Friday, June 8, 2012

Braided Egg Bread

 I always enjoy trying out a new recipe, especially one that
will make good use of all the eggs we have around here
 from our beloved chickens. That joy doubles when my
desire to cook coincides with someone saying something
along the lines of, " I'll clean if you cook".
Yes!  ( Insert mad scientist laugh here)
 Because now I can simply concentrate on adding
 ingredients and the fine particulars of mixing, kneading,
or greasing and if the kitchen blows up- I don't have to clean it up!

Unfortunately, today was not one of those stellar days, so I was stuck with cleaning up my own mess.
However, I didn't let that put a damper on my mood as I set my gaze upon a picture of my future creation.

Braided Egg Bread
Braided Egg Bread!  Isn't that just gorgeous?  No, it's not the one I made, that picture is further down, but I wanted to get you in the frame of mind I was in when I first saw it, and then found the recipe for it.  This makes 2 regular sized loaves or one Huge one which would be great for a family holiday get-together, as I discovered when I tested it.  I should read directions better....

Here is the recipe: 

2 (.25 ounce) packages of active dry yeast (5 teaspoons if it's in a jar)
1/2 cup water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 cups hot milk
1/2 cup white sugar
                                                     1/2 cup butter
                                                     2 teaspoons salt
                                                    1/2 cup water (yes another one, but room temp will do)
                                                      5 eggs (yay!)
                                                      11 cups all purpose flour
                                                      1 egg (yes, one more for later)
                                                      2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)

1) In large mixing bowl, proof yeast by adding to one cup warm water.

2) In medium bowl, combine hot milk, sugar, butter, salt,  and 1/2 cup water and cool to 110 degrees.

3) In small bowl, slightly beat 5 eggs, then add to cooled mix mixture. Add milk mixture to yeast mixture.
    ( Feel like a mad scientist yet?  Go ahead, laugh, I won't tell...)

4) Add 2 cups flour and beat until smooth.  Slowly add remaining flour until stiff dough forms.  Knead on    floured surface for 10 minutes, only 5 if you are using a bread hook. ( Wimp!)

5)  Place in a lightly greased large glass or plastic bowl.  Turn dough over to grease both sides.  Cover and let rise in warm dark place until doubled in size, about 60 minutes.

6)  Punch down, cover and let rise again until double, about 30 minutes.

7)  Punch down again, and form into six equal parts (or three for a loaf big enough for Shrek). Form each part into 20 inch long roll.  Braid rolls on a large greased cookie sheet.  Cover and let rise until doubled.

8) Lightly beat remaining egg and brush over loaf.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake in preheated 350 degree F ( 175C) oven for about 55 minutes until nicely browned.

   I wasn't paying attention to that part of the directions that stated this was for making 2 loaves and ended up making one large  Shrek size one.       See that picture above?
That is a regular 16 inch long cookie sheet. That picture is BEFORE it was left to double in size the last time...

This is after it is done cooking. Ahhhh smells wonderful!!  However, notice
you can no longer see the cookie sheet. And it is sitting on top of the stove.  It takes up one WHOLE side of the stove.  Which is why I said it's perfect for Holiday family gatherings as one large loaf.

It does taste wonderful, and now my guys can cut off a braided section and make a monster sandwich.  Let me know how it comes out for you!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Chicken Coops

I love new ideas for Chicken coops and I am always searching the web for fun ideas! 
Here are a few I have found lately that I thought were great for inspiration.  What does your coop look like??

Very Modern and fun! 
More info @ :

Don't think you have room in your backyard for chickens?    How about under the slide of your kids' jungle gym?  If you are just wanting a few hens this is a GREAT idea!

Got an old vehicle sitting around taking up space? With a little elbow grease, a few cans of spray paint and a little wood and walla!  A great coop that has been made out of recycled materials !