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Monday, July 11, 2011

Light Wheat Bread

I know, it's Monday, beginning of the work week.  It is also the end of my first weekend as a non-student!  And let me tell you, I enjoyed every non-lab filled minute of it.  I slept in, I baked, I made dinner.  It was fabulous.  Let us compare a student weekend to my first non-student weekend.

Student weekend - Wake up at 6:30 and bake something quick, like zucchini bread.
 This weekend - Wake up at 7:45 and read my book for a half hour (what can I say, I'm an early riser)

Student weekend - Shower quickly and throw on some jeans and a t-shirt.
This weekend - Put off taking a shower and watch some HGTV with boyfriend.

Student weekend - Eat some cereal and a banana
This weekend - Eat a banana while making boyfriend and I some French toast with my homemade bread.

Student weekend - Walk to the lab, enjoy twenty minutes of sunshine (although it is most likely through a cloudy sky).
This weekend - Walk to D Do's and get coffee for boyfriend.

Student weekend - Spend the next several hours working in my hood, staring sadly out the window.
This weekend - Run some errands with boyfriend, spend lots of time outside and get a little suntan.

Ahhh, I'm liking weekends.

Light Wheat Bread & Quick French Toast

I like the mild sweetness of this bread.  It has just enough wheat flour to give it a great texture, without making boyfriend turn up his nose at it.  To make the French toast, you want to slice it a little larger than 1/4-inch thick.  Having a loaf of this on hand made for a fast Saturday breakfast.

2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp powdered milk
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp butter
1 1/4 cups water (room temperature)

Mix together dry ingredients on medium speed.  Add butter and mix until mixed in (it probably won't combine completely).  Add water slowly until all incorporated.  Switch to your dough hook or turn dough out onto the counter.  Mix via machine for 5 minutes followed by two minutes by hand.  If only mixing by hand, go for ten minutes.  Oil a bowl and toss dough ball in, roll it around to coat in oil.  Cover in plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size (mine took about 1 1/2 hours).

Turn dough out onto your countertop and pat into a 6x10-inch rectangle.  Roll it up so that you have a 6-inch long tube of dough.  Pinch shut the roll and place in an 8-inch loaf pan.  Spray the top with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise until the dough rises above the pan.  Remove the plastic wrap.

Bake for 350 F for 30 minutes.  Rotate 180 degrees and bake for 15-25 minutes longer.  You want a golden brown color on the top of the loaf.  Remove from the oven and take bread out of the pan.  Allow to cool for 2 hours before cutting and enjoying!

Quick French Toast

4 Slices of bread, between 1/4 and 1/2-inch thick
3 eggs
1/4 cup cream or milk
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk together eggs, cream and vanilla in a shallow dish.  Place bread slices in the dish.  Allow the bread to sit for 1 minute and soak up some of the custard.  Flip over and let sit for 1 more minute.

Heat a flat griddle to medium.  Add custard soaked bread slices and cook for 3-4 minutes on one side.  Flip and cook for another 3 minutes.  Delicious.
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