Sunday, October 13, 2013

When Things Go Wrong, Bake. Then They Might Go Wrong Again...

I've been in a bit of a slump for awhile. I mean it gets old doing things alone, especially when it comes to making food for yourself.

But the industrious bug hit me this much so I felt like myself again!

I did not have a good Friday. It was every farmer's nightmare...I had a sow unexpectedly die. While in the farrowing crate. 4 days before I was going to wean her pigs. And she was fine the night before she died.

So after having a difficult day Friday, I did what every normal human does and baked and cooked.

I've never made bread by hand before. I've tried easy bread recipes that didn't require rising, like this Amish Cinnamon Bread, but never ones that needed to rise.

I decided I wanted sloppy joes for dinner, so I thought I would try a hamburger bun recipe I had found on Pinterest. Let's just say it didn't turn out quite as well as it was supposed to...

I definitely did something wrong...hahaha. Consistency is a problem.
 While I was waiting for the hamburger buns to rise one of the billion times it needed to, I decided to make some bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwiches to stick in the freezer for the days I am in a hurry (which is every morning) and want something other than cereal.

The recipe called for 12 of everything: 12 eggs, 12 muffins, 12 slices of cheese, 12 slices of bacon. Well when I was counting the muffins at the store somehow I equated 6 muffins in a package to 12 muffins total...I know, what is wrong with me right? Then of course when I got home I stuck the muffins on the cookie sheet to toast in the oven while I made bacon and eggs. And once again I counted 12 muffins...I think my math skills are a little rusty?! So of course I went ahead and made 12 slices of bacon and 12 eggs...then FINALLY realized I had too many eggs and not enough sandwiches...but NEVER FEAR! I simply made 6 double decker sandwiches :) Those are going to be great mornings full of double bacon, double eggs, and double cheese...that may be my one meal for the day but oh it will be delicious!

 By about 3:30 in the afternoon, my buns were finally done. They don't look very good but they tasted alright so I figured I would go ahead and make sloppy joes for an early dinner.

When I tried to open the Manwich can with my can opener I couldn't get the lid to come off. I decided it would be OK anyway and simply poured as much of it out of the can as I could.

Then I made a fatal mistake.

I started pushing on the can lid...and I bet you can imagine what happened next.

Yep. The lid came loose and the sauce went EVERYWHERE.

Down my shirt. Down the stove. And of course ALL OVER the floor.

Not my finest moment in life. It required me to clean up the floor. And wash my clothes sooner than I had anticipated. 

Unfortunately I could not give up on my day at this point because I had more bread dough rising. That's right, I was trying something else. But this time it was a recipe that was on the back of my Whole Wheat Flour bag. This one required another billion risings but it turned out better than the hamburger buns did. 

Maybe not perfect, but not too bad for a first time!

OK, so they were a little deformed from where I rolled them up but it didn't affect the taste!

After spending my Saturday with this adventure I gave up on the baking for the day. But I had one more trick up my sleeve for the weekend...chocolate chip and chocolate chip M&M cookies. I figured I better make something for the guys who helped me get my poor sow out of the crates on Friday. And what better way to thank them than these delicious cookies?? 

Everybody has their favorite recipes for baked goods. Most of mine come from my mom. I'm sure everyone elses do as well! But we have always made the cookies off the back of the Nestle chocolate chip bags and they are still my favorite chocolate chip cookies. 

Doesn't this look like heaven on tin foil?
Now that I have overwhelmed you with my weekend baking adventures...I think I will go do something else productive. Like watch Disney movies and sew on my quilt ;)

Happy Sunday!

*To find the first 2 recipes, click on the links above or right here: hamburger bun recipe & breakfast sandwiches*

**Wheat Bread**
2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
2 eggs
2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup honey
5-1/4 to 5-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup shortening (I used butter)

In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. To the dissolved yeast, add the warm milk, honey, eggs, and 3 cups flour. Beat 3 minutes on medium speed. Cover and allow to rest 30 minutes. 

Stir in salt and enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. To avoid adding extra flour in the kneading process, gradually knead in shortening (or butter) by hand. If using dough hooks add shortening, knead dough by hand or with hooks for 12-13 minutes or until smooth and elastic. 

Place dough in lightly oiled bowl; turn the dough to coat the top. Cover and place in an 80F environment until the dough has doubled in size. Punch down. 

Cover; let rise again until doubled. 

Punch down, remove from bowl and divide dough in half. 

Cover; let rise for 10 minutes. 

Roll each half into a 14x7 inch rectangle. Starting at the shorter side, roll up tightly. Pinch edges and ends to seal. Place into a 9x5 loaf pan. Cover and let rise until doubled in size. 

Bake for 10 minutes at 400F. Then continue to bake for 25-30 minutes at 375F. Remove and cool.

**Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies**
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12 oz pkg) of Semi-Sweet chocolate chips (I used one package of semi-sweet and 1 milk chocolate)
Nuts or M&Ms as you choose

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. 
3. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in bowl until creamy. 
4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Gradually beat in flour mixture. 
6. Stir in chocolate. 
7. Drop onto baking sheets (in whatever size you feel like)
8. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Cool on pan on stove top (allows them to get extra crispy sometimes...just the way we like them!) 

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