Fall = Bread Baking

One of my favorite things to bake is bread.  I've been a fairly regular bread-baker for the past two years.  From scratch, no Kitchen Aid, hearty, wholesome, delicious bread. 

That being said - I am only a bread-baker for three out of four seasons of the year.  There is about a zero percent chance of me turning on our oven for ANYTHING during the summer.  But guess what!?  It's officially fall.  And fall means it's time to break out my kneading hands again.  

Last winter, I fell in love with a new type of bread.  If you're on Pinterest, you've probably seen it, as it's been pinned over 15,000 times (see exhibit A).  On Our Best Bites, the recipe creates two loaves, which two people should not (but easily could) consume in one week, so my modified recipe makes a single loaf.  Other modifications include removing the pretty-yet-messy oats on the outside of the loaf.  While they may look lovely, they fall off everywhere while slicing the bread, and I just don't have the patience for that.  Also, there's a flax seed addition, because there's nothing better than a little crunch! 

This is my favorite bread straight from the oven.  It has a deliciously chewy texture without being overly dense. 

Seven Grain Bread
makes one loaf

½ cup + 2 Tbsp seven-grain hot cereal mix
1 ¼ cups boiling water
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter or dairy-free margarine
2 tsp. yeast
1½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp. flax seeds

Place cereal in large bowl; pour boiling water over and stir to combine.  Cover with towel and let set until cooled to 100 degrees, stirring occasionally (about 30 minutes).  If cooled below 100 degrees, microwave for 20-30 seconds.

Melt butter and honey in microwave. Add yeast and combine into hot cereal mix.  Add in flour ½ cup at a time.  Stir together with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together and looks shaggy.  Transfer the dough to a clean counter and knead by hand to form a rough ball.  Let rest 20 minutes, covered with dough bowl. 

Add salt and flax seeds; knead to combine into a smooth, round ball.  Place into greased bowl, cover with a towel and let rise until doubled 45-60 minutes.

Shape bread and place in greased loaf pan.  Cover and let rise 30-40 minutes.  

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees.

Slice thickly and try not to eat the entire loaf in one sitting ;)

I'll be sharing this Seven Grain Bread recipe with a few fabulous blogs this week, which, as always, are featured on the "Link Parties" tab above.  



Children & runny noses

My husband is currently in his pediatrics rotation.  Pediatrics, you ask?  Wasn't he elbow deep in ob/gyn the last time you posted?  Why yes, yes he was.  But now, he has moved on to bigger and better different things.  In fact, not only is he in pediatrics, but he is halfway through the rotation.  

The first four weeks of peds for my husband consisted of inpatient care - managing the care of kids admitted into the hospital.  Being as the children's hospital in our town is the only one in the area, he saw some pretty unique cases.  Essentially, he was at the hospital from 6:30am to 5:30-6:30pm daily, depending on which time slot he was given for evening sign out.  Not having to wake up until 5:25am was quite a refreshing change from the 4:45am of ob/gyn.  (Side note-does the fact that we were giddy to sleep in until 7am on Saturday morning make us old?)  

There isn't any weekend call for the pediatrics rotation, just one week of night float.  It's really pseudo-night float, because the scheduled shift was 3p-11p (which actually lasted until 12:30p almost every night, because they always seemed to get a new admission at about 10:50p) from Tuesday night through Saturday night.  It still felt like regular night float to me though, as I was long asleep by the time my husband got home every night, and I was gone in the morning before he was awake.  I'm not a fan of the whole "ships passing in the night" type of weeks.  But thankfully, I don't think we'll have another one of those until after Christmas. 

Also thankfully: both my husband and I have already caught and gotten over our "pediatrics cold" of the rotation.  They say that almost everyone catches a cold during their peds rotation, and sure enough, whatever bug my dear husband brought home got to me as well.  We're hoping that this means that we're safe for the next four weeks.....ha!

The second half of this rotation will be the outpatient portion of peds.  Starting tomorrow, my husband will be at a local doctor's office for one week, followed by a week each in the resident clinic, adolescent medicine, and the nursery of the hospital.  

Generally speaking, pediatrics tends to be a more relaxed rotation than ob/gyn.  One of the biggest surprises for my husband thus far was how much happier everyone on peds seems, from the docs to the residents to the nurses.  Residents and interns are more likely to give the medical students more time, attention and instruction, while still granting them some autonomy (within reasonable boundaries for a medical student, that is!).   The lifestyle, work load, type of work, and the coworkers have all made pediatrics an enjoyable rotation so far.  Perhaps not as exciting as ob/gyn, but that might not be a bad thing ;)