Archive for December 4th, 2006

Good Post About Desem

December 4, 2006 @ 3:25 pm | Filed under:

A step-by-step look at making desem bread as described in Laurel’s Kitchen. Includes many helpful photos. (This is several steps beyond us, though. File under: Someday. I would really love to taste a desem bread…wonder if there are any bakeries around here that make it?)

Q for Jane: Can you figure out what the author means when she talks about the "crumb" of the bread?

Collecting Our Questions

December 4, 2006 @ 2:33 pm | Filed under:

1) Since a wheat grinder is not in our near future (we’re still saving up for the stand mixer), what store brands of whole-wheat flour are the best? Our local Henry’s carries Red Mill, as well as bulk flour.

So far we’ve been using a mixture of King Arthur Bread Flour and Gold Medal Stone Ground Whole Wheat—basically, what happened to be available at Albertson’s the day I went shopping. I bought some of the bulk whole wheat flour at Henry’s this weekend, but now I’m wondering if I should have gone for the Red Mill instead.

2) Jane’s main question so far, and it’s a good one, is how to tell when you’ve added the right amount of flour to your dough before you begin kneading. Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book says:

Pick up the dough and squeeze it. Feel deep into the dough…it’s sure to be sticky and wet, but is it soft, or is it stiff? A soft, pliable dough makes lighter bread.

Does the dough resist your touch? Does it strain the muscles in your fingers when you squeeze it? Then it is too stiff. On the other hand, the dough must have enough flour to hold its shape. Doe it feel waterlogged, as if the flour is not contributing much substance to it? Does it have a runny, liquid quality? Then it is too slack.

(Page 41.) Jane—read on to see what we should do if the dough is either too slack or too stiff.

Tune in Tomorrow!

December 4, 2006 @ 2:11 pm | Filed under:

Homeschooling blogger PHAT Mommy will be a special guest on tomorrow’s BlogTalkRadio show. The topic, hosted by Kristen Chase of Motherhood Uncensored and The Mom Trap, is:

School Your Children Well: We’re talking about tot yoga, college-prep
preschool, homeschooling v public school… Featuring Alex Elliot,
PhatMommy and Pundit Mom.

Shannon, aka PHAT Mommy, is also the blogger behind Homeschool Hacks. She and the other guests will be answering phone questions, so if you’d like to call in, just click the BlogTalkRadio link above for info. The program begins at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday night, and the homeschooling segment should start around 10:30.

Comments are off


December 4, 2006 @ 1:14 pm | Filed under:

It’s all your fault, you…you inspiring bakers, you. YOU got us hooked on baking bread. Hooked! It is flour city around here!

Now that we’re collecting recipes and hunting up breadmaking advice wherever we can find it, Jane and I figured we could use a place to keep everything organized. Which means, yes, another blog. I know, I know. But this one isn’t going to be fancy or formal—it’s more like a big file folder to stuff with recipes and, um, stuff. Contributions will be sporadic and unpolished. Jane will help.


I’m mentioning it here because I’d love you to keep sending me links to bread-related posts. The whole bread thing was a little off topic for this blog (although there is PLENTY of home education happening in our kitchen these days, believe you me), so I thought I’d better take the discussion somewhere else. Come visit! Don’t expect much!

Yet More Gift Ideas

December 4, 2006 @ 8:04 am | Filed under: , ,

Originally posted at The Lilting House.

Continuing our best gifts for homeschoolers (or really any kid) series, here are a couple of big-hit items my kids have received on holidays past.

Settlers of Catan. Our favorite board game EVER. You play that you’re settlers in a strange land, using natural resources to build homes, villages, and cities. Sound dry? Not a bit. It’s absorbing, exciting, and addictive. There’s a Knights of Catan extension set, too.

WedgitsWEDGiTS. These plastic stacking toys have been one of my most successful toy purchases ever. They’re popular with every single kid in my house, from the eleven-year-old on down. Wonderboy (almost three) plays with them all day long. They nest into pyramid shapes, or you can turn them on end and build tall structures and contraptions. We keep a large basket in the living room, and hardly a day passes that they don’t wind up taking over the rug. Timberdoodle used to have the best price—I haven’t compared lately as we’ve had our big set for several years now.

Related posts:
Best Gifts for Homeschoolers
Catan Apps for iPhone & iPod Touch

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.