As I mentioned…here is more about my bread making experience from yesterday!  You know you’re into cooking when you ask for a bread maker when you’re like 15.  Yes, I got a bread maker for Hanukkah one year and screamed with excitement.

The bread maker was retired a few years ago, and I haven’t attempted bread making since!  I always want to, but it’s easy to put off.  It always seems like such a commitment but now I’m thinking making bread every week or 2 could easily become routine.  Basically you need about 30 active minutes and then a few hours of inactive time, where you’re home or nearby, waiting for it to rise + bake.

I <3 my Cuisinart stand mixer!! 

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I’m not going to re-explain the recipe, since I followed Teri’s process to a T.  I’m NOT going to change anything when it comes to making bread.  Well at least in my first few trials.

This was after all the flower was mixed in to the dough and it was about to go into it’s first rise. 

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Action shot of the dough releasing from the hook.

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Slumped over.

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Douuuuuuugh hoooooooook [like toeeeeeee pickkkkkkkk…tell me you know what I’m referring to please!!]

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Pile of wheatie flax dough.

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About 45min later it went POOOOF.  The first few steps were a cinch.  I had to add a few ingredients, then wait for the yeast to get bubbly, then slowly add about 6.5c flour while the dough was churning.  Then I covered it with a towel and let it get to rISIng.

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A few spins of the hook to de-poof the dough.

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Then, on a floured surface I split the dough into 2 halves and kneaded the dough a few times to get it in the basic loaf shape.  Again, super simple!  Just as Teri promised.  AND I didn’t fall asleep while the dough was in it’s 2nd rise phase [like coughTericough did]. ;)

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Golden fresh.  They looked SO pretty.  I can’t believe I made this bread. 

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They had a nice hearty crust.

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The middle was the perfect density.  I would do a few things differently next time.  First, I didn’t know that I was out of plain whole wheat flour.  I only had whole wheat pastry flour + stoneground whole wheat flour on hand.  So I used 2c wwpf and 4.5c stone ground.  I think using regular whole wheat flour would have given it a little better texture.  This wasn’t bad by any means but it would have lightened it up a bit.  I think I also slightly overcooked it, which was my fault.    I need to do a little more reading on baking breads at a higher altitude.  It was a tad on the dry side, which probably had to do with my flour problem and slightly overcooking. 

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It will still all get gobbled up FOR sure.  I made PB + J toast with it this morning and it was amazing.  It’s really flavorful and has a great texture. 

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Also delicious toasted with a slather of real butter….especially Kerrygold Irish butter…mmmm

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So there you have it.  Bread making can be EASY and I was so completely excited that I made it.  It’s just one of those things that is almost 100% of the time bought in a store.  I used all organic ingredients and it was still way cheaper than buying a loaf of organic bread.

I don’t really have many photos today, other than my breakfast.  I was in training for 8hrs and it was the best training I have ever been through.  Training days are usually THEE worst.  We had a really interactive day with a mix of group work, videos, walking the store, SAMPLES, and a few other things.  I am not used to sitting still in a chair for an 8hr day but this was about as painless as training could be. 

An atypical breakfast!  NO OATS!!!  I was totally craving fruit + toast with PB this morning.  Has anyone seen or eaten a champagne mango before??  It’s smaller than a typical mango but with almost the exact same flavor.  However, the flavor is sweeter and the texture is better!!  There are no stringy fibers in this baby!! 

And look at how cute it is :)

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1 medium banana + 1 champagne mango + 1 thick slice of fresh bread with PB + jelly + 2 eggs pour, poke, spread method

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LOVED the champagne mango!!

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Something I noticed and wanted to briefly talk about.  LUNCH.  When I worked in the office, I almost 100% of the time packed my lunch.  About every other Friday I would go out to lunch with coworkers.  I would pack healthy + balanced lunches but they were usually a bit carb heavy, from a sandwich or dinner leftovers.  I was always weighed down and tired after lunch.  It was especially bad when we would have “lunch + learns” where product reps would bring lunches for us, consisting of a HUGE sandwich, a larger than normal bag of chips, and a cookie the size of my hand.  It was hard to not eat at least some of the chips and half of the cookie…The afternoon slump from those lunches were the worst. 

Today, when we broke for lunch, I hit up the salad bar.  I had a huge plate of greens, garbanzo beans, cucumbers, croutons, hard boiled egg, mushrooms, a small serving of fruit and kamut salad [which was SO delicious].  I had to eat quickly and felt STUFFED for about 10min but after I started to digest I felt SO good.  I didn’t have a carb heavy lunch, or anything greasy and I was completely alert and focused.  I’m not making any new discoveries here but just speaking from how I used to feel and how I felt after eating a veggie packed, nutrient dense lunch.  I also drank a GT’s Kombucha [grape] and definitely think those aid in smoother digestion and alertness [from my experiences in drinking it thus far].  Oh and don’t get my wrong…I love my carbs.  They just don’t work as well for me at the lunch hour if I need to be sitting + focused for a few hours.

ONE more thing.  I woke up feeling a bit sluggish.  I didn’t have to be in to work until 10am today so I thought I should do a 30min yoga workout.  I can’t even express what it did for me.  It’s like it woke my body up muscle by muscle.  Sound cheesy?  TRY it!!  I am extremely tight in the morning, especially in my hamstrings and neck/shoulders.  I did the 30min Hip Opening Flow #4 from yogadownload.  [fyi – this download is audio only, but you can download the pose guide for help]

It woke me up, stretched me out, and cleared my mind. 

I started my day feeling physically and mentally strong.  

2 more days of training…then my mom is here Saturday!!! My dad has to stay in Cleveland to work….while my mom is on spring break!