The New Geek Homestead

We have exciting news to share but we still need to work on the post for it. Hopefully, in the next few days!

In the meantime, I’m able to get back into baking, which makes me happy.

Today, I made this Potato Bread Recipe using the dough cycle of my bread maker for the first rise. Then, I followed the rest of the recipe using two loaf pans. I think I might need to buy some bread flour because these loaves are pillowy soft from all-purpose flour, which she mentions in the recipe. I’m still happy with how these turned out though and am very glad they didn’t collapse, which happened to me yesterday with my bread maker!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

-Lynn

Using a Bread Machine to Start Challah Bread

Our bread maker is an old Toastmaster that we have had a long time, and it has been through A LOT. It’s a little bit beat up with a lid that doesn’t fit on quite right, from when it fell off the kitchen counter a few times. Fortunately, it still works… mostly. We are kind of in the market for a new bread maker, but in the meantime, I use our old faithful Toastmaster. I might be a little bit sad when it has to go.

Bread makers don’t seem to like me very much, so I don’t use them very often. The bread I make in them always falls! So lately, I’ve been using our bread maker just to start doughs for me. It’s been great for starting cinnamon roll dough and challah bread dough!


Challah Bread

Makes 1 loaf


I don’t think the recipe I use is really authentic. I made challah rolls for Easter lunch and that dough had honey in it. (By the way, those rolls were amazing. I was practically dropping a few on the floor by accident, just so I could eat them.) This one does not. The recipe is just from the manual that came with our Toastmaster. Somehow, that manual has survived up until now, though its cover is falling off and it’s getting a little tattered on the edges.

I can’t describe how much I love this bread… This recipe makes a HUGE loaf. It’s enough to feed my family and then some. After making the bread topped with poppy seeds once, I usually leave them off now. I make sure to do the egg glaze though. It just gives the bread a really beautiful color.

Sometimes I succeed at making a pretty braid, and sometimes I don’t. I’ve also overproofed the dough. It doesn’t seem to matter though. My family eats this bread up no matter what it looks like.

Challah loaf with poppy seeds as a topping

My kids will request this bread. If we have it around, they ask for me to use it for grilled cheese.

This is a second loaf I made that I sprinkled flake salt on.

So if you have a large family who loves homemade bread, this is a really simple one to do! It looks pretty and it tastes great and leftovers will get eaten up as soon as possible!

-Lynn

Back to the Drawing Board: Pumpkin Scones

I mentioned in a post last week that I was going to experiment with pumpkin scones again this week. I did actually get to it this time! Unfortunately, I was not happy with how these turned out.

I made two changes to the previous recipe. I reduced the pumpkin puree from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup, and then I increased the heavy cream from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. I guess this wasn’t the right way to go! The scones were a little bit dry, and they didn’t taste pumpkin-y enough!

This didn’t seem to matter to my kids. They ate them all up at breakfast the day after I made them.

But, they aren’t good enough to sell, so I’m going to go back to the 3/4 cup pumpkin puree and the 1/4 cup heavy cream and work from there. With my next batch, I will keep the 3/4 cup pumpkin and increase the heavy cream, since it seems like the dough is too dry.

I know that there are great recipes out on the Internet for pumpkin scones (I keep seeing the copycat pumpkin scone recipe for Starbucks!), but it seems like most scone recipes use eggs! I don’t want to use eggs, just because I love the original recipe so much that I want to keep that texture.

I did drizzle some maple icing on the scones, but even that was too sweet. I think I might need to temper it with some butter.

I also cut these scones the wrong way. Oops! I should have used the rectangle method instead of the circle method. These scones definitely need to be bigger and fatter!

So basically, I liked my first attempt better than my second attempt. But that is why this section of the blog is called Kitchen Experiments. I get to make mistakes and try to correct them! Thanks for reading!

-Lynn

Packards Coffee Shop and Dudley’s Famous Bakery

I am putting these two San Diego area local businesses together in a post because I didn’t take enough pictures at either place! I will be sure to take more pictures when we go back, since I think both of these places will be a regular stop for us when we are in the area.

Packards Coffee Shop is a small coffee shop in Ramona, CA. The main reason we wanted to stop there? The big blue box in the front!

Josh took this picture during a job in the area

We were just passing through, so I wasn’t able to try their crepes. I think the next time we are there, I will definitely have to order some! You can take a look at their menu on their Facebook page.

Josh and I picked up some iced Vietnamese coffee, said hi to the 11th Doctor, and took a few pics of the kids with the Tardis out front. The coffee was refreshing as an iced drink and very strong! Just the way we like it.

The folks in the shop were really nice! I’d definitely stop in there again. Packards is located at 680 Main Street, Ramona, CA 92065.


Another stop we made was Dudley’s Famous Bakery in Santa Ysabel. It is in the same marketplace as Julian Pie Company off of Highway 78.

Usually, we stop at the Julian Pie Company to get some apple pie and a dozen cider donuts to take home. This time, we stopped in at Dudley’s to eat lunch. When you walk in, there is a little gift shop to the right (my kids were immediately drawn to the rocks). The deli and shop area were straight ahead, with restaurant booths along the wall. We ordered our sandwiches at a small counter and then sat down to wait for our order. Our family of 7 took up two booths! While we were waiting for the food, I couldn’t help noticing the multiple racks of bread set up nearby, or the stacks of boxed apple pies on the table right by us! The sandwiches were really yummy, but it was the bread selection to take home that floored me. There were so many different kinds! I wish I had taken a picture of all of them in their neat rows. There were also sweets like three different kinds of streusel and cinnamon pull-apart bread. We ended up taking home this…

Really good pie by the way, but I missed the cinnamon ice cream.

We took home these too. There was a promotion to buy 4 loaves get 1 free. I’m kind of a bread fanatic so I couldn’t resist.

Dudley’s bread is sold in a lot of the grocery stores in our area, but I don’t think all the kinds we saw are available at every grocery store.  The rosemary and olive oil bread disappeared quickly as did the Hawaiian sweet bread. The bread in the bottom right corner is Pecan Maple and that was really, really good as a french toast! I froze the Russian Pumpernickel, which reminds me… I should probably go get that out!

Dudley’s bread can be found in about 70 locations in California. The particular location we went to is at 30250 Highway 78, Santa Ysabel, CA 92070.