So...I renamed by blog. Obviously. I have no real reason for doing this, other than I felt like it was time. Also because when I originally named it Bee's Nest, I was feeling rather lazy and just went with my familial nickname. The URL I desired wasn't even available, so it was all rather ramshackle and not exactly what I wanted.
It's funny when you name something...I think we try to come up with something overly clever or witty or poetic. Or maybe that's just what I do. I had about 40 other combinations of words other than the above and trust me, they were all rather pretentious. So I asked myself, "Brit, what are a few of your favorite things?" And immediately my brain screamed FLOWERS AND COFFEE CUPS!!!!!!!! I collect both with an obsession bordering on mental illness.
And so that's what I went with. I'm sticking with it.
Also, I made bread and wanted to share my very favorite recipe. I love bread. Who doesn't? I love trying new bread recipes all the time, but if I was forced to pick just one, it would be this one.
My Favorite Loaf adapted from The River Cottage Family Cookbook
King Arthur bread flour, 4 cups plus more for dusting (I need to say this: please do not deviate from the King Arthur flour. I'm convinced it's what makes this bread so wonderful.)
2 tsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. ground flax seed
1 packet dried instant yeast
2 tbsp. olive oil, plus a little for greasing
2 tsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, flax, and yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Put the olive oil and sugar in a measuring cup, then fill to just over the 1 1/4 mark with warm--not hot!--water. Stir very well, then add a little at a time to the flour mixture, stirring and scraping with a wooden spoon until combined. At this point you'll have a very shaggy mess. Tip this out onto a floured cutting board. Wash and dry your bowl and set it aside.
Begin to knead your dough. If it feels too sticky, sprinkle some flour over it and work it in. If it feels too dry, use a sprinkle of water. You're going to knead for 10-15 minutes--just keep going until carpel tunnel sets in. The dough will turn into a soft and bouncy mass. Form the dough into a ball.
Drizzle some olive oil into your clean bowl, then place your dough in the bottom. Flip it over once, then cover with a damp tea towel. Place in a warm location, but not too warm or you'll kill the yeast. Let the dough rise for about 2 hours, by which time it should be gloriously puffy.
Punch the dough out, then turn it out of the bowl, and knead again for just a minute. Roll the dough into a log or sausage shape, then place into an oiled loaf pan. Tuck the ends slightly underneath the rest of the dough. Cover and let rise again for half an hour. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400F.
Place the loaf in the oven on the middle rack and set the timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 375F. Cook for another 10 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven, turn out your loaf of bread, then place the whole thing back in the oven, upside-down so that the bottom can brown. This will take 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it. When the loaf is a lovely golden shade, and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom with your knuckles, it's done.
Leave your bread to cool for at least an hour, which will allow it to form a crust. It's a hard wait, I know. Then slice and enjoy with butter and honey, strawberry jam, or like I did, with a beautiful salad.