Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday :: Baking Day!

I've been trying to be more consistent in baking loaf bread, and Monday seems the best day to get the weekly baking in. I started making and selling homemade bread when I was nine, and have loved it ever since. However, the last few years I've neglected my whole wheat bread baking. I've often used a bread machine-which is great-and also gone through cycles of biscuit and quick roll baking, but now I'm trying to schedule a weekly or at least twice monthly loaf baking day. After all, I have the grain, the mill, and a Bosch mixer to get the job done! Tom and the children absolutely love my homemade loaves-none of us ever got used to that yucky store bought stuff! :) It isn't unusual for 1 whole loaf to disappear the first day it's made-who can resist hot buttered bread straight from the oven?!? I don't like store-bread crusts, but the heel on homemade bread is my favorite piece!

So today, the kids and I baked 5 loaves of whole wheat bread, 2 loaves of banana bread, coconut oatmeal cereal, and toffee bars. Plus, I cooked a whole chicken to be deboned and (hopefully) made into chicken potpie tomorrow morning. I consider that a successful baking day with three children in tow, and look forward to doing so again next Monday!

The toffee recipe is what I call a "Rachel Special"-meaning I adapted a recipe using what I had on hand. Even if you are out of eggs, you can still make these! They're quick, easy, and quite yummy:

Rachel's Coconut Toffee Bars

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar; blend in flour. Add extracts and salt, mixing well. Spread in bottom of ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate pieces. Return to oven briefly to allow the chocolate to melt. Remove again and spread evenly with a knife. Sprinkle liberally with shredded coconut. Cool and cut into bars.

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