Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Potato Sandwich Bread and Getting the Lawn Ready

Spring is a wonderful time.  The days in Fairbanks are long, the sun is out, it is getting warmer, usually the high 40's to mid 50's.  Dave can't wait to get outside and work in the yard.  He likes to have the first green lawn and he has a few tricks that helps him get there.

When most of the snow is gone he likes to mow the lawn.  This starts to get the dead grass off and clean things up a little, even if you have to mow around the snow banks.

Then he begins to shovel the snowbanks and throw the snow around the yard so it melts faster.  

He will do this every day until the snow is all melted and he will mow again, about 4 times.  Then he aerates, then he vacuums, then he mows again.  When it gets warm enough he feeds and waters it and then mows twice a week all summer.  He puts a lot of work into our lawn and it does look beautiful.  So I decided to make him a treat.  He doesn't have a sweet tooth so cookies or a cake aren't for him.  He did mention he was craving some white sandwich bread.  I don't bake bread anymore since I don't eat it, and we never got in the habit of buying it so we usually just don't have it.  I do love to bake bread, I love the whole process of mixing, kneading, letting it rise, the yeasty smell of the dough, punching it down and shaping into loaves.... so I made him some.  And then I made him some hamburger buns.  He needs lots of energy to finish the lawn.

Potato Loaf Sandwich Bread and Buns

1 pkg. dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. instant mashed potato flakes
1 cup warm milk

In a small bowl mix 1/2 cup warm water with yeast and sugar, set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, or your stand mixer with a dough hook, add flour, salt, butter potato flakes and warm milk, add yeast mixture and stir or on low if using a stand mixer.  Mix well.  Then turn dough out and knead for 5-10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic, adding as little extra flour as possible or knead in bowl on medium high for 5 minutes.
Spray bowl with oil and return dough to bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rise for 1 hour or until double in size.  Be sure to place bowl in a warm part of your kitchen (I turn the oven on, let it heat to 105°F, turn the oven off and then proof the dough in the oven with the door cracked).

In the meantime, grease a bread pan well with oil and set aside (if making buns grease a 9X13 pan).

Once dough is double in size, remove from bowl, knead a few times to remove any large air bubbles and shape into a loaf or into about 9-12 buns (I like to weigh my dough and make 2 oz. buns for burgers).  Place dough into pan, cover and let rise a second time for 45-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake for 25-35 minutes until top is golden brown and loaf sounds a bit hollow when tapped.  Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely before cutting.

April 28, 2020  Sunrise 5:25 am  Sunset 10:12 pm  Temp. h46/ L 26°F

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