Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The best bread ever, Kansas style

I haven't baked brownies in two days. I think that might be a record right now! Too bad, because it will be broken on Thursday, when I bake brownies for the LJWorld newsroom.

I started my internship there today. It was fun to be back. I think it's always fun for a journalist to start reporting again after a hiatus. It was also super nice to see my friends there.

I'm staying away from the Kansan newsroom right now. Not intentionally, but because I don't need to go that far over on campus often, and it's REALLY cold outside, and I'm finding I have a ton of other stuff I need to accomplish. I have been taking some baked goods there, but it seems to be on the same night each time: Thursday. Probably because that's my easiest day in general.

So last Thursday, Stephen asked for something with blueberries. I was going to make blueberries and cream cupcakes a la Martha, but didn't feel like going through the whole process of cupcaking. So I a la Marthaed a different dessert — blueberry sour cream pound cake with lemon whipped cream. It's a good thing it made two loaves too. I didn't really like the recipe for the whipped cream, because it only used lemon zest. It was kind of weird, so I put lemon juice in as well and then it was super lemony. Went over well though. I didn't get a photo before the last piece, and since I was in the newsroom, the most obvious choice to take the photo was a photographer. So, here is the most professional photo this blog will ever have, shot and imaged by Mr. Tanner Grubbs.

Then I made brownies, but that's old news. The smoked turkey, scalloped potatoes and pasta salad that went with it weren't. Super yummy.

Monday I made monster cookies. When I worked at Capers in high school, a place that served coffee as well as baked goods, it was one of their best-selling cookies. How could it not be? Oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips and M&Ms could hardly be a losing combination. This is the recipe I use, although I leave out the raisins. Yuck. I've made them in the past, though, and they've always come out a little too crunchy for me. This time I accidentally put in too much peanut butter and they were yummy and chewy and wonderful. Plus, they had Valentine's Day M&Ms. I'm such a sucker for holiday baking items.

Like I said, today I started back at the Lawrence Journal-World. I worked there this summer in the features department, and this time I'm doing news stuff. Well I was reading an article that my good friend from the features department Sarah wrote on baking bread. Then I read the chat that came from the article. Included at the bottom were recipes for loaves. I've been mildly successful with sandwich bread, but the recipe for Kansas Sunflower Bread caught my eye. I love sunflower seeds and that kind of thing, so it just looked so yummy. Plus, I'm in Kansas. How could I resist? I like shopping at the Merc when I'm trying out a recipe like this, because buying in bulk for one batch is actually easier. Plus, this called for wheat bulgur. I'd heard of it, but figured the Merc would be the only place to find it. I went through bulk about 4 times before finally asking someone to help me find it...right in front of my eyes. Apparently you have to soak bulgur in water, so I did that and then made my first batch, only to realize my water might have been too hot for the yeast and might have killed it. So I made another batch. Guess which one rose? The first. Figures. I made sure to let it rise extra high, and now I've got a giant loaf. I just tried it, and I think it might be my favorite bread ever. Seriously. I love the crunchiness of the oats and sunflower seeds inside, and because I let it rise for so long, it's nice and fluffy. I will definitely be making it again.

Sigh. Time to get back to homework.

1 comment:

  1. I've found bulgur wheat at regular grocery stores, including Dillons. Look in the health foods section. I like supporting the local natural foods stores too, just because they aren't a massive giant chain. But if you're in a pinch, you'll probably be able to find it at the others.


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