Friday, June 05, 2009

When I was a little girl, I remember going with my mom to visit at the home of one of her friends. The picture that comes to my mind is sitting around her kitchen table, the women chatting away and on the counter were multiple loaves of whole wheat bread rising on the counter. A wheaty, yeasty aroma filled the air. To my young eyes, it was like a magic show as those loaves grew bigger and bigger as the afternoon progressed. From that time forward, I longed to have that same delicious smell in my own home. Over the years, I have experimented with different recipes and techniques, taken classes and poured over books in order to recreate that magic in my own kitchen.
My skills and confidence have grown over time and I've begun playing with recipes, making adjustments here and there. Some of my ideas didn't pan out. More than a couple of tries have ended up in the trash. In the last couple of weeks, I have landed on a group of ingredients that seems just right. The result is the Libby Blend Bread.
Starting with this recipe, I began making changes and substitutions in ingredients. Trading white sugar for brown, I also reduced the measurement by half. Two tablespoons of melted butter rather than vegetable oil. Six cups of white flour became 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 cup rolled oats, 3 cups white flour, and 1/2 cup flax seed. The finished bread has a nice flavor that is perfect for sandwiches or toast. Mom always said not to play with my food, but I think it might be okay to play with a recipe.
Out in the garden, the pepper plants are beginning to perk up. They got off to a very slow start this year. The poor little things have survived being planted in a spot where they don't seem to thrive. Not to mention being stomped down more than once once by a certain puppy dog.
A little over a week ago, I harvested the castings from my worm bin and applied it to the suffering peppers. Within a couple of days, I began seeing a few blossoms.
Seeing the happy plants makes me happy, too. Won't be long before we're roasting peppers and making salsa.

26 comments:

Judy said...

The bread looks yummy. I need to experiment with lower carb pizza dough soon too.

Okay so what exactly are the worm castings? Or do I not want to know?

Stina said...

Nothing better than the smell of bread in the oven... yummy!!!! :o) Yours looks fantastic!! :o))

Screen Door said...

Ever had stuffed Bell Peppers? I remember them from growing up with my Mom.... Love the plant photos..

Milah said...

Your recipe sounds healthier than the origional recipe. Do you use a bread machine? If so, what model do you have? I bought one at a garage sale and wasn't impressed. I know there are better ones out there I just don't know what to look for.

Quilt Hollow said...

Yum

Sharon said...

Just printed recipe with your changes, going to get my neighbor to try this with me, she is the bread queen!
Sharon

KC Quilter said...

Mmmmm...the bread sounds yummy. I have saved the recipe and your changes and will definitely give it a try! Thanks for sharing.

Kim said...

Each time I make bread I am still happily surprised at the results. However ~ there be times when a lump of hard cold dough is deposited in the garbage can, lol. I will try your recipe this weekend as we have a cold spell heading our way and bread making is a cure all for cold weather blues.

Chris@Cats On My Quilts said...

My grandmother was a terrible cook but the thing she was a master of was bread making. I can still remember the smell. My son seems to have inherited her skills and is a wonderful breadmaker. He makes all his bread without recipes and does it by ratios instead of the standard cup measurememnts. We all fight over his bagels.

Julie in the Barn said...

I'm gonna have to try your recipe. What brand oats? I have Mornflake porridge from Scotland. Hope that will work.

The garden's looking good!

Bunny said...

Your bread looks wonderful. Love home made bread, have not made any in a long time.

anne bebbington said...

Isn't it strange - I have a similar memory of being off school recovering from some lurgy or other aged about 12 and on my last day off walking with my mother in the sunshine through sunny wildflower edged lanes to see farming friends of hers - they too had bread rising in the kitchen as we arrived and the magic of watching those sweetened breadbuns rise, bake, be iced and then eaten with a wonderful cup of tea during our visit is one that you've refreshed wonderfully with this posting - unfortunately I've tried many recipes and never been able to either replicate the sweet buns or even make a decent loaf - but I guess I could keep trying :o) ps the batik basket four patch quilt is coming on - hope to post on its progress later today

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

Thank you for the bread recipe. I want to give this one a try.

Carol said...

Looks delicious! I can almost smell it. Little jam! Perfect!

ranette said...

My mouth is watering looking at that bread....nothing is better than a warm slice of homemade bread with a little pat of butter....yum!

Sweet P said...

Your bread looks so good! I've thought about making yeast bread, but I'm to afraid to try it. The recipe looks easy enough. Ah, maybe someday . . .

Wendy said...

Seeing your bread reminds me of the bread in Portugal. At the market they sold fresh bread, you could either buy a whole round loaf or a half a loaf or a quarter of a loaf and there was only one choice of bread. I've been wanting to learn to make bread. A friend of mine makes 9 loafs at one time. I need to set a date with her. I'm going to save your changes for future bread making.

tami said...

That bread looks so good. I love a nice dense whole grain bread. Before time sucking job I used to make bread for us all the time. Now I settle for the bread machine most of the time. It just doesn't come out the same, but it still smells just as good. ;)

Quilts And Pieces said...

Sure, I'm sitting here starving and what do I see - more wonderful bread....

Guðrún said...

Is it a rule over the world, don´t play with your food? My mom always said that to us and I have passed that on to my children. The plants just have to get stronger and bigger so Harper won´t step on them, how in the world is she supposed to see them when they are small?

don't eat sushi said...

My mother never baked anything for me but my temper!
:---)
Thanks for sharing this!
I'll pass it on to my normal wife!
a

dee said...

Sadly...I am one of the Buttertons of that commercial on tv. Just give me a loaf of bread, a stick of butter and leave me alone.
That darling puppy! I'd sacrifice a few peppers for her. Besides, she's your best anti-squirrel alarm.
Have a great day Libby.

Carole said...

The bread does look delicious! Our garden is coming along! Summer should be here soon bringing us warmer weather. Thanks for sharing!

Candace said...

Wow - who knew a white bread recipe could turn into such an artisan loaf! How wonderful, Libby! Hooray for the worms - that goes to show just how well their castings work!
Cheers!

Kim said...

wow look at that bread! Lovely. I've been trying to bake bread from one of the other sites and I just can't get it to come out right- but we keep trying. I'll get it right eventually. ( I hope).
I stopped by to say I made your tomato cheese pies for dinner last night for my BFF and DD and they were a HUGE hit! Of course I had to copy the recipe down for her to make at home. Look even non blogger are loving your food.
I'm looking into worm wrangling for the move to Buffalo since I won't have a big garden or the composters I have here :(
Either the deer or the big fat ground hog ate all the spinach and romaine lettuce in the garden over the weekend so I need to replant some. When I saw it I thought of your squirrels.
The stars look great also.

QuiltedSimple said...

Oooh I'll have to try the bread recipe - we love homemade bread here at our house.
Kris