate from late October to February. 
-There are many recipes online that include groundhogs (which I probably will never try unless tricked).

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