That’s what we have been doing this week. My chicks and I are gathered right here in our house. And when I wake up in the morning and see the temperature is –1 before the wind chill is factored in, I am ever so thankful that I do not have to bundle up my children and send them off for the day. We do have to venture out to do chores, but before my boys even set foot out the door I made sure they were winterized from head to toe. It is the kind of cold that makes your nose stick together and so the face masks were brought out and pulled on as a line of defense.
Two of my crew are down with a cold. I know it could be so much worse so I am thankful it is only sore throats, low grade fevers, and the snuffles. We are taking our days slow, reducing the amount of school work for those feeling crummy. There has been a lot of reading snuggled up under fleece blankets on the floor, couch, or any where that lends itself to a cozy little nest. We’ve even had some extra creativity and coloring going on. We broke out the oil pastels, a fun treat, for super duper amped up color.
Bitter cold days produce in me this need to bake bountiful quantities of bread and hot meals. What a blessing to be able to do this. I am so grateful to God for providing food for my family and for those in my neighborhood who are in need.
One of my guys recent favorites are these hard rolls. I didn’t have a single one left the night I served them.
(recipe from: The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking)
4 1/2- 5 1/2 c all purpose flour
2 T sugar
1 t salt
1 T active dry yeast
4 T butter, softened
1 1/2 c warm water
1 egg white
For the Glaze:
1/2 c water
1 t cornstarch
Combine 1 1/2 c of the flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Cut in butter. Gradually add water to the flour mixture and beat for 5 minutes. Add the egg white. Beat for another 5 minutes, adding flour until dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. (I did this portion by hand since I do not have a mixer that does well with bread dough.) Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead 8-10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary to prevent stickiness.
Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in the bowl and turn to coat on all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place, until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal.
Punch down dough. Turn out again, cover with a towel, let rest 10 minutes. Divide in half and shape into two 9 inch rolls. Cut each roll into nine 1-inch pieces and form each into a small ball. Place on the baking sheet and 3 inches apart. Cover with towel and let rise until doubled- another 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450.
To make glaze, mix water and cornstarch in a pan. Bring to a boil. Cool slightly before brushing on rolls. Slit tops in a crisscross fashion. (I cut the tops before I let the rolls rise. I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to cut the rolls once they had risen.) Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
Bake for about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
yield 18 rolls
So as you can tell from this post our days have been pretty quiet. I have enjoyed them. I needed some quiet! It has been good to just be home, I love the coziness of it all. To be able to focus on school and the needs of my family is just what I have been needing. And for a girl who loves the snow, but can’t do the bitter cold it’s been a wonderful week of watching the snowflakes from the warm side of my window!