Bad days, they’re inevitable. Ever had a day that’s so bad you want to hit something? 

Hard? 

Yea, I’ve been there. 

I don’t hit. I’m scared to bleed. I’m scared of waiting in the Emergency Room with other sick infected bloody people. I’m sort of a germ-a-phobe. Not a fan of stitches either. Stitches make me sad… Cause no one will kiss my boo-boos and give me a hug. 

It sucks being a grownup sometimes. 

I guess some people just update their FB status with a total “GRRR” post. Sometimes I don’t know how to respond to angry FB posts. You can’t very well “Like” their status. Angry FB posts make me feel peeping Tom-ish. Like I’m peeping through the window of someone’s life, but I shouldn’t be. 

Totally awkward for me. 

 

I think I’ve got a solution for that. Not the angry FB posts – Or that I feel like a peeping Tom. That’s my issue. I’ll deal with it. 

Bad days, I mean. 

Bake some bread. There’s no better way to let go of “The Angries” than kneading your way to a loaf of bread. After 10 minutes of solid kneading you totally forget your anger. You enter this state of tranquility and suddenly everything is alright. 

La, la, la… 

Then, well… Then there’s the bread. 12 slices of deliciously chewy bread. It’s like chicken soup that you slather with mayo and cold cuts. 

 Or peanut butter and jelly… 

 Or… 

 Tuna and mozzarella… 

Except its bread. Total feel good comfort. 

Come on… Let’s make bread… Let go of that anger. Leave it in a loaf. Oven heat does away with negative vibes.

You’ll feel better. 

I promise… 

This is my favorite light wheat bread recipe. It’s my “go to” anytime I bake bread, which is never often enough the way these mofos eat. The texture is just like the wheat bread you buy in the supermarket.  I got it from the Smitten Kitchen. She’s a rock star. I want to be her when I grow up. 

A co-worker was eating wheat bread with cranberries the other day. I love breads with dried fruit in them.  Biting into them is like scoring double prizes in a cereal box. 

 He bought me a slice and asked if I could recreate it. I said I’d try; so I made a few changes to the Smitten Kitchen version. I’ve added cranberries (naturally), sweetened the dough with a tad more honey and added a little more butter. 

 The recipe is fairly simple, basically a one-bowl type of deal. You add the dry ingredients to a bowl, and then you add butter, honey and water. You mix it a little bit. Add the craberries and mix for a few more seconds. If you have an electric stand mixer, its even faster (score!!)You turn the dough onto a clean surface and begin kneading. Kneading is how we incorporate gluten into the dough. 

To knead the dough, use the heel of your hand to compress the dough and push it away from you. Fold the dough back on itself. Give the dough a slight turn, and repeat the compress, push, turn action until the dough is smooth. 

 These are my son’s hands. He’s 10. He’s got total man hands.  He thinks he’s bad now cause he’s growing up, has armpit hair, and is getting man hands.  He ain’t bad… 

 Once the dough is smooth; lightly oil a bowl with vegetable oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about an hour and a half. 

 Once the dough has risen, turn it onto a clean surface and press it down gently.  Stretch it a bit to form a rectangle.  

 Begin to roll the dough from the short end.

 Pinch the seams closed and transfer it to a lightly greased 9 in by 5 in loaf pan. 

 Let it rise for another 60 minutes. Then bake for about another 60 minutes. Insert a thermometer in the middle of the loaf. It should register 190 degrees Fahrenheit.   

My favorite step is always when the bread is baking. There’s nothing like the scent of fresh bread. 

 *Love sigh* 

 Remove your bread from the oven and immediately remove it from the loaf pan and cool on a rack. Allow the bread to cool before you slice into it. I must confess: I didn’t wait till the bread cooled. I cut into it straight out of the oven. Totally worth it… Double cereal prize feeling was in full effect. 

 Go on… Make yourself some bread. Feel better… You don’t need to be angry no more.

I’m here to help make it all better. Like a virtual kiss on your boo-boo.

Love, 

Me 

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Cranberry Wheat Bread (lite version) 

Adapted from: The Smitten Kitchen 

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
  •  1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees)
  • heaping 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
  2.  Stir together the high-gluten flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, powdered milk, and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (or a large mixing bowl). With the mixer on low speed, add the butter, honey, and water. continue mixing on low speed (or a wooden spoon if using mixing bowl), until the dough form a ball. Add the cranberries and mix a few more seconds. The dough should feel soft and supple. 
  3. Transfer the dough to a clean surface, and begin kneading. Add more flour if needed to make a firm, supple dough that is slightly tacky but not sticky (I did not add more flour). Kneading should take about 10 minutes. FYI….Some cranberries will try to escape. Just pick them up and put them back in the dough. The dough should pass the windowpane test.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl with vegetable oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Turn it a couple of times to coat the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. 
  5.  Place the bowl and in a warm place and allow the dough to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size. 
  6.  Remove the dough from the bowl and press it by hand into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick, 6 inches wide, and about 10 inches long. Form it into a loaf by working from the short side of the dough, rolling up the length of the dough one section at a time, pinching the crease with each rotation. The dough will spread wider as you roll. Pinch the seams closed with your thumbs. Place the loaf in a lightly oiled 9 in by 5 in loaf pan; the ends of the loaf should touch the ends of the pan. This will ensure an even rise. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. 
  7. Allow to rise one more time at room temperature for 60 minutes, or until the dough crests above the lip of the pan. 
  8.  Place the bread pan on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue baking for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the oven. The finished loaf should register 190 degrees F in the center, be golden brown on the top and the sides, and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. 
  9. When the bread is finished baking, remove it immediately from the loaf pan and cool it on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing or serving.

Quick Notes

This bread recipe is very versatile. Play around with it. Add some sunflower seeds, or poppy seeds. Other dried fruits would work as well. Some blueberries, perhaps? 

My rating: 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)[/print_this]

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