Biking and Baking

I love Fridays.

I take short lunches throughout the week so I can go home an hour early on Fridays. For some reason that extra hour is more valuable than those minutes eating lunch.

Perhaps it’s because it’s the start of the weekend. Perhaps it’s because I feel like a little kid cutting school. Perhaps I’m more productive when I can come home and nap and still have the rest of my evening to do whatever I want. Whatever the reason – I feel like Fridays are a present that I get to open every week.

Today, when I got home from work, I felt extra happy and energetic.

I started fixing old blog posts, so they’d be easier to read, and I listened to Frozen at the same time. But, that didn’t quite burn off all that energy and happiness resulting from an early-out Friday.

So, I decided to bake some bread with the last of my white flour and used some wheat flour to finish off the recipe. I’ve been experimenting with my 40 minute roll recipe to see if I could turn it into bread. If I could make bread that tasted like those rolls, then I’d be very happy indeed.

I have to admit, the first time I tried making the bread recipe, I didn’t do a very good job.

bread fail

The roll recipe calls for oven to heat at 400 degrees. I figured since bread is thicker, it’d need longer to cook and should probably cook at a lower temperature.

My assumption was right, but I didn’t quite have the temperature and time right. I cooked it at 375 for 20 minutes – the crust had burst and the middle was still kind of doughy. The parts that were salvageable weren’t too bad, but it wasn’t that impressive.

This is the second time I made the recipe.

burned side bread

burned top bread

I adjusted the temperature to 350 this time and cooked it for 30 minutes and it was almost perfect. Unfortunately, the oven rack was too high and the bread rose higher in the oven than I anticipated. The bread burned in neat little lines where it touched the top of the oven. It still tasted amazing, even though the crust burnt a little. I was close, but still hadn’t nailed it.

Today I made my third experiment.

I used most of my white flour for the rolls and the other two bread making attempts. So, I started by mixing half white (1.5 cups) flour and half wheat (1.5 cups) flour when I made the recipe. The dough still felt sticky (much stickier than white on its own), so I added an extra cup of wheat flour.

I adjusted the rack in my oven and made sure to get the temperature right, and I have to say, I’m pretty proud of the result. It tasted great, a lot thicker and heartier than the white bread version and a little bit less crumbly.

wheat bread experiment

But, simply baking bread wasn’t enough to burn off all that extra energy, so while I waited for the yeast to rise, I biked on my Folding Recumbent Bike for 15 minutes. And when the bread was cooking, I biked for another 15 minutes to hit my goal for the March through March challenge.

And, that’s not all I did today.

As soon as Chris got home from work, we went shopping and then made our famous potato casserole recipe. All that walking and cooking definitely tuckered me out – now it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of my weekend.

Written By JenniBee


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