Now, I think most of you know I really like to bake. And while I don't bake all of our bread, I do bake a good bit of it. Before Noah was born and I was working, Saturday was designated as baking day. Now, I just bake whenever I need to. I try to do it all on one day so I only have to heat up the house once.
Yesterday saw the making of Peanut Butter Granola and French Bread. Although I don't bake all of our bread, I do make all of our cereal. We don't buy boxed cereal. It's granola (or muffins) for us. Every now and then when I'm feeling spiffy I'll make a coffee cake, but I've found that with only two of us eating it, the cake tends to linger on and on and on until it dries out. So, I stick mostly with granola. It's so much better for you (and tasting) than what you buy in the store, you know exactly what's in it, and it only takes about five minutes to throw together and stick in the oven.
The French bread is a relatively new recipe to us, and we love it! It's very easy to make (Noah helps), and the end result is lovely. I actually took it and divided it into two round loaves yesterday. When I bake bread, immediately after removing it from the oven I take a wet cloth and wipe the top of the loaf with it (and it is cloth because we have a paper-free kitchen). This keeps the crust nice and soft. The one on the left was only brushed with water after baking. The one on the right was brushed with butter. Huge difference.
Blair got me a copy of The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making for my birthday, and even though most of what we eat is made at home already, I can't wait to start making many of those recipes. Ricotta! Graham crackers! Lentil soup! Be prepared to read about several of them over the coming weeks. I'm actually headed to the grocery store in the morning to pick up some ingredients.