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Collections of the Week I

Collections of the Week I

I love food.
My life is full of food, but food is not my life.
Therefore, I don’t want Sweet Spree to be just for food. I want to document all things I love. Photos I take, links I love and tidbits of life. A collection, I’ll call it.
So here we go, the first post.

Flowers in the yard
Flowers in the yard

salad22beet
Beet salad with goat cheese and walnuts. Don’t tell me this doesn’t look good.

melight2
I love the trees this time of year.


Song of the week. Take a listen.

Honey Wheat Bread

Honey Wheat Bread

If you’ve spent anytime on a few food blogs, you know that they are all different. Tone, photography, style are as varied as the URLs.

Some food bloggers portray their life as pretty picture perfect. They effortlessly throw together elegant dinner parties while still finding time to whip up cupcakes for their children’s classrooms. Of course, we all know photographs and quick write-ups are only one facet of an entire life, but it’s easy to forget that.

I recently stumbled across a few blogs that caught my attention because of their brutal honesty. They discuss personal issues, but they never appear to be whining or complaining. In fact, I had trouble clicking away because the posts were so interesting.

What may seem like a problem or struggle when writing a post made me, as a reader, see them as unique. The personal anecdotes and stories didn’t take away from the beauty of their sites, but added to it. And while there’s no requirement for how much you share, I also don’t think we should be afraid to embrace the realities of life on blogging platforms.

Homemade Honey Wheat BreadI feel inspired by Local Milk Blog‘s beautifully honest writing about mental illness. In light of a recent memoir, I commend Can you Stay For Dinner‘s for posting a personal account of a body peace journey. On a lighter note, How Sweet Blogs‘s recipe disasters of the year always cheerfully reminds me of the many of cookies I’ve burnt. In all of these posts, there’s reality. And if you ask me, tales of

reality add a refreshing depth that doesn’t always surface on this platform. But why shouldn’t it?

By no means is it easy to divulge personal details online, but for those do go there, it alters the landscape of blogging in a beautiful way. It fosters a friendly community rather than a pursuit of perfection. After realizing how impacted I am by other blogs, I am much more open to sharing my own experiences online

Local Milk Blog is the inspiration of the week. One thing I made this week (from way back) was her Honey Whole Wheat Bread. It proved to be both delicious and beautiful, so I thought the recipe was worth sharing. Now that I may be considered of adult age, I would like to form and lead a bread lovers club. I would love to rise to the occasion and be

President, but you butter have my back! Okay, I’m done.

Recipe adapted from Local Milk Blog. Make some bread today.

Honey Wheat Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup warm water (105° F – 115° F)
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 1/2 to 3 2/3 cups bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbs salt

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer whisk to blend 1/2 cup of the water with the yeast and honey. Allow the mixture to rest until the yeast is creamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Combine 3 1/2 cups of bread flour and all of the whole wheat flour in a bowl, set aside.
  3. Fit the mixer with the dough hook attachment. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cup water, oil, barley malt, and about half of the flour to the yeast, and mix on low speed, add the rest of the flour mix, and increase the speed to medium mixing until the dough comes together, stopping to scrape down the hook and bowl as needed. If it doesn’t come together add up to 2 Tbsp more white flour. Add the salt and continue to beat at medium speed for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough will still be sticky.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball. Place it in a large lightly oiled bowl. Rotate the dough to coat lightly in oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest at rom temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Oil or butter two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pans.
  6. Deflate the dough by lightly punching it and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Roll each half into a 9? by 12? rectangle, with the short side facing you. Fold the top of the dough 2/3?s of the way down then fold again so that the top meets the bottom edge. Seal the seam by pinching. It takes me a bit of vigorous pinching to seal it. Turn each roll so that the seam is centered, facing up. Tuck the ends of the roll in just so that the loaf will fit in the pan. Pinch to seal these seams.
  7. Turn the rolls over, plump and shape with your hands, and place seam side down in the loaf pans. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in size again, about 1 hour. While they rise center a rack in the oven and heat to 375° F.
  8. When risen (a finger should leave an impression when the dough is poked) bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into the bottom of the loaf reads 200° F. Remove from pans and let cool on racks.
  9. Once cooled the bread can be wrapped and stored at room temperature or tightly wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to a month. To thaw let sit, still wrapped, at room temperature.