Liebster Award!

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I was just nominated for a Liebster Award!!!

What is this you ask?

“The Liebster Award is an award given to rising bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

I was nominated by the wonderful Lee from NoWheatNoWay! I have to thank you Lee for the nomination! CHECK HER OUT!

It is an honor to receive any recognition as a blogger, and what a fun, spirited award to be a part of! I am honestly still shocked when I get any likes, views, comments, or followers, and am so so appreciative of anyone that takes the time to even glance at my posts!

When nominated for a Liebster Award…there are a few rules:

1. You must thank the person that nominated you

2. Answer the 11 questions posed by your nominator

3. Pass on the award to 11 new recipients

4. Pose 11 new questions to your bloggers

The Questions:

1. What do you like most about blogging?

My fellow bloggers! The food they create, and the beer they brew and drink! I love exploring the blogosphere looking for new ideas. I am ALWAYS inspired! I love sharing my triumphs and my disasters, and getting feedback from my followers ( I still can’t believe I have followers) J

2. Describe your blog in three words.

Baking, brewing, yummm

3. What is your profession or what are you studying?

I teach special education preschool and I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job ❤ I am so blessed to work with these amazing kiddos! I get to laugh and sing and dance around like a buffoon everyday and they think I am so cool. It’s the best.

4. What has been your all time favorite post to write or favorite topic to blog about?

My favorite topic to blog about is obviously BAKING! And I think my favorite post was my English Muffins! I was SO. PROUD. I had never attempted anything like this and they turned out beautifully and they were so delicious. YUM… I may have to make some more soon…

5. What is your favorite TV show?

THE WALKING DEAD, MAD MEN, BREAKING BAD… Basically AMC rocks my socks off. I also love It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Workaholics…

6. Favorite film of all time?

I will have to stick with Nightmare Before Christmas on this one. I have watched it so so many times, though Moonstruck would be a close second… followed by Wayne’s World…

7. Do you have any hidden talents?

I’m pretty athletic. I don’t think people would expect that from me because I am usually a girly girl, but I played sports my whole life and I get super competitive and intense. Oh… and I usually win 😉

8. If The Doctor came right now where would you like to go in all of Time and Space?

I would go to Middle Earth and live in Rivendell…

9. You can only eat three things for the rest of your life, what are they?

CHOCOLATE, MUTTER PANEER, and… does BEER count?

10. What advice would you give to new bloggers?

Just. Keep. Blogging. Blog about what you love. Be passionate. Stay inspired. Keep fresh. And be INVOLVED in the blogging world! The more you explore, the easier it is to stay motivated. Be generous with your comments and share the love!

11. What can we expect to find on your blog in the near-future?

I swear… we WILL brew beer eventually. It is half of our name for Pete’s sake. Expect a new brew in the next two months and blogging about its progress!

MY NOMINEES!!!

Cook, Dine & Tinker

Hip Hip… Cakes

Food Flavor Fascination

Maggiesonebuttkitchen

The After School Chef

Brown Paper Belle

Jenna Makes Things

Sabhskitchn

Kat’s in the Kitchen

Paint Chips & Frosting

Twee-tea-licious

My Questions:

1.) What are 3 ingredients you could not live without?

2.) What is your favorite thing to blog about?

3.) What is your favorite post you have ever made?

4.) What is your least favorite post you have ever made?

5.) Why did you start blogging?

6.) What advice would you give a beginning blogger?

7.) What is your career / what are you going to school for?

8.) What is your favorite band of all time?

9.) Share something unusual about yourself 🙂

10.) If you could be anyone from Middle Earth, who would you be?

11.) What is on the horizon for you? What can we expect to see in your blog?

Thank you again Lee from NoWheatNoWay! I can’t wait to read everyone’s answers to my questions!!! Happy blogging!

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UPDATED PICTURES!

Those of you who have visited my blog and read that I have a degree in photography have probably questioned why my pictures are not very good quality.

A couple of reasons:

  1. I loaned my good camera to my sister who has a baby to take all kinds of cutesy photos of her little miss.
  2. My smaller point and shoot camera’s cable is M.I.A.
  3. I have been making due with my iPhone 😦

But fear no more! I have updated some of my photographs from my little point and shoot so the images are a little better, and I will be using my better camera from here on out for my new Baking & Brewing adventures! Hopefully things will continue to improve!

Enjoy!

Classic White Bread

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Bread making is not something that I have dabbled in on too many occasions.

However, when a girl gets a hankering for some homemade bread, nothing can satiate that craving besides digging your hands in some flour and creating a loaf from scratch. Bread can be an intimidating thing to make for the amateur baker due to the amount of time usually required for the dough to rise, and the sensitivity of yeast. I am admittedly primarily a spontaneous baker and therefore infrequently plan to conquer a recipe that may take all day, unless of course I have designated an entire day for baking. However, the recipe that I chose to utilize took no longer than 2 hours 30 minutes from start to finish, and was simple enough for even a novice like me to replicate with some success!

I originally came upon this recipe from a blog called, Brown Eyed Baker from a post called American Sandwich Bread from 2008,(http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2008/07/20/american-sandwich-bread/)which was a replica of  the recipe from the book, Baking Illustrated (2004, p. 74-75)

American Sandwich Bread

Yield: One 9-inch loaf

Prep: 1 hour 45 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

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  • 3¾ cups (18¾ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup warm whole milk (about 110 degrees)
  • 1/3 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 envelope (about 2¼ teaspoons) instant yeast

Directions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Once the oven temperature reaches 200 degrees, maintain the heat for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven.
  2. Mix 3½ cups of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix the milk, water, butter, honey, and yeast in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup*. Turn the machine to low and slowly add the liquid. When the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and satiny, stopping the machine two or three times to scrape dough from hook if necessary, about 10 minutes. (After 5 minutes of kneading, if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time and up to ¼ cup total, untilthe dough is no longer sticky.) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead to form a smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.
  3. Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl, rubbing the dough around the bowl to coat lightly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the warmed oven until the dough doubles in size, 40 to 50 minutes.
  4. Gently press the dough into a rectangle 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches. WIth a long side facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself. Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed. Place the dough seam-side down in a greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all four sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap; set aside in a warm spot until the dough almost doubles in size, 20 to 30 minutes**.
  5. Keep one oven rack at the lowest position and place the other at the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place an empty baking pan on the bottom rack. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the boiling water into the empty pan on the bottom rack at set the loaf onto the middle rack. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim into the center of the loaf read 195 degrees, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack, and cool to room temperature. Slice and serve.

Note: This recipe uses a standing electric mixer. You can hand-knead the dough, but we found it’s easy to add too much flour during this stage, resulting in a somewhat tougher loaf. To promote a crisp crust,we found it best to place a loaf pan filled with boiling water in the oven as the bread bakes.

* I heated the milk and water together in a small saucepan, careful to not let the temperature exceed 115 degrees, then added the honey and melted butter. Last I stirred in the yeast. It is important to have the milk and water reach about 110 degrees to activate the yeast and no more than 140 degrees as this temperature will kill the yeast.
** Let the bread continue to rise until it is about 1 inch higher than the loaf pan. Also, I used a glass loaf pan, though other bakers highly recommend utilizing a stone loaf pan for best results.

I recommend staying quite close to your electric mixer while it is in operation as mine started hopping around from the weight and density of the dough!

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This bread turned out beautifully! I was excited to see my dough actually rising! And it rose to the height described! However, I will be anxious to try this recipe out again as I substituted 1% lowfat milk for whole milk (it was what I had in the refrigerator), and my yeast had an expiration date of Jan 2013 making its value questionable. Obviously the yeast worked, but I will be interested to see the difference a fresher yeast may make on the height of the loaf and the difference whole milk may make to the taste of the bread.

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This is a very versatile bread as it can be used for sandwiches, toasted, or consumed on its own with butter, jam, peanut butter, Nutella, or my favorite combination- butter and honey. Everyone loved this loaf, this recipe is definitely a keeper!

Enjoy!

Welcome!

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Welcome to our blog where she bakes and he brews!

She will be posting recipes that she has tried, documenting successes (yes!) and failures (oops!). He will be beginning home brewing and you can follow his beer making from the boil to the bottle. Learn more about the baker and the brewer in the About Us section!