In the Kitchen: Making Bread with the KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Okay, okay. Since you already know that I love my KitchenAid stand mixer, I’ll get straight¬†to¬†my recent¬†bread making¬†experience.

Although I was a bit hesitant to make bread from scratch, I was also very curious and determined. I opened up the¬†handy KitchenAid recipe book that came with my stand mixer, and I flipped to the page that had the “basic white bread” recipe.¬†I prepped all of my ingredients, I followed the directions exactly, and here is a photo-heavy recap of¬†what happened…

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basic white bread recipe from KitchenAid + packets of active dry yeast

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butter, salt, sugar, milk melting on the stove

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4.5 cups of flour to start (I probably ended up using 5.5 cups)

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mixing 2 packets of active dry yeast with warm water in a warm mixing bowl

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mixing all of the ingredients: yeast, water, milk, melted butter, sugar, salt, and flour

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level 2 speed for a few minutes

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mixing the dough with the dough hook until the sides are clean and the dough is sticky

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sides of bowl are clean and dough is sticky

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see – I told you – clean bowl!

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dough in a oil-lined bowl

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risen dough after 1 hour in the bowl

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punched dough

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rolling out half of the dough

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rolling up the flattened dough

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into the loaf pan it goes

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risen dough after 1 hour in the loaf pan

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after 30 minutes¬†in the 400¬į oven

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the recipe made 2 loaves (one is wonky because I had to DIY a loaf-type pan)

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golden bread

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crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside

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the best way to enjoy fresh bread – with Nutella

The bread was FANTASTIC! It was perfectly golden, had a crunchy crust, was soft on the inside, and¬†the recipe worked! It was as time consuming as bread making is (I think it took about 10 minutes to prep, 1 hour of wait time so the bread could rise the first time, 1 hour to rise the second¬†time, and 30 minutes to bake in the oven).¬†I did a bunch of other things around the house during the wait & rise times, so I really didn’t feel like bread making was a whole lot of work. Oh my goodness –¬†I could probably live on fresh bread and Nutella*. It’s too darn delicious!

Oh – and I know I’m “supposed” to eat healthy, grainy, brown bread, but sometimes¬†I just don’t care. White and simple¬†worked perfectly for me!

* This is not a sponsored post, but if Nutella wants to offer me with a year/lifetime supply of Nutella, I’d be grateful, and I’d make fresh bread more often!¬†

In the Kitchen: The KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer

Although I’ve been thinking about the KitchenAid stand mixer for some time now,¬†I only finally¬†bought myself one¬†last week.¬†Everyone and their brother/mother/sister/friend¬†seems to have¬†one¬†and they all rave about how great it is, so¬†I had little doubt that it would be fabulous. There are plenty of colours to choose from, but it was an obvious¬†choice for me.¬†I’ve used my KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer¬†twice already¬†and it’s worked out very well! No surprise there, right?

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The first thing I ended up baking with the stand mixer was the brownie recipe that was listed in the instruction/information booklet that came with the mixer. It was very easy and straightforward and the end result was ab fab chocolate goodness. I also made madeleines and they turned out perfectly. I love the fact that the mixer can do the work while I measure out the ingredients. The convenience factor is awesome!

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I used the plastic pour¬†guard at one point, but I didn’t really need it. I was just trying to use as many gadgets/attachments as possible.¬†I used the paddle¬†attachment (above) for the brownies, but I used the whisk attachment to whip up¬†the¬†eggs for the madeleines. Switching¬†the attachments is easy and quick, as is cleaning them.

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I am very happy that I opted for the lift-arm mixer rather than the bowl-lift mixer. The arm lifts at the flick of a switch and the bowl attaches securely and simply to the base.

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Here are the brownies before I put them in the oven:

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It’s a stylish machine, yes, and it looks wonderful on my counter (a stylish appliance? really? this is what I’m talking about these days? how old am I?), and so it seems¬†I’m joining the “it’s so great, everyone should have one” club.¬†I’ll share a few more¬†photos in the upcoming weeks as I’m eager to try the pasta roller/cutter attachments!

Event: Wine, Thai, & Blogger Time

Last weekend, a bunch of bloggers got together at Melissa’s (The Sweet Escape) fun and colourful loft for a wine tasting event sponsored by local favourites Union Wines and Linda Modern Thai.¬†Lucky us, right?

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The first wine¬†was¬†Union Gold and this stack of white plates didn’t stay empty for long.

Andrew von Teichman from Union Wines was on hand to teach us about four varieties of wines (gold, white, noir, & red) and to make sure our glasses were never empty! Union is a virtual winery owned and operated by Andrew and his partner Allan Jackson (former owner of Jackson-Triggs), and it sources all grapes from the Niagara region. All Union wine varieties are less than $20 a bottle and are available at select LCBO stores.

The chefs¬†from Toronto’s Linda Modern Thai served up some delicious nibbles¬†that paired extremely well with the four wines we tasted over the course of the afternoon.

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Union Wines and Linda Modern Thai made an excellent pair.

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Melissa’s home has so many beautiful vintage details.

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Melissa’s¬†milk glass collection looks amazing on her floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

Read Melissa’s recap of the afternoon¬†(her photos are much more colourful than mine) and see her beautiful home in Covet Garden Home. Thanks for¬†hosting, Melissa, and thanks for spoiling us, Union & Linda!

Photos by Jordana.

20 Below: Drip Maple Syrup

I LOVE waffles. Love ’em. I also love maple syrup. Put those two together and you’ve got a perfect (any time of day?) meal. Yum. Yum. Yum.

I read about Drip maple syrup in the LCBO’s recent Food & Drink. Great packaging, beautiful website, and I am sure Drip’s maple syrup is pretty darn delicious.

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The three maple syrup varieties Рblond, copper, amber Рare each $20 and can be purchased online.

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