Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sourdough Bread, yum!

Bismillah (in the name of Allah)

So, baking bread with regular store-bought yeast was not cutting it for me. I decided I would give one more try at sourdough (last time I did, about 2 years ago, I ended up with two rocks instead of bread) MashAllah this time with Allah's help and the informative details from Mike I'm succesfully baking sourdough bread. Smells heavenly, tastes deliciously sour and apparently is good to our health.

This is my culture

And this is my first loaf fresh out of the oven

If anyone is interested in details about this ancient art of sourdough making, I would gladly share; otherwise head over to Mike's website, he has an amazing amount of information on anything sourdough related.

It feels so good to eat bread the way it was eaten by our ancestors, whom without any knowledge of healthy bacteria and lactobacillious managed to master this method by trial and error, I imagine. It definately involves some work and time but I believe that anything that is wholesome and beneficial to us does.

I hope you all are enjoying these winter days and take advantage of it to learn the art of homemaking and while you're at it some sourdough making :o)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What Happens in my Kitchen Doesn't Stay in my Kitchen

Bismillah (In the name of Allah)

Some time ago I found a simple yet delicious apple sauce recipe when visiting Muslim Hippie and I got my hands on some apples, which were given the honour of becoming part of this sweet treat for my munchkins.

I am not a measurer thus you might want to head over to her blog if you need more specific measurements; I peeled, cored and chopped 7-8 apples.

Next I put them in a pot with just a bit of water, about 1/4 cup of honey and sprinkled cinnamon on top. I think next time I might want to put less cinnamon, but that really would be up to your individual taste.

And, after simmering this for about half hour you can mash this into whatever texture and consistency you prefer. It was a hit in my house and even my littlest picky eater had no trouble devouring a cup of this yummy treat.

Oh, and I can't describe the beautiful aroma that spread all over my house, I would do it again just for that, mashAllah.

As for my bread baking season, I have a lot to share in my upcoming post. I have taken the whole thing to a new level and am very satisfied with the results I have obtained so far :o) It's been time-consuming but I'm very thankful to Allah that he's allowed me to put my time and attention to it. I believe and hope that this will become a tradition of my family that will be passed down to the coming generations.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Home-made Bread

Bismillah (In the name of Allah)

Since the bread baking bug got in my kitchen I've been very busy. The first night, without having the necessary supplies, I could not wait and decided that I was going to make bread with what I had at hand. And, this came out of the spur of the moment:


It was good but, of course, I could not stop there. It was only the beginning of a very satisfying new season of my life: The bread making season.

Next day I went on a mission to stock up my kitchen with what I needed to make bread from scratch. Fresh organic wheat, more yeast, some spelt and rye, amongst other things. And, without hesitation I moved onto making whole wheat bread from freshly milled wheat.


It has been an amazing experience; not only baking these breads but feeding them to my family as well. They love it and I love giving them something so nutritious. Especially because I'm milling my own wheat, so it's fresh and it isn't stripped off anything; all the goodness of wheat goes into my loaves of bread.

Have you ever heard of Ezekiel bread? It's a recipe that has been interpreted from the bible. I made my own version of this bread as follows:

3 1/2 cup of hard wheat, 1/2 cup of (kidney beans, lentils, chick peas and spelt) and I'm planning on interchanging the legumes that I add to this mix, and possibly making it 1 cup instead of just 1/2. Will update when that happens, and at this rate it could be anytime within the next few days :o)

 Let me get back to my recipe. All gets milled and it yields approximately 6 cups of flour which I mixed with 2 1/2 cups of water, 1/4 cup of oil, 1/4 cup of honey, 1tbs of instant yeast, 1 tbs of wheat gluten, 1 tbs of salt. I kneaded this till smooth, by
hand I would guesstimate it could take 10 min approximately. I let my machine do the work, I know I'm spoiled! It should be ready when you can stretch a piece of it, without tearing it, and see light through it. Then I formed into loaves, placed in a warm place till they about doubled in size and baked at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 1/2 hour. I skipped one rise that typically takes place when making bread, but it worked for me and it saved me time.

This is what I've been doing in these cold days. Perhaps this is yet one more blessing that Allah brings along with winter; we spend more time indoors and become more creative and even take up on new interests.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I Name you....

Bismillah (In the name of Allah)

A lot has been going on in this house lately; a lot of planning, baking, some more planning, and of course winter fun outside with the kids.

Meanwhile, I thought of a more suitable title for this blog and came up with something I liked. So as of today 'Profession: Mom & Wife' gets replaced by tatata.... 'The Art of Learning' which I believe suits more the reality of the author of this blog, that is me :o) It suits me better from every angle I look at it since I find myself learning every single day in every aspect of my life as a Muslim, wife, mom, homekeeper, etc. And I believe/hope it's never going to change; I am destined to learn for the remaining of my life InshAllah and am very pleased with this notion.
I want to leave you with this:

And will share more about baking on my next post inshAllah (God willing)

Friday, December 3, 2010

"Profession: Mom & Wife" sounds kinda corny doesn't it?

Bismillah (In the name of Allah)

I've made up my mind and will change the title of my blog inshAllah (God willing) I want something less dry, more homey, cozier... And I would love any suggestions as to what I should tittle it. I want a title that says more about whom I am and what I dream of rather than some executive type of title.

In a nutshell, I am a convert Muslim (which means I was born something else and when I grew up and learned about Islam I chose it as my way of life), a stay-at-home-mom/wife, I currently live in the city but dream of one day moving my tribe to a more secluded region of, perhaps, this beautiful country (Canada) or somewhere in the middle East, I strive to live a simple life and love everything that relates to it, I love outdoors thus have a little misunderstanding with Mr. Winter, which happens to be very long in these lands.

Don't you agree that 'Profession: Mom & Wife' is a corny title.What y'all think I should title this blog of mine?