“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.”
There is an advent calendar that is sweeping the internet.
This isn’t the kind where we get to open a little cardboard door and get a chocolate that day.
It is about friendship, love, food and bloggers coming together to celebrate one very special woman.
I am thrilled to have been given the honor of participating on this ninth day of the Happy Blogging Holidays, Dear Karen!
On this ninth day, Dear Karen- No Fail Wheat Bread was made in your honor!
While that’s cooling, let’s have a little chat about our pal Karen at Baking In A Tornado.
In verse… shall we?
I know a gal who is lovely and sweet,
Until she’s stuck on a Candy Crush level that she has yet to beat.
She bakes up treats daily in her tornado, that will make you do flips.
Quietly cranking out goodies and fostering beautiful friendships.
I’ve had the privileged of knowing this fine lady for about a year and a half,
In that time she encouraged me, taught me by example and reminded me to laugh.
Keeping up with and organizes over twenty five bloggers each month, yet still she’s a doll.
Like the frosting on a cake, she is the glue that keeps us all bound,
Constantly looking out for others, doing great things, letting no one drowned.
She’s made me enthusiastically write about being heartburn and our family shenanigans.
I love that she’s everywhere at once, encouraging us, handing out subjects that reveal old sins.
Blogging isn’t always as easy or fun as it might sound.
Several times she’s kept me going until a better balance was found.
She’s pulled me up, pushed me creatively and shared my work.
Karen was the soothing voice of reason when I was trolled by a hateful internet jerk.
I envy her person to bathroom ratio in her home,
It is funny to say that I think often of this friend that I have yet to meet face to face,
But her support, her friendship and her witty humor have become a part of the foundation of this space.
We may not be geographically suited to take a daily tea,
Through the powers of the internet, Karen never feels very far from me.
I want to pull up a plate and eat until I can hardly keep my eyes open to see.
Before I have you eating right out of her talented hand,
Her yeast bread making skills are less than grand.
Dear Karen-No Fail Wheat Bread, I give to you.
I double guarantee that it won’t look like poo.
At the end of the day, near or far,
Karen is an incredible blessing to all, where ever you are.
Dear Karen- No Fail Whole Wheat Bread
Pre-heat those ovens to 350 degrees.
Mix in a bowl:
1/2 Cup Lukewarm Water
1 Teaspoon Honey
2 Packages of Instant Active Dry Yeast
(I use packets that are .75 ounce in size. It can be far more thrifty to purchase yeast in bulk BUT it will go bad so I find that using the packets of yeast gives me just what I want and I don’t have to worry about the quality of the yeast. Random thought from me.)
Set this bowl to the side and let it hang out for about five or six minutes so that your yeast activates happily.
In another bowl mix:
2 Large Eggs
4 Tablespoons Oil
4 Tablespoons Honey
2 Teaspoons Salt
When the second bowl is mixed well add to it…
2 Cups warmed milk
(Not Hot! Warmed slightly… brings out the creamy, my friends)
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
The yest mixture from the first bowl.
Mix well, then add:
4 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
(I have done a mixture of half wheat and half white and it turned out well)
I like to mix the dough with my dough hook attachment on my stand mixer. You may certainly work the dough by hand, though.
Turn on the mixer to the second to the lowest speed and let it knead your dough for FIVE MINUTES.
You will know the dough has been well kneaded when it is smooth and elastic to the touch.
Remove the dough hook. Grease an additional bowl, remove dough from the mixer and place it into the greased bowl, turning it over once so that the dough has a light coast of it all the way around. Cover the bowl with a heavy dish towel. It needs to be in a warm slightly moist area for optimal rising. In about 45 minutes the dough will double in size.
Divide the dough into two loaves and place each piece dough into a greased loaf pan.
Cover each pan with a dish towel and allow the dough to rise to the top of your pan. This step takes about thirty minutes.
Now bake those loaves in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
An electric knife not only makes it easy to slice like a pro but it also makes a much cleaner cut that the regular on bread knife in the butcher block.
It is just that simple to make Dear Karen- No Fail Whole Wheat Bread.
If you would, please stop by Baking In A Tornado and tell her she’s amazing!
Lots of Love Always,