I've been trying to write this post for four days, but we've been busy. You know, learning to read the newspaper, pulling all the cushions off the sofa and jumping on them, those sorts of things.
Now there's just way too much to share, too many pictures to show, so I'm going to have to pace myself and stick with the original post.
But first I just want to whine about the fact that I am really dying this year without a sewing machine. Mine is broken, thanks to a nasty attempt at sewing with knits. The machine is not worth the repair that is needed and a new machine is nowhere in the budget right now.
And of course, THIS would be the holiday where my children are asking, begging, for the majority of their gifts to be handmade. Little House on the Prairie bonnets. Little House on the Prairie aprons, Little House on The Prairie sleeping caps, dresses….I'm dying, folks. Anyone have a sewing machine they want to rent me for a week?? Ugh.
Anyway, I'll figure it out.
I'm having a hard time with the Christmas shopping this year. Feeling like my children really don't need much, you know? And they aren't asking for a lot either, which is kind refreshing.
Will you tell me what you are getting for your children this holiday season?
It always gives me ideas and if nothing else, late winter brings several birthdays in this house and I'm always looking for ideas. Do tell, and I promise I'll keep the secret.
My original intent with this post was to share a new recipe for Naan and to share my ugly, poorly lit, "Mom can you stop taking pictures of the bread so we can eat?" photograph .
I've been on this Naan-kick lately. It tastes so good with everything–soup, stew, salad, pasta. And I'm always buying the painfully expensive package of it at my grocery store. I figured there had to be a way to make it at home.
So I went to my Joy of Cooking cookbook which has yet to fail me. And lo and behold (which sounds like something my mom would say), there it was. I even had all the ingredients.
It is so simple,turns out so yummy, and is so dangerous. Just what my waistline needs–a simple, easy-to-make white bread.
Here is the recipe from The Joy of Cooking, with my commentary:
Combine in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer:
2 cups bread flour
1/2 teas. salt
1 1/4 teas. active dry yeast
2 Tbsp. melted butter or vegetable oil (I used oil)
3/4 cup yogurt or buttermilk, at room temperature (I used b'milk and helped it along to get it to room temp via the microwave. Because room temperature in my house, is the same as the inside of my refrigerator. I'm not kidding.)
1 teas to 1Tbl of water, as needed (for me, it took way more than 1 T. to get my soft ball of dough formed)
Mix on low speed until a soft ball of dough is formed. Knead by hand or on the low speed of a mixer with the dough hook until the dough is smooth and elastic. (I recommend not kneading it on top of the spot where your children just spilled hot cocoa mix. Just a recommendation. Though turned out rather tasty.)
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about 1 1/2 hours. (this is where I take my dough in near the woodstove. I will say, the first time it hardly rose at all. But I went with it and it still turned out fine. Bubbly and good.)
Punch the dough down and divide equally into four pieces. Roll into balls, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. (or while you go outside and lock in the chickens for the night.)
Place a baking stone(wish I had one) or inverted baking sheet (have one) in the oven and preheat to 475 degrees. Roll out each ball of dough into an oval 8-10 inches long and 1/4 inch thick. Brush the tops with melted butter.
Add toppings, if desired–poppy seeds, scallions, etc.
Place the dough topping side up with as many ovals as will fit without touching directly onto the baking sonte or sheet. Bake until each oval gets puffy and just begins to turn golden 6-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and bake remaining dough. Drizzle over the baked bread, 1T melted butter (optional).
Now go forth and bake Naan. I'll catch up more next week.