Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bread making at the homestead

 I have been in a bread making mood lately and would like to share with you.  This a basic bread recipe and can be the base for different types of bread
 In a food processor put three cups of pre sifted flour, I added two cups of white flour and one cup of multi grain flour. I added one teaspoon of salt  and one teaspoon of sugar. I then pulsed the food processor to mix these ingredients. In a measuring cup add just under 8 oz of tepid water and empty a packet of instant yeast. I use Saf Instant brand and find that it does not give off a yeasty smell in the bread. Make sure the yeast is thoroughly wet by swirling the water in the cup. Leave for 5 minutes the yeast should become a bit bubbly if it does not that means that yeast is old or expired, throw away and get a new packet. Then add a tablespoon of oil to the yeast liquid. I used rice bran oil but olive oil or sunflower oil can be used. Turn on the processor and slowly add the liquid the mixture will soon become a ball like mass. Use the pulse button until the mass clings to one side of the food processor's bowl.
 The dough is now ready to be taken out and kneaded on a floured surface.
The dough should be soft and pliable and will quickly become smooth with minimum handling.
Add a teaspoon of  oil to a bowl and spread it to the sides and turn the dough over twice to allow the oil to coat it. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean towel. Leave to rise for 25-30 mins. It should  double its size.

 The dough has doubled in size and is ready to be taken out and be rolled.
 Cut the dough into two and gently roll into two balls on a floured surface. Then roll each piece into a long shape and place seam side down on a flat tin lined with with parchment paper or greased if you do not have any paper.
 Cover with the clean towel and leave for another 25 minutes to rise.

While dough is rising  melt some butter and allow it to cool. Just before putting into the oven make some diagonal slashes on the rolled dough with a knife and brush on the melted butter. You can also use a beaten egg instead of the butter. I sprinkled the dough with some onion powder and some fennel seeds  to give  a more savory flavour. You can also do a plain and a savoury bread at the same time.
 Place an empty pan on the bottom oven shelf and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. When oven has reached the required temperature place about 6-8 cups of ice cubes into the hot pan on the bottom shelf. This will allow the bread to become crusty. Place the two loaves onto the top shelf and bake for 20-25 minutes or until brown. The bread will become bigger  in size as it cooks. Remove from oven when brown and Cool and serve warm with butter. Yummy!
Bon appétit!

3 cups of flour
1 packet of yeast
1 teaspoon of salt 
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 cup of  tepid water 
1 tablespoon of oil

Please let me know how your bread comes out.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Garden Blogger's Bloom day January 2015

 Kalanchoe blooming this time of year
 Oxalis spiralis
 Hubby and I decided to install gates and have an area of the property enclosed to prevent the dogs from wandering onto the busy road. I have chosen the gate design and am in the process of finding someone to build them.
 The beautiful African Tulip adding that flame in the landscape.
 A close up of the flower, just look at that trim on the edge. Reminds me of a flamenco dancer's skirt.

 The spent flowers decorate the grass.
 Duranta repens
 Can you believe I have apple seedlings growing. Out of 15 I have four that are coming along nicely.
My front entrance begonias are still showing off their blooms. They will soon be needing to be cut back and I am postponing that until the very last moment.

Hello and welcome to Garden Blogger's Bloom day where gardeners around the globe show what is blooming in their gardens.  Earlier this week we had some unexpected rain and I was so happy for that drenching.
To see more blooming gardens please visit Carol's page at May dreams gardens. Wishing all a healthy and happy 2015.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Season's Greetings

The snow on the mountain (euphorbia leucocephala) makes its annual appearance.
 The new patio at the front of the round pond.

 Remember how it looked ?

Teddy is nursing some injuries.
 Hello and Season's Greetings to all. This month has been a bit traumatic for me. I didn't feel the Christmas spirit at all. This could be due to the Chickengunya virus I had and that Teddy was injured by a car. He went onto the road about three weeks ago and was hit. He sustained a broken radius and ulna on his right front leg. He was bruised on his left hip and had tyre marks on his body. I was scared for him.  He had surgery on December 14th and had a plate inserted. He has to remain quiet for 8 weeks to heal and away from the other dogs. He is locked in the laundry room with access to the back garden. He also has a severe skin problem and was diagnosed with a thyroid problem which may be the reason for his skin disorder.  He is on medication and hopefully it will help his skin. Apart from that he is doing ok a bit lonely at times. I make sure hubby and  I spend some time with him several times a day.  The other dogs come to visit him occasionally. 
The round pond has taken on a new look as you can see in the above photos. The rains have suddenly ceased and the land is becoming parched. I do hope that is not an indication of what to expect next year. 
Wishing all a happy and healthy 2015! See you Next year!

Monday, November 17, 2014

The wedding venue

 The tent where we dined was provided by the planner Lee-Anne from Sanojah's Weddings in a box.
 The serene grounds of Pollard's Mill.
 Guests were seated under the trees to view the ceremony.

 The 18th century sugar mill once used to grind  sugar cane  was the focal point of the ceremony.

 The planner Lee-Anne  was spot on with the decor. 
 Burlap and lace table runners with wooden lantern centerpieces.
 The cakes were placed on wooden slabs that I was asked to procure.
 I had also been asked to decorate the base of the cake slabs. I used begonia leaves and white begonias.

Last Saturday November 15th my baby girl got married.  The venue was at Pollards Mill St. Philip an eighteenth century sugar plantation . The serene setting was perfect and the weather behaved.  The wedding was planned and executed by Lee-Anne and Ralph her husband owners of Sanojah's Weddings in a box. I can recommend them for their excellent work.

 To be continued..........