March 25, 2010

My Secret Life

If you can't tell by what's written here, I usually have half a dozen projects going on at any given time.  Often times they don't get finished and get tucked away in a box/bin/corner somewhere (I'm really trying to work on that) but I love seeing things come to fruition.  I love creating stuff with my hands and see it transform before my eyes.

One of my problems is that I have many hobbies including sewing, quilting and scrapbooking (as well as baking bread, gardening...).  I flit from one project to another as time warrants -- making quilts for new babies, sewing gifts for birthdays, scrapbooking 10 years of our life together.  It is a stress relief for me; it makes me happy to work on projects.  The thing is though, that when I start on something, I immerse myself in it completely at first.  All of my free waking time is spent laboring over the newest obsession.

This results in a dirty house, an inbox full of messages that need replies and seclusion from friends, both in real life ones and my internet buddies.  As my project nears completion I reemerge and resume my (somewhat) normal activities.

I guess this explanation is my way of helping to explain my absence for the last few weeks.  You see, my friends, I have a new love in my life.

I bought it a few weeks ago and it has consumed me.

I've made dresses for KT:

And items for friends:

Currently I'm trying to finish up projects that were started eons ago and organizing my sewing space.  My hope is to open an online store and start selling my stuff.

Don't worry though, I'm snacking on yummy sourdough baked goods as I go along...

March 10, 2010

Sourdough rolls

Last week I had a very successful venture in sourdough baking!  (Finally, thank goodness!)  I opted to make dinner rolls and they turned out beautifully -- great sourdough flavor, the trademark slightly chewy crust and a good internal texture.

Ingredients (makes 12 large dinner rolls)
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 cups flour (I used 100% unbleached bread flour)

  1. Mix starter, 1 cup warm water and 1 cup flour in medium sized bowl to create the "sponge".  Let sit for 20-30 minutes, cover tightly and put in fridge for 10-24 hours.
  2. Bring to room temperature.
  3. Proof yeast in 1/4 cup warm water, using 1-2 teaspoons of sugar.
  4. Combine sponge and yeast mixture in bowl, then add remaining water and sugar, salt and olive oil.
  5. Stir in flour, adding 1/2 cup at a time until dough begins to pull away from sides of bowl and is manageable.
  6. Turn onto floured counter and knead well.
  7. Place in oiled container, cover and let rise in warm area until double in size.
  8. When doubled, punch dough down gently and form into rolls with floured hands.
  9. Arrange formed rolls on greased or parchment-lined 9x13" pan and let rise again until double.  (I covered mine with a slightly damp flour sack towel and misted the tops of the rolls periodically to ensure they didn't dry out and form a "skin" that would prevent rising.)
  10. Bake in 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  11. Brush with melted butter and bake another 5-10 minutes until golden brown. 

**As hard as it is, these rolls are best baked the day before they are served to let them cool completely so the flavor can fully develop.**