Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bread making day:
I decided to make my old white French bread recipe.....I get a craving once in a while for just white bread......

This is from a recipe I got out of the local newspaper about 40 years ago. It is a very fine textured and tender bread. DH does not like the holey, tough and chewy real French bread and I have never made it.I did use bread flour for the recipe but you don't have to.

3-1/2 cups warm water
2 packages yeast
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons salt
10-2/3 cups flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar; add shortening . Add 4 cups of flour and beat with the flat beat for a few minutes. Switch to the dough hook and add enough flour to make a fairly stiff dough and dough begins to come away from the bowl. Knead 6 minutes with mixer or about 8 by hand. My mixer is overloaded with this much flour so I hand knead it. I add the salt with the last of the flour.

Place in greased bowl, cover with damp cloth and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour in a warm kitchen. Punch down. Form into 3 long loaves. I roll it out into a rectangle and then roll up, pinching sides and ends together, tuck ends under. Place on greased cookie sheets and let raise again until double (about 45 min to l hour). The last 30 minutes, preheat oven to 400°. Slide in bread and bake about 40 minutes. I test with an instant read thermometer for a temperature of 190 to 200° . Let cool before slicing (I never do!).
From Food
From October 2010
The hole on the left hand side of the loaf is where I stuck the thermometer! It looks like a worm hole.

More Tallow Rendering:

We found 3 more packages of beef fat in chunks so I thawed those overnight. I considered just tossing them, but dedided I should grind and render. I did and added it to the previous can of beef tallow. I should be set for soap making for a long, long time now. I also make suet cakes for the birds in the winter.

My kitchen was a disaster area (again) . After lunch and a rest, I attacked the mess. Finished all but hand mopping the floor.

I did nothing outside all day long.

Wednesday October 5, cool morning 39°.

Woke too early but we decided to just get up and start our morning coffee early.

Some wondered how I cook and use the sweet potatoes so I will try to remember and list the ways:

1.Baked. Served plain with just butter added at eating
2.Candied the way Mom always did: Cooking down in a little water with sugar until just begins to candy and scorch.
3.Calico or confetti fries like they serve at Silver Dollar City. Slice white potatoes, sweet potatoes, green peppers, onions and fry in usual manner. We love these.
4.Sweet potato pie....just like pumpkin
5.Smaller ones....scrubbed and baked and eaten cold as a snack – DH won't touch these.
6.Diced in soups either with white potatoes or alone. Can't tell the difference.
7.Peeled and sliced thickly and sauteed in butter. Toward last of cooking, add cream and finish cooking. Add a little butter to taste.

I think that is all the ways I do them. They need to be cured for a few weeks before using for best flavor. I will have to lay them out in flat trays and bring them in.....usually we have warm days and I can cure them in the garage, but we won't reach the 80° required for a few days.....or I may wait and see how warm the garage gets in the sunshine.

First thing I need to do this morning is go out to the milk parlor and skim the cream off and bottle my last milking. We are on out last ½ gallon in the house now.

I hope to mow off the kitchen garden this morning.....we will see how things go.
AS usual things didn't go as planned.

I chopped out about 20 feet of poke from the garden fence out back so DH could see when the chickens go to roost at night. The weeds were so tall you could barely see the hen house. While doing this I kept seeing various broken limbs that needed to be chain sawed down.
I have been promising myself a very light weight electric chain saw so we cleaned up and went shopping. I finally found one at Lowes for just $50. I think it will do all I want it to do and it just weighs 6.1 lbs.

My kitchen “tool” came today. It is called a maslin pan, used for jams and jellies in Europe for a very long time. It is larger than I expected. I can foresee lots of uses for it. I will use it first for cooking down the apples for applesauce. It would have been great for rendering the fats. It has a very heavy bottom. I found it at Lee Valley Tools where I bought my wonderful garden spade and fork. They are a good company to do business with. I wish it had a pouring spout, but can live without it.

Here it is:
From canning


  1. Glenda, I wish we had the climate to produce sweet potatoes as well as you do! They are a staple of our diet. I've been known to take a raw Beauregard (they're actually yams, you know!) to work and microwave it for 3 minutes or so till tender, and eat from the skin with a spoon for lunch! My favorite way to prepare is to dice up equal parts of sweet potatoes and white potatoes into 3/4 chunks, dice up about half an onion (or to taste), toss all with a bit of olive oil and spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with a little Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast at about 400* till edges start to color. Toss with a little freshly chopped parsley and serve. So easy, but looks so elegant!

    Thought I was content with my kitchen tools till I saw that maslin pan.... I bet you find uses for it almost every day! It would be perfect for culturing milk and then warming the curds for cottage cheese -- that heavy bottom would help it heat very evenly, slowly and steadily.

    My DH sends you many blessings for posting pictures of French bread and inspiring me to get back into cool weather baking mode!

    Happy farming,

  2. Oh, dang! I need one of those pans! I looked over on Amazon and they're asking almost twice the price as Lee Valley!

    We women gotta have our tools just like the guys do! Hugs

  3. I think I have pan envy :-D Nice!

    Y'all are making me so hungry...think I'll start some bread!

  4. I use sweet potatoes several of the same ways you do. It's always too cold here to cure them, so I use them as quickly as possible. I bought some uncured ones at the farmer's market. I haven't harvested the few I have yet.

    I'm glad I made it here to see what the pan was you were referring to in a more recent post. It likes both pretty and functional.

  5. Just had to come back and tell you I made your bread today. I shaped it into hoagie rolls for French dip sandwichess and they were YUMMY! Thanks!