Fall Day

This post will contain a little bit of this and a little bit of that, including a recipe for Irish Soda Bread with Fresh Dill, an easy book craft, and a few pictures from the garden I took this morning. It rained last night, so everything shimmered with spangles of rain drops.

I found the bread recipe while browsing through old issues of Chocolatier magazine, in an interview with a chef. The chocolate recipes were elaborate and multi-tiered but the bread recipe sounded good and easy. I tried it, and it’s a keeper.

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Irish Soda Bread with Fresh Dill

4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
4 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1-3/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature

Position rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and dill. In a measuring cup combine the oil and buttermilk. Slowly pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture , and mix until the dough forms a ball.

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, and knead for about 5 minutes, to form a moist, smooth dough. (If you use a large enough bowl, you can knead the dough right in the bowl, and save yourself a messy work surface. This dough will be a bit sticky, but hang in there.)

Divide the dough in half and form into two smooth balls. Place the balls on a large ungreased baking sheet. (I covered mine with parchment paper to save on cleanup.) Pat the balls into circles about 5 to 5-1/2 inches across, about an 1-1/4 tall, and sprinkle with flour.  Bake for about 45 minutes, or until bottoms and tops of loaves are golden. Cool before cutting.

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This is what a quarter cup of fresh dill looks like. You could use 1 teaspoon of dried dill.

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I wondered if this bread would be good made with whole wheat  bread flour, but I couldn’t scare up any such thing in stores near me. So I tried half whole wheat flour and half white bread flour. The result was stodgy in texture, and the whole wheatness masked the fresh dill flavor. So I would stick with the white bread flour.

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Next up is the book craft, which I almost hesitate to call a craft–it’s more of an idea you can take and run with. I found myself with some pretty little old books, and that as the summer went on, I picked little sprigs of flowers and herbs, and pressed them in the books. The results were charming, and I hope that a future book lover will find these sprigs and be as happy with them as I am when I find a pressed flower in an old book–it’s like a message from the past.

I used a small German bible, as well as the book below– a little (3-3/4 x 4-3/4) book of poetry by Tennyson.

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Here are how some of the pages turned out.

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I was thrilled to get this picture of a white-breasted nuthatch, because normally they hop around very quickly, but this little fellow stayed in one spot long enough for me to take his picture.

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IMG_5910Some clematis seed heads.

IMG_5925A painted fern.

IMG_5913Rain drops.

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IMG_5908All is as usual in the finch world.

Hope your week is good. Namaste. Fran

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