Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy Homemade Bread Day!

Happy Homemade Bread Day!  We spent the first half of the day running errands, doing most of our Thanksgiving meal shopping, getting gas, and hitting the craft store for some needed items.  Later, though, we did get some work done, today, focusing on honoring Homemade Bread Day (lots of cooking today, no crafts).  First, though, I must tell you that we woke to find our 'Turkey Trap' from yesterday had been sprung!  Mags was so excited, but cautious, to look inside ...
... no turkey, but what's this?  Feathers?
A note, a few feathers, and some M&Ms ...
Look's like we'll have to try again another time!  :)
In honor of Homemade Bread Day, we read some great books, all of which I'd recommend if you're studying this dietary staple:  
1. Bread, Bread, Bread by Ann Morris;
2. Bread Comes to Life: A Garden of Wheat and a Loaf to Eat by George Levenson;
3. Everybody Bakes Bread by Norah Dooley;
4. Monsieur Saguette and his Baguette by Frank Asch; and 
5. Bread is for Eating by David and Phillis Gershator.
We also watched the Reading Rainbow: Bread is for Eating DVD that we borrowed from the library, another great resource!
Later, of course, we made bread together, using the recipe for the Italian bread out of the Everybody Bakes Bread book.  For the same, you'll need:
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups warm water 
7 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup cornmeal
(And it wasn't suggested, nor did I use it, but I would recommend something to add more flavor to the bread, like rosemary.)

To start your bread, in a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup warm water and stir.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Add remaining water.  Then, add 3 cups of flour and mix well (about 300 strokes).  Stir in 2 teaspoons olive oil and salt.  Continue to stir in flour little by little until dough begins to form a ball.  Place dough on a floured surface and knead in flour until your dough is smooth and stretchy.  (You may have some flour left over.)
 Coat the inside of a large bowl with your remaining olive oil.  Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a towel.  Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubles in size.  (This is our dough, with about 20 minutes left to go.)
 After an hour, punch down dough and place on floured surface again.  Knead for about five minutes.  Divide your dough in half and form each half so that it makes a flat 10-inch long loaf.  Slice each loaf into 3 long strips.  Place your three strips of dough side by side and braid them, tucking the ends under.  Repeat with your other three strips so that you have 2 braided loaves.  Sprinkle 2 cookie sheets with the cornmeal (this is a GREAT non-stick trick I learned with this recipe!) and place each loaf on a cookie sheet, like below.  Cover with a towel and let rise another 20 minutes.
 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees, baking for another 30 minutes.  These are our two loaves, baked and smelling divine!
YUM!  And they were quite good, but next time, like I said, I'll be adding a bit of rosemary to make them extra flavorful!  Our first attempt at baking bread together was a success!
 For today's journal entry, I asked her, 'What's your favorite kind of bread?'  She answered, 'Strawberry bread.'
Later, to go with dinner, we made the 'Old English "Sallet"' (today, known as 'salad') as seen in our Happy Thanksgiving! Things to Make and Do book by Judith Conaway, pages 36-37.  According to the same, this recipe 'comes from a very old book, widely read by the Pilgrims.'  Instead of typing out another recipe for you, I'll just post photos of it.  To make it large enough to read, just click on the picture.  Page 36 ...
 ... and page 37.
 Our greens (spinach, lettuce, and green cabbage), mixed together.  So pretty!
 Adding the raisins ...
 And tossing it all together!  (We omitted the onions from our recipe, not because I don't like them, but because Mags sometimes protests them!)
Beautiful!  I love a clear glass bowl for salads!  (I got this one at IKEA for only $3!)
  
Today, we also:
Daily (Calendar/Weather):
1.  We completed our calendar activities, putting today's date up on the calendar, and discussing the month, what day of the week it is, what season, and what kind of weather we're having.
Bible Study:
1.  We completed the daily devotion out of out God and Me book for today's date, 'Helping Mom,' about the importance of helping others.  Then, we read Genesis 18:1-9 together.
Geography Awareness Week:
1.  We read Blast Off to Earth: A Look at Geography by Loreen Leedy.
Thanksgiving:
1.  We read A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving by Charles M. Schulz.
2.  We read It's Thanksgiving by Jack Prelutsky.
3.  We read Thanksgiving Day at Our House: Thanksgiving Poems for the Very Young by Nancy White Carlstrom.
4.  We read 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey.
5.  We read What is Thanksgiving? by Harriet Ziefert.
6.  We read Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland.
7.  We watched our A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving DVD.
Letter Ii Review:
1.  We completed page 10 of our Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Alphabet Learning Workbook, which required her to practice writing both uppercase I and lowercase i, to write an i to complete a word, and to distinguish between the uppercase I’s and lowercase i’s in a picture.
2.  We completed page 23 of our Alphabet and Counting workbook, which required her to listen to an I tongue twister, then practice writing uppercase I and lowercase i.

See you soon!

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