Foodie Friday… scratch made bread, mmmmm!

Ok, so it’s not Friday, but Foodie Friday sounds better than Foodie Saturday ūüėČ

I’ve had a few people ask me how I make bread, or for a recipe. ¬†Well I don’t really have a recipe, I just make it, the same way my Dad, and my brother make it. ¬†I admit, I do buy bread, sometimes on a regular basis, and sometimes not often at all. ¬†It all depends on how busy my life it, and whether I’ve gotten in a home baked bread groove. ¬†Lately, since I’ve been home on Mat Leave, I’ve been baking it myself more than not. ¬†It is a huge treat, and I love knowing everything that goes into our bread.

Step 1.

Image

Warm water in a mixing bowl. ¬†I have a kitchen aid mixer that I use to make bread. ¬†You don’t need a mixer at all, it just simplifies this first part, but it isn’t¬†necessary. ¬†I don’t even use the dough hook on mine, I just use the mixer to mix the first ingredients together. ¬†Back to the warm water, I put about 2.5 cups of warm water in a bowl, I use 2.5 cups because this makes about 2 loaves of bread in my fairly large loaf pans. ¬†Next add the yeast to this, approx 1 package per loaf that you are making, or 2.5 tsp. ¬†I buy my yeast in large jars and store it in the freezer so that it lasts longer.

Step 2.

Image

Next I basically just dump in the rest of the ingredients. ¬†The ratios vary a bit every time, I seldom measure anything. ¬†I start with some flour, approx a cup of white and whole wheat. ¬†Then I get the mixer going at a decent speed. ¬†The more you mix the flour the more the gluten is developed and the better texture your bread will have. ¬†I get enough flour so that it’s thick-ish but still liquid, and let the mixer run for a few minutes. ¬†Then I add the rest of the ingredients, about a half cup of a 8 -12 grain cereal mix (I used Red River today), 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/4 cup flax seed (I didn’t have any flax today ūüė¶ ), 1/3 cup honey, 1/3 cup oil, and a¬†palm-full¬†of salt. ¬†Again I don’t measure any of this, I’m just guessing at quantities for your sake.

Step 3.

Image

I then keep adding flour, I use about 50-50 whole wheat and white. ¬†My mixer is a smaller kitchen aid, and can’t handle all the flour for this much water, so when it starts to get more dough like, and the quantity of dough is starting to become too much for my mixer, I dump the dough out on a floured counter. ¬†I then start to knead in more flour – mostly white at this point. ¬†I knead the dough (adding flour as¬†necessary) until it is just a bit sticky, and quite elastic. ¬†I try to err on the side of adding less flour, leaving the dough slightly sticky. ¬†You can’t knead the dough too much, but you can add too much flour. ¬†It also helps to have a good helper for dough¬†kneading¬†ūüôā

Image

Step 4.

Oil a large bowl, and put your dough into it, turn it over once or twice so that the top layer also has some oil on it. ¬†Cover it and put it in a warm place to rise. ¬†My oven has a Proofing setting, so that is what I use. ¬†You can also use your oven with the light on, or turn the oven on to a low temp for a few minutes before you put the bread in (but don’t for get to turn off the oven!! You can ask my Dad what happens if you don’t… ūüėČ ). ¬†Let it rise until doubled in size, ¬†or about an hour.

Image

Step 5.

Once it is risen it should look like the dough below.  You can now turn it back onto your floured surface and punch it down (basically just knead it again to get all the air bubbles out of it).

Image

Step 6.

I then divide it into as many sections as you are going to make loaves (2 for me). ¬†I roll each section into a rectangle, and then roll them up tightly without leaving any gaps for air. ¬†Drop each rolled up loaf into a greased loaf pan. ¬†Cover the loaves of bread and put them back into your warm rising place for another 45¬†minutes¬†or so until they’ve doubled in size.

Image

Image

Step 7.

Remove the risen bread from the oven if that is where it is rising.  Preheat the oven to 375.  I always bake bread on Convection so that it is more even, plus you can bake more loaves at once if you have convection on.  It took these loaves approx 35 minutes to bake at 375, but the timing may be different depending on the size of your loaves.  You know that they are done when you tap on the loaf and it sounds hollow.  It also should come out a nice golden brown color.

Image

Image

Finally… ¬†it is the bakers¬†prerogative¬†to sample the first piece, I love the crust end of a warm loaf of bread with butter melted into it, mmmm!

Image

 

If you’ve gotten this far, please let me know if these instructions have been easy to follow, or if you have any questions at all. ¬†Also I’d love to hear if you bake your own bread, or if you try my method!

Advertisements

I may have a problem…

Image

This is a picture of my current running shoe selection… yes CURRENT. ¬†I have about 4 pairs that I am wearing regularly, plus some new ones, plus trail shoes, and others that I wear occasionally. ¬†I’ve been buying all my shoes lately in the US when I’ve been down on trips, and thankfully, I don’t have anymore trips planned for at least 6 months.

I tried out one of my newest pairs this morning. ¬†Newton Gravities. ¬†I think I love them!! ¬†I know people who love Newton’s, love them, and think they are miracle shoes. ¬†I’m excited to run more in them and see if they work for me. ¬†I have worn other minimalist type shoes, but haven’t found anything that I could wear on long runs, or run a lot of distance in. ¬†Newton’s are supposed to be different because they have more cushioning.

I doubt I’ll go to just wearing any one pair. ¬†Since my achilles injury during marathon training 2 years ago, I’ve really grown to love running in different shoes. ¬†I think it keeps my body guessing, keeps all the supporting ligaments and muscles around my ankles strong and agile (or at least this is what I tell myself to justify my habit…)

How many pairs of running shoes do you have? Do you rotate through them, or just stick to one main pair?

Strength Training on vacation

I had the morning to myself with the girls while my parents went golfing. Maiya wanted to watch something on TV and Olivia was napping when I decided I should take advantage of the few moments when no one needed me. I obviously couldn’t run as I don’t have a treadmill and can’t leave the house. I haven’t been to the gym since before I left Calgary and don’t have any weights here. (I’m on vacation visiting my parents in Florida with my girls). I decided to do a quick google search to find a bodyweight routine that I could do. This is the one I picked to do.

20130315-105245.jpg
It was a great routine to get my heart going and targeted my glutes, calves, and abs, all areas that I like to focus on to keep injuries at bay!

We are headed back to the beach and marina this afternoon :). I’m looking forward to spending a few hours in the sun!

Long running on vacation …..

The schedule that I’m loosely following (Train like a Mother’s HM Own It) had me running a 11 mile long run this weekend. I’m not rigidly following the plan, especially for these two weeks that I’m on vacation but I do think that there it is important to do a few key workouts and skip lesser ones. Long runs are obviously key as they get your legs used to running longer distances. So as much as I would have rather gone to the beach with my daughter this morning, I had my parents drop me off at a park to do my long run.

We had been to the park earlier in the week so that Maiya could play at the awesome playground. I had noticed a paved bike trail and thought that it might work to run on. I hadn’t looked very closely at how long it was or where it went but thought I’d figure it out as I went along.

When I arrived at the park this morning and looked at the path again, I quickly realized that it was only about 200m long and would not work as a running route. Luckily this park was in a nice neighborhood and there was a bike lane along the road. I hid an extra water bottle in the park and set off. The first few km’s were along a road that went towards the Westin hotel. I veered into a neighborhood and ran until I got to 5 km’s. I wanted to run back to my starting point to refresh my water and have a pit stop. I was maintaining a really good pace and was feeling pretty good. I got back to the washrooms and my water at 10k and felt super hot. I rinsed my face off in the bathroom and filled my water bottles. I also ate the honey stinger waffle that I had brought for fuel. I don’t usually take in fuel during HM training runs but thought with the heat I needed all the advantages I could get. I really dislike gels and most other forms of fuel, but the honey stinger was awesome!! It tasted like a cross between a cracker and waffle/pancake with syrup or honey on it.

Apparently Lance Armstrong is was a sponsor of honey stinger ūüôā

20130310-151324.jpg

When I started out I felt quite perky again. This time I ran out to the Westin and entered the grounds. I managed to find about 3.5 km’s of distance in their grounds and then left and headed back to the park. At 15k I noticed that my average pace was below 6:00/km. it was then my goal to keep it there. I finished the run in 1:44 and had a total distance of 17.5 km’s for a pace of 5:57! Here is the link to my dailymile entry. All in all I’m thrilled with the run.

While I was running my parents took Maiya and Olivia to the beach. Maiya had a blast making sand castles. Olivia wasn’t as happy. I am suspecting that she’s going through the 6 mos growth spurt as she’s been ravenous lately. She is also struggling to nap well with all the activities that we are dragging her along on.

She was a happy camper once she got home and got to eat!

20130310-151124.jpg

Vacation!

My girls and I flew to Florida on Wednesday morning. We are visiting my parents, who are down here. The original plan was for me to fly down by myself (eeeeeek!), luckily Anne (my MIL) was going down to NH where my SIL and family live, so she managed to book her trip with the same first flight as us to Chicago. It was great having someone to help with all our luggage through customs and security, and then to help entertain and cuddle the girls during the flight ūüôā

20130308-173956.jpg

20130308-174014.jpg

From Chicago she went on to Boston, and the girls and I to Fort Myers.

I didn’t run on Wednesday (we were up and the crack of dawn – actually way before the crack of dawn) or on Thursday (I was exhausted and we were just busy doing vacationy type things). Today (Friday) I got my first vacation run in. Yay!! It was a great run. I don’t know the are we are staying in very well yet and didn’t want to drive anywhere. I measured out the block around the house and it was about 2.5 km’s on google. Perfect – that’s a decent length, so I thought I could do 2-3 laps and get a good distance in before I went crazy going in circles, and there would be little risk of getting lost. I ended up running it 3x’s for 8km’s. there has been a bit of a cool spell lately so the temp this morning was just 8C (46 F) when I started. Great weather for a run! Here is a link to my run.

I’m planning on running my long run on Sunday on a bike path we were at yesterday. I’m scheduled for 18 ish km’s. That will just make 3 runs this week compare to the 6 I’ve typically been running each week. I’m ok with that. It’s vacation and I’m also taking it easy and spending time with family. What about you, how much do you run on vacation? Do you skip schedules runs?

Snow DAY!

Yesterday I ran my long run with my best running friend for the first time in a very very long time (She just had a baby 6 weeks ago). ¬†I actually ran half my run with her. ¬†I started at Glenmore Landing, and ran 8k on my own around the reservoir to Weaslehead, where I met her. ¬†We then ran 8 more k as an out and back, and she drove me back to my car. ¬†Lori is coming back strong and safe, and is running a bit slower than we normally run our long runs, so I thought I’d run the first 8k as a race pace, or faster pace and then the second half at her pace. ¬†I started out feeling pretty good, but the few hills that I encountered really took it out of me. ¬†I’ve been running Tuesday through Saturday, and sometimes Sunday, and I’m really feeling it. ¬†My legs are tired, and my left glute is unhappy. ¬†After yesterdays run I was ‘just’ at 39k for the week, and was tempted to run today to bump it over 40…. HELLO OCD! ¬†Instead I decided to use my brain for a change, and did a stretching routine on Nike Training Center by Kara Goucher, plus some yoga, foam rolling, extra stretches.

The next 2 weeks is going to be a chance for me to renew and rejuvenate. ¬†I’m leaving on Wednesday for Florida! YES! ¬†I’m excited to run, alone, in the sun… ¬†but I also want to relax and not HAVE to do anything. ¬†I have a 17k, or maybe 18k run scheduled for this coming weekend, then a 13 maybe the following weekend. ¬†Other than the long runs, I think I’m just going to do what feels good…. take a few rest days and really come back ready to train hard. ¬†We also have a pool at the house, so I can swim swim swim. ¬†There is nothing better than waking up and swimming in the morning. ¬†Remind me of how worthwhile this is when I’m tempted to watch my #’s the next couple of weeks…

When we woke up this morning it was snowing… and it continued to snow all day long. ¬†I was so very glad that I had gotten my long run in yesterday. ¬†My car below was completely clear of snow last night, and this is what it looked like mid afternoon.

Image

I snapped a few pics of my very adorable baby Olivia as she was hanging out in her Exersaucer.  She is getting so social and is such a happy baby.  I just love her to bits!

Image

Then this evening we had a ‘movie night’ with Maiya. ¬†After dinner we picked a movie from Netflix… I have no idea what it was, nothing of interest or¬†consequence, she’s pretty easily pleased. ¬†Movie night included both popcorn (YUM!!) and hot chocolate, and some snuggling for everyone. ¬†Tim and I are so excited for the years that are coming, the family movie and game nights, cheeeeeesy, I know, but we love it!

Image

IMG_0261