Thursday, June 04, 2009

Kitchen Duty

Day 4 of a month of me brings us to my favorite room in the house, this was hard because I love my house, the whole thing! But the kitchen is truly the heart of the home, a place to gather, learn and create. Meals aren't the only products coming from the kitchen, memories are made, ties bind and traditions are everlasting, all simmering in the kitchen.

This isn't my dream kitchen, but it's close. My idea of a kitchen that fits me is a much bigger one, room to house a old fashioned hutch, the kind with the flour bin. A fireplace is a must have too, and with a fireplace you have to have a sitting spot, even if it's just a rocking chair. A walk-in pantry to house a years supply of canned goods, with a built in drying rack for herbs that grow just outside. Big windows to allow the sunshine to cheer up the space all year round! I may never get that perfect kitchen, but it's ok. I make do with what I have and I turn it into the kitchen that fits the house and my needs.

Any kitchen can become the perfect kitchen, as long as it's filled with homemade love! And here's some lovin from my kitchen to yours. This is one of my favorite bread recipes using fresh oregano from the garden. If your like me, I don't do alot of baking in the summer, so stash this recipe away for cooler months ahead. It probably can be converted to a bread machine but since I have yet to use mine.......I know, I'm bad!

Oregano Cheddar Bread

1 pkg. active dry yeast
5 1/4 c. all purpose flour
2 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 3/4 c. milk
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. minced oregano or 2 dried
1 tsp. salt

Stir together the yeast and 2 cups of the flour in a large mixing bowl. Heat together the remaining ingredients (except the rest of the flour) till luke warm. Add to flour yeast mixture.
Beat on low speed of mixer for 30 seconds, scrapping bowl when needed. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can with a spoon.
On a lightly floured surface knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Knead another 8-9 min. till dough is elastic and smooth. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease all sides. Cover and let rise in warm place till doubled, about a hour or so.
Punch down dough and divide in half. Cover and allow to rise for 10 min. Shape into 2 loaves and place in 2 greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise again till doubled, about 45 min. Bake in a 350 oven for 45-50 min. Cool.

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