Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Walnut-Herb Bread and Skyler swims!

Look, see?  It's spring in my kitchen. 

And go ahead and tie on your aprons.  Have I got a bread recipe for you! 

A few days after my mom came home from the hospital, her neighbor John brought over a loaf of this bread that was so delicious and I wanted the recipe right away.  He shared it with me the next day and I've been holding onto it until I had some time.  I made some slight adjustments to the recipe and am ready to share it here.  I so wish you could have smelled it baking today.

Walnut-Herb Bread

Ingredients:  This is for a single recipe but I always double bread recipes, because why not?

1 cup milk scalded (which I took to mean heated up in the microwave?)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 packages dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons each dried basil and tarragon and dill
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons chia meal or chia seeds (optional)
3 cups white flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1. Mix first three ingredients and cool slightly.

2. In large bowl, sprinkle yeast over water; stir
until dissolved. Blend in milk mixture, herbs, walnuts, and

3.  Knead the dough on the counter top for a few minutes.  Place in a bowl and cover with a towel.
 4.  Let rise for 45 minutes or longer until it doubles in size. 
 5.  Knead on the counter some more, form into a ball, give the top a criss-cross cut with a serrated knife.
 6.  Bake on a pizza stone or baking sheet, in preheated oven at 375 degrees, for 45 minutes.  Check for a hollow sound when tapping the bottom to be sure it's done. 
 7.  Serve with buttah.  It's so nutty and herby and hearty.  

 While I was baking, Skyler was getting ready for her first real swim practice for our local US Swim Team.  Sam works out with them sometimes and thought it was time for her to join the team.  She packed and repacked her swimming bag over and over.   
Here she is showing me how many laps of the pool she knows she can swim.
She has her cap from Daddy's swim team all ready to go.  
Oh my good gracious how much do I love this kid?
When she got home she was beaming with pride for swimming a whole hour with the team...swimming, drills, kick sets, and lots of giggling.  Sam was so proud that I had fun trying to make him talk about it without tearing up.  I've told you that Sam is a crier, right?  Especially when it comes to anything having to do with sports or our kids, he's very emotional.

I watched some old home videos this week at my mom's of my high school swim team, and footage of one of our state meets, and it made me realize that growing up swimming and the friendships I had with those girls was one of the best things from my youth.  I have a feeling that Skyler will continue to love it too and will be a lifelong swimmer.  It makes us so happy.

The other great thing about kids who swim is they come home so clean, starving and exhausted.  Skyler ate a huge dinner and then fell right to sleep. 

Okay, now go make that bread!  Enjoy!


Carly said...

The bread looks awesome!
I swam from about the time I was 12 right through high school. I loved it. I wish I was better friends with the girls on my high school team, but they were a little much for my taste. However, I made many great friends on my club team. Swimming is so great because you can literally do it for the rest of your life. Yay for Skyler!

Jodi said...

What a lovely, positive post! I am so glad that Skyler was excited about her new swimming adventure. and that bread looks DELISH!

Carol said...

Great recipe - thanks for sharing. Two books for your summer list: The Red Garden, by Alice Hoffman. The Illumination by (OK I can't remember his name.)

Danielle Frottier said...

so, so true re: swimming and forming great friendships. Love thinking about my youth as a swimmer! Wish I could have stayed longer as a Maple :)

Lisa said...

Go Skyler!! Nice post, Em...like Jodi said. That bread looks amazing. Maybe I'll try making bread one of these years. aaaahhhh.

Eileen said...

Your daughter is adorable! My kids aren't competitive swimmers, but I totally agree with you on the benefits: clean, starving and exhausted. That's how I like my kids -- ha! (Mostly kidding.)