Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Bread (aka "Easter Bread")

Today I made my 2nd's delicious. This is traditionally Sunday bread in Switzerland, where my mom is from. The funny story is that the entire time I was growing up I thought it was Easter bread, because that's what my mom called it & that's the only time she ever made it. My brother & I took a trip to Switzerland a few years back & when we stayed with my cousin Karin, she made it for us. Our reaction was of course and awed, "Oh, you made Easter bread for us!!" And her reaction was of course loud & prolonged laughter followed by the explanation that in Switzerland people make this bread on Sundays. Every Sunday. Not just Easter Sunday. As I'm sure you can imagine my mom was quite amused that her ruse had been discovered...and she still only makes this bread on Easter.

The first one I made went to my parents house the other day. My brother was here visiting & after all the cooking my mom did for Thanksgiving I thought it would be nice for her to have something special made for her for breakfast the day after. I got one piece to see if it tasted okay the day after they had it (because you can't always trust that your family is being serious & not just nice when they say it turned out great)...but of course that wasn't enough, so I had to make one for our house...and after all, today was Sunday!
Now I just have to work at the braiding part- she makes a cross & then somehow braids the 4 strands. I watched a video online, but they did it too fast; read several explanations online & tried to re-create those with string- again, a disaster; so I opted to do a 3 strand braid like you might do hair. It's the only way I know. So my zopf isn't as pretty as it should be (until I get my mom to show me with dough in person!), but it still tastes perfect!

Here's her recipe:

500 grams all purpose flour

1 package dry yeast

50 grams butter (1/2 stick)

1 egg

1 dash salt

1 grated lemon rind

1/4 liter milk (just a hair over 1 cup)

All ingredients have to be room temperature.

Sift flour & yeast together into cuisinart (I did it in Kitchenaid…turned out fine), cut butter into small pieces on top of flour, add next 4 ingredients, turn machine on to mix everything well, then add lukewarm milk slowly.

Mix for 3 min.

If dough is soft or sticks to bowl, add 1-2 tbsp flour & mix again.

Cover with plastic wrap & let rise in warm place till doubled (about 45 min) My mom heats the oven to 140 degrees, then turns it off & lets the dough rise in there.


Put on greased cookie sheet (or better yet, parchment paper), brush with egg yolk.

Bake in center of oven for 30 min. at 400 degrees. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Housekeeper of the Year...Ummm...That Would Be a "No"!

Yeah, I'm never going to win that award. 4 dogs, 2 kids. Enough said. By Friday every week the house is a wreck- fur everywhere, sink full of dishes, piled up laundry, nose prints & finger prints you'd think it would be time to clean it all up. Probably. But then the weather today was just gorgeous- not a cloud in the sky, warm enough to not wear a jacket- so being out there definitely looked better than being in here. Cleaning can wait. While the kids ate breakfast I packed a picnic lunch- ham & cheese sandwiches, juice, yogurt, goldfish & some cookies and then off we went.

I parked at my parents & we took a long walk in the stroller to the playground, enjoying the fresh air & sunshine. Then we played at the playground with our sand toys- me, 2 kids (and of course all the other assorted kids that wandered over to join in the fun). We made castles, moats, knocked down the castles over & over. When we got tired of the sand toys we played on the swings, slide, ran in the field till Addison announced that she was ready for a picnic. They ate way more (& more enthusiastically) than they usually do. Then we played some more before walking back to my parents house.

It was one of those perfect days filled with sunshine, laughter, smiles & all-around happiness. One of those days that you know you're going to look back at when they're grown up and remember happily (hopefully in a general way, "Remember all those times we _____" because there have been many of them).

Perfect day. Coming home to a messy house didn't even stress me out. :)