Bread. That’s right, bread,
and more bread.
And cinnamon buns? Whatever, they were GOOD! Plus, a girl’s gotta live a little, right?
If you know me, you know that baking and I are not good friends. In fact, we’ve agreed not to be friends until I’ve learned to properly tell time and return to my oven when I’m supposed to (not half way through watching Grey’s Anatomy while smelling something burning). So how was it that I managed to bake all that beautiful bread you just scrolled through? All thanks to truly one of the sweetest bloggers I’ve met in person: Valerie from A Canadian Foodie.
When a super cook and baker like Valerie invites you over to her house to bake bread with her, you jump at the opportunity. That’s exactly what I did. We even had to set a date a month ahead (she’s a very busy woman). I waited and waited (and ate lots of chocolate :-P) and waited. Then when the day almost came, we had to push the date back so that my mom would be able to join us (definitely Mom’s fault, I ain’t taking the blame for this one :-D). How sweet of Valerie to accommodate to Mom’s schedule, thank you dear! So I ate more chocolate and waited some more, and then the day finally came. Good thing, because my jeans were starting to get a little tight ;-). Baking with two cooks whom I very much look up to was super intimidating, but that’s how you learn, right? From the very best! Mom was actually there to learn as well.
Valerie, the great hostess that she is, offered us some tea while she got the ingredients out. Is this not a beautiful teacup? I had to take a picture of it.
I might as well show you these beautiful pillows I admired for a while too, because I’m a dork like that. Teehee. Valerie has great taste, doesn’t she?
We started out with each of us making a batch of dough from all purpose flour. Valerie made an extra one in her Thermomix, which she then added a starter to make a sourdough bread. You can read more about what a starter is and how to prepare one here. This is what it looks like.
Mix in with the ingredients for the bread.
After all the ingredients have been mixed together, the dough got ready for proofing in that pretty spiral bowl/container.
Allow to proof, covered with a cloth for one and one half to two hours.
Then turn it over onto a bread board to be ready to put into the oven.
Here’s how it turned out:
The inside was beautiful and the crust was baked to perfection. Although I have to admit, sourdough is not a type of bread that’s for everybody. I like it, but I know many people who don’t. Are you a sourdough fan?
Next, we each prepared a dough from three different types of organic flour: a soft white whole wheat flour, a high protein whole wheat flour, and a whole grain rye flour.
Many different breads were made out of these. By the time we were done kneading the three doughs, we were all ready for lunch. Who knew kneading would be such a workout. Someone remind me to wear my workout gear next time.
Talk about a sweetheart! Valerie made us her wonderful and delicious yam soup in her trusty Thermomix. There isn’t anything this woman can’t do in that machine. Which by the way, I’ve yet to hear the end of from Mom, Valerie. If only I were rich 😉
Look at that lovely velvety yam soup with freshly grated nutmeg.
I’m sorry Val, I don’t remember what those white balls were. Homemade creme fraiche in olive oil or sour cream? I do know that whatever Valerie offers you, you try because it’s always amazing! So yes, two for me please 😀
We ate the soup with our freshly baked sourdough and one of the white breads. Not only that, but we finished lunch with a piece of homemade apple pie that Christan had made for Valerie.
Talk about knowing how to treat your guests right! Seriously, every time I visit, she treats my family and I with nothing but the best. What did I do to be so lucky in finding beautiful friendships such as this one in the blogosphere? I can’t help but to keep asking myself that question every time we meet. You truly are an amazing, sweet, and sincere person, my dear friend. My only regret is not to have started blogging earlier.
After lunch we finished with the rest of the bread making and cleaned up. Six hours of bread making and many, many, many beautiful pieces of bread later, this is what Mom and I got to take home.
This one was my favorite in looks and taste combined. A very simple white bread. It looks complicated, but really it’s not. I don’t remember the names of any of the breads.Valerie, or anyone know what this one is called?
I’m hoping to post this recipe along with some of the other bread recipes at another time on another post as this post is already long enough.
Thank you so very much again Valerie for all your time, efforts (I know it takes a lot of effort to teach such a non-baker like me), patience, and generosity. You really are one of a kind. Please don’t ever change. What I ever did to find such a great friend in you will always be a mystery to me, but I will always be honored to be able to call you my friend. Mom and I both had a wonderful time. Hope we will be able to cook or bake again together soon.
Valerie’s not that short, she’s just being kind and crouching to our tiny 5 feet height. In fact, Mom and I had quite the time kneading on her high countertop. She even offered me a step stool, but I refused. Haha.
Before I leave, I just wanted to clarify something about my Facebook post last week. After I posted it, I realized it may have sounded like I was calling people with two Facebook accounts two-faced. That’s not what I meant at all. I really hope I didn’t offend anyone. I was just trying to be creative with the title. That’s it for this week. Thanks for visiting again and I’ll see you all next week. Hopefully I’ll be back next week with a recipe for you. Until next time, friends and family :-D. Do you have a favorite bread? I’m more of the simple white bread type.