Pain de Campagne

In my search for information, I found a message board for people with knee injuries. The three to four weeks post-surgery, prior to the initiation of physical therapy are known as the dark days. It’s a hard time both physically and  emotionally. It involves going through withdrawal from a life full of activity, people, and adventure pre-injury to a life of home isolation, inactivity, and complete dependence on others. 

Suggestions for this time period include movie marathons, video games {I’m spookyzen if you want to play Words with Friends with me. ;) }, browsing on the internet, reading, and starting a blog. Hey! I have a blog. As life happens, I now have loads of time to blog but can’t really bake or cook. Luckily, I have a couple of items I haven’t had time to blog.

I’m slowly baking my way through The Bread Baker’s Apprentice as part of the BBA Challenge. The next bread on my list was Pain de Campagne, a French bread known for its crazy shaping abilities. As I tend to be more rustic than artistic, I baked the loaves in basic crazy shapes. A boule with little peaks snipped up by kitchen scissors and the folded-over tabatière. In addition to looking semi-cool, the loaves were delicious. Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, just like good French bread.

I’m mid-way through my dark days and I’m starting to see the light. I’m able to tolerate more and more weight bearing on my injured leg, I’ve learned how to get in and out of bed on my own, and I think I should be able to get back to baking soon.

{twd} Irish Soda Bread

In less than two months, Paul and I are exchanging vows and rings in a simple, casual backyard ceremony. After a semi-meltdown over invitations, I’ve realized  our nonwedding-wedding is slowly turning into a wedding-wedding. Ack! Our guest list is expanding, mothers are coordinating their dresses, and I’m threatening elopement.

After taking a few deep breaths and focusing on peacelovehappiness , I’m back in my zen state of simple and casual. Invitations are en route, I’ve ordered my dress, and we’re still doing it barefoot.

On this note, I’m excited to report that this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe–Irish Soda Bread–remained simple as promised.  In fact, it is so easy, I’ve made it twice.

The hosts for today are Cathy of My Culinary Mission  and Carla of Chocolate Moosey. Visit their blogs for the recipe or buy the book.

Orange-Buttermilk Dinner Rolls

Oh, magazine recipes.  In my quest to create order out of chaos and make recipes out of my magazine pile, I came across a recipe for Orange-Buttermilk Dinner Rolls. It hails from the November 2010 issue of Cooking Light and probably makes a lovely side for a Thanksgiving Dinner.

As it is, it’s barely March but still a very appropriate time for these rolls. As their name implies, the bread uses buttermilk and orange zest for flavor. They are delicious sliced in half, toasted, and served with an egg. They are also good plain.  The zest lends a fresh taste and the buttermilk it’s trademark tang. I  imagine they would be tasty with turkey and mashed potatoes too.

Orange-Buttermilk Dinner Rolls recipe

Photo by Paulrus

{twd} raisin swirl buns

I decided to make buns instead of a loaf for easier sharing of this week’s Tuesdays with DorieRaisin Swirl Bread. I rolled and filled the dough as directed. Instead of fitting it into a loaf pan, I sliced the roll into 12 sections and used a muffin tin.

I gave half to my mother who then gave some to a friend who is going through a tough time. My mother raved about them. I liked them too. They are not too sweet with a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Thanks to Susan of Food.Baby for hosting this week’s selection. For the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book

{sms} a sweet melissa catch up

I’ve been baking most of the Sweet Melissa Sundays recipes but haven’t had time to write about them. The purpose of this post is just to catch up a bit. (I will admit, though, I did not bake the Coconut Custard Pie nor the Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Rum-Raisin Sauce).

Peanut Butter Truffles

Butterscotch Pralines

Orange-Blueberry Mini-Muffins with Pecan Crumble

Sweet Potato Bread with Cinnamon-Orange-Rum Glaze (love boozy desserts!)