Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Baking Day Routine

After posting our changes to having limited electricity in our home, I have been surprized at the number of emails I have received. It is humbling to realize how many actually read my blog. Thank you for the emails. I enjoy and am inspired by them.

As the days are slowly becoming shorter, we have now faced a new issue. We find that at the end of the day, we are exhausted. Even my husband, who is in very good physical condition feels it. Some days, by 8:00 pm, he is ready to drop into bed for the night. We realized tonight that with our having to get everything done by nightfall, we are working harder during the daylight hours to make sure we get all the tasks completed for the day.

I have been sticking to my baking only twice a week. Mondays and Thursdays are the only days the oven is being used. I love it! I preplan all the baking and then I work on it all day. Breads, cookies, muffins, and anything else that needs baking are all done on those days. I also enjoy that I am able to utilize the oven and not be wasting energy by letting the oven go cold and having to heat it back up again. Most of my baking is done at the same temperature. I start by mixing my bread dough and setting it aside to rise. Next, I mix up the cookie dough and place it in the refrigerator. While the dough is chilling, I mix up the muffin batter and bake it. About the time the muffins are done, the bread dough has doubled in volume. I punch down the bread dough, shape the loaves, and place them in the pans. While the bread is rising the second time, I start baking cookies. On a normal recipe of about 6 dozen cookies, I can have them all baked by the time the bread is ready to be put into the oven. As the bread bakes, if a casserole is on the menu for dinner, I can assemble it and have it ready to pop into the oven as soon as the bread is finished. Baking this way makes for a full day, but I get much accomplished.