Thursday, July 21, 2011
Gifts for the Lunch Packer: Back to School Edition - Bread Baking (and KAF Giveaway!)
I want to disclose that I am an Amazon Affliliate, and some of the links I post are my affiliate links.
I love making fresh bread for lunches. If you have the right tools, it isn't that hard, and doesn't take much time. There's something wonderful about making your own bread, knowing what goes into it, and being able to customize it accordingly.
By far my favorite bread for lunches is pain de mie. I use this wonderful covered loaf pan from King Arthur Flour, and it really makes the texture something to talk about. The lid compresses the bread as it bakes, making for a denser crumb, and when the bread comes out of the oven, I quickly rub the crust with a little butter, wrap the whole loaf in a kitchen towel and then in a plastic bag. When it cools in this way, the crust is delightfully soft, and little people who might complain about crusts never complain about this bread. There's a smaller loaf pan available too, if you want (my recipes are all for the larger pan)
Of course, in order to make bread baking really simple, I like to use a bread machine to get my dough ready. You can throw all the ingredients in when you go to work, set the timer, and come home to dough ready to be baked. You can, of course, bake in the bread machine, too, but I much prefer baking in the oven. The cream of the crop Wish-it-was-in-my-kitchen bread machine is the Zojirushi (or this smaller Zojirushi model). I have one similar to this Breadman, and it makes my dough just fine and dandy. Still wish I had the Zo, though!
I also love to use my food scale to measure ingredients. It really makes everything fool proof. I love this Escali scale. It can measure in grams, ounces, or pounds (up to 11 lbs), and you can put a bowl or other container on it to zero out for measuring. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors.
If you want to get really fancy (as I often do), you can try your hand at my Rainbow Pain de Mie, which is always a hit. For that, you will need food colorings and a rolling pin. And you have to not mind getting your hands a little colorful.
King Arthur Flour has so many wonderful ingredients to use in bread (and other baking)... you can add some fiber with their new Hi-Maize natural fiber (seriously, never notice it's there, and it adds a fiber punch!), or top your bread with Artisan topping (though this would not work so well with pain de mie...)
Now here's the fun part - the kind people over at King Arthur Flour are offering a $20 e-gift card to one of my readers!
They have a great online store, which I urge you to check out.
I love their flours, of course, and their specialty ingredients - the Vermont Cheese Powder! The Maple and Cinnamon Flav-r-Bites!
And don't get me started on their gadgets and bakeware...
On top of it all, they have incredible resources on their website which really set them apart from other companies. Need help with something? Try the Baker's Hotline! Want to peruse some truly awesome recipes? They have them in spades.
All you have to do is go to their website and tell me what you would get with your gift card, should you win. One lucky reader, chosen at random, will win a $20 e-gift card to the King Arthur Flour Baker's Store. That's it.
As always, I need a way to contact you. Anonymous commenters, with no contact information, cannot win. If I can't contact you, I can't get your information to King Arthur Flour, and you can't get your prize. Simple as that. US entries only, please.
One comment per person, please.
I will choose a winner, using Random.org, on Wednesday, July 27th, at 6 PM ish, EST.
Disclaimer: I have been in no way compensated for this giveaway or by talking about King Arthur Flour. All opinions are my own. The prize is donated by King Arthur Flour.