Well at least one thing went right – melting butter – no knead bread

Okee-dokee, I’m going to give you all heads-up:
*The first part of this post will be about an easier method that I found to melt butter in the microwave. This is the one thing that went right for me.
*The second part of this post is a too-long rambling story about my trying to make a no-knead sandwich bread going by a recipe video. The bread turned out dreadful due to a flicker of bad luck.

So, you’re welcome to read one part and not the other part or both parts or neither parts.
You’re welcome to comment on any part or no parts of this post. lol
Thanks so much for visiting, I appreciate it. 🙂

Melting butter in the microwave
Whenever a recipe calls for melted butter (Margerine, oleo), Instead of using the stove, I use the microwave. Most of the time, I pretty much have a splattered mess, no matter how careful I am to cover and vent a deep bowl with chopped up butter.
Then today, I had an idea, that worked quite well for me.
I chopped the butter up. put it in a small glass bowl, put the bowl in a plastic bag, I left the bag open.
I set the bag in the microwave and heated it for 10 seconds at a time until it gradually melted the butter.
I waited several minutes to let it cool, then carefully removed the bowl and my melted butter was ready to use.
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The Sad Sandwich Bread
I’m not much for following recipes on videos. I’m old school, I’m better at following written directions and photos are helpful too.
So, whilst feeding my newest distraction of watching videos, a bread baking video popped up in the feed. It was for a no-knead sandwich bread. I thought that sounds like a good idea. I watched the video. It was simple enough instructions.
I gathered my ingredients, set them on the counter and let them warm to room temperature. I even used a thermometer to check they were warm enough.
I followed the directions, except for the amount of liquid. I left out 1/2 cup because when I added it to my flour mix, the mix started to become too soupy. I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a pre-heated microwave and left it to rise.
(I use my ‘turned-off’ microwave as a hot box. It keeps the heat in quite well.)
I let the dough rise for 30 minutes, checked on it and it looked like it was doaming quite nicely. The recipe called for a 40-minute rise. So, against my better judgement, I left it 10 more minutes. Not a good idea. It started to flatten on top. I should have stopped at 30 minutes. I figured that perhaps, it wouldn’t matter all that much.
The dough was nice and sticky and stringy, just like the video showed it should be.
It laid in the pan just as the video had shown.
As instructed, I let it proof for 40 more minutes.
My oven was preheated and ready to bake this yeasty wonder.
I put the pan in the oven and set the timer for 40 minutes. I finished cleaning up the dishes. I folded a load of laundry and then went in the livingroom and watched Holiday Baking Shows with Shelibean.
After about 10 minutes the electric flickered, but I paid it no mind. Nothing turned off, not the lights nor even the tv. It’s not unusual for the electric to flicker, it’s normal for us.
After 30 minutes I checked on the bread. It was not baking pretty and hadn’t risen in the center like it should have. I’ve not baked too many breads that didn’t get a nice rise in the oven. The flat middle was a frustration for me.

I went online and looked up the reasons for bread not rising in the middle. None of the reasons fit my situation, except when I read that temperature might be too low.
I thought that could be it. I kind of suspected the temperature might need to be a bit hotter than the recipe called for, but it’s been a long time since I baked a yeast bread, so I trusted the recipe.

I went into the kitchen. I saw the digital stove display thing read 350. I thought, yep, that’s got to be it. It’s too low. So, I went to the stove to raise the heat and discovered that the darned oven was turned off.
Well, shucks, it must’ve turned off when the electric flickered. I was not happy. The 350 on the digital stove display wasn’t the degrees, it was the time 3:50.
I’m such idiot. lol
I turned the oven on 375° and left the bread in the oven. After the oven heated, I let the bread bake for 25 minutes and then left it to brown deeper on top for 10 more minutes.
I took the pan out of the oven and set it on a rack. The loaf looked awkward, but it sounded hollow when thumped. I hoped it was baked through.
I buttered the top good and proper. The recipe said that buttery the top when it’s first out of the oven, will keep it soft like a good sandwich bread should be.
The loaf came out of the pan beautifully, which gave me even more confidence that perhaps, it was going to be okay after all.
My husband looked at the loaf. He said, “It’s not a bad looking bread. It might surprise you and be just fine.”
I said, “Yes, but it’s a sad looking bread.”
It sliced easily. The first few slices looked almost good; however, it wasn’t baked thoroughly. It was doughy to the touch. It wasn’t exactly good enough to eat, the bit around the edges were, but that was it.
My husband was a good sport and toasted some of it, but that didn’t help. I thanked him for being a sweetheart and trying to make it okay.
I sliced it in half lengthways to show how dreadful and raw it was on the inside. I guess the tunneling cavern is the reason it sounded hollow.

I hate that it was such a sorry loaf of bread, but it was fun trying the new recipe. I think I’ll stick to the bread recipes that I’m familiar with.
Or perhaps, I’ll try this one again.
I can’t say for sure.
At least I got a blog post out of it.

If you stayed with me through my ramblings this far, I thank you ever so much. 🙂

I wish you all a wonderful rest of the week full of happiness with baking or crafting or thinking about good times or going out and enjoying the sunshine.

 


 

Christmas 3 Trees Tealight

I designed and created a Christmas 3 Trees Tealight.
The 3 trees are made melting pony beads and a metal cookie cutter.
I left the trees sort of rough edged like they might be in the wild.
I hot glued the trees together to make them like a tent to set over a battery operated tealght candle.
I made a small red ball out of polymer clay for the top of the trees and painted it with clear glittery paint.
I made a base for the trees/tealight using the same method I made the trees.
I set a battery operated tealight on the base and set the tree tripod over it.0-all-tetrelghtI like the design pretty well. It’s different because depending on where you’re sitting determines which tree you see… unless you put it on a rotating base.tetrelght

Wishing you crafting fun this holiday season!

*just an extra note:
I fashioned a temporary rotating base out of an old music box to make the short video to show you each tree of the tealight lit and flickering.

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Cool looking craft – DIY Fake Ice

Updated 7-14-2017

IMG_3021I learned how to make ‘fake ice cubes’ by melting clear pony beads.
The tutorial I followed was on flickr.
Unfortunately that tutorial is now gone. However, I’ll look around and see if I can find another tutorial that is easy to follow… or I may make one myself. Either way, I’ll update this post in the future.

It took a few tries for me to get the hang of it. I really like the results.
I’m amazed at how real the fake ice cubes look.
I can think of several projects to use the fake ice cubes with.
IMG_3037

Have you ever made fake ice?
I hope you all Have a cool day!
icsmilemo

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IMO – This craft is Not for children!
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0-isesteps
The tutorial I used is now gone. But here are a few things I did that made the process easier.

There’s a few things I adjusted, added or did different.
*I used balsa wood to make my ice cube form.
*Keep the area well ventilated: I opened my windows and turned on ceiling fans and ran the stove-hood fan.
*Apparently my oven doesn’t heat as hot as the author of the tutorial’s does.
I had to bake at 400° to get the beads to melt successfully.
*I also had to bake them longer: I’d put half the beads in the form and bake them for 15 minutes then put the rest of the beads in and bake for another 15 minutes.
*Keep a close eye on these as they bake to make sure they don’t burn.
*Let the cubes cool before trying to unwrap the aluminum foil.
*To give the cubes a shiny finish, after I peeled the aluminum foil off my ice cubes, I trimmed off the shards and rough edges and then put the cubes back on the pan and in the oven for about 3 to 5 minutes.  I was careful to watch so they wouldn’t melt too much.
*I took them out of the oven and let them cool. icsmilemo

egglight4Using a battery operated tea light
I made a fun little icy temporary tea light.

1-IMG_30112-IMG_30053-IMG_3007icsmilemo

edited in 6-11-2014:
I made this tea light by gluing the fake ice cubes together with E6000 glue.

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end of edit…

icsmilemo

There’s a few tutorials on the web on how to make fake ice by melting beads in metal ice trays.

icsmilemoI apologize for the missing links to the tutorial.
I’ll try to do an update soon. with either my own tutorial or a link to one.

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