Mrs. Gildersleeve’s Buns

Mr. Aitch and I like love bread but we don’t like the typical store bought variety, you know the prepackaged sliced stuff. It’s almost like eating paste.

I’ve baked bread many, many, many times and sometimes it’s really good and other times, well, it’s dense and heavy. So I did some research and found lots of “light and airy” bread recipes that call for scalded milk and/or eggs.

Kitchn.com answers the scalded milk question: The whey protein in milk can weaken gluten and prevent the dough from rising properly. Scalding the milk deactivates the protein so this doesn’t happen.

This from LEAF explains the addition of eggs: The fat in egg yolks helps shorten the gluten strands in bread dough, increasing the gluten’s elasticity. This results in a more tender crumb and softer crust in the finished bread. Additionally, the coagulating property of eggs, due to their protein, helps create a more tender and even texture. As a leavening agent, the eggs contribute to the bread dough rising higher than a non-egg yeast bread.

Maybe you bakers already know those things and I might have learned them in junior high home ec. classes but that was a very, very long time ago.

I looked through several cookbooks I have and found a recipe named “Mrs. Gildersleeve’s Buns” in a fund-raiser cookbook from my hometown. The recipes in this collection were tried and true. Plus I liked the name.

I whipped up a batch of this bread Wednesday afternoon and Mr. Aitch “baked” it on the grill over indirect heat. It is light and fluffy and tastes so good that we had to sample some as soon as it was cool enough to cut.

I will be making this recipe again. And again. And again…

Click here for Mrs. Gildersleeve’s Buns recipe.

Patti

Spinifex out, bamboo in

I abandoned the Spinifex sock and decided to go with this Bamboo sock pattern by Fishasaurus Rex. I ripped back to the beginning of the foot section on these toe-up socks and continued with the new pattern.

hand-dyed yarn, bamboo sock pattern

Granted my hand-dyed yarn is really too busy to show the bamboo texture but my objective was to knit a pair of toe-up socks since I struggled so much with the cast-on.

hand-dyed yarn, bamboo sock pattern

The pattern is well written and it features my favorite heel: Eye of Partridge!

hand-dyed yarn, bamboo sock pattern

The sock size is determined by the needle size and not the amount of stitches. I’m knitting a medium.

hand-dyed yarn, bamboo sock pattern

I am just a couple of rows from binding off the first sock. For the toe-up sock knitters (or top down sweater knitters) out there, which super stretchy bind off do you use? I have issues with too tight bind offs. Looking forward to the second sock. I hope I don’t have as much trouble with the toe the next time.

Patti

Spinifex

The newest pattern in Helen Stewart’s Handmade Sock Society is called Spinifex, named for a sturdy Australian grass that appears as a starburst when looking down on it.

(c) Helen Stewart

No yarn in my (growing) stash would work so I gathered a bare skein of Knit Picks Stroll fingering weight yarn, my Crockpot, vinegar, and food coloring for another dye session. This time I used green, yellow, and black for some soft greens that turn into deep greens. The yellow happened with one or two drops directly onto the hot yarn in the dye bath. The black broke into red and purple and added a nice contrast to the greens. I don’t really follow a recipe for the colors as I only dye one to two skeins at a time and it’s so random that I’d never be able to reproduce any of the colors again.

This pattern has a toe-up construction and that is new for me. All of my socks have been knit from the cuff down. But I was interested in learning something new. Judy’s Magic Cast-On took me over two hours to get right while reviewing written instructions and numerous videos and another hour to knit the first round! Of course, I was using double pointed needles and not circulars as suggested but I used what I had.

Not bad for my first attempt, well, my first foray into this technique as I attempted it many, many, many times!

Then came the actual textured pattern that is on the top of the foot and up the leg. After two pattern repeats I’m not liking it. Not liking it at all. The “star” in the reverse stockinette area just looks like a mess to me. And it’s lumpy.

I don’t think these would be comfortable to wear with the lumps even though they are only on the top of the foot. Several others mentioned that as well.

The inside (wrong side) looks better.

The bottom is beautiful. I love those greens!

I’m not going to rip out that three-hour toe! I will ladder down to the star stitch on the front and do some other stitch that isn’t lumpy or bumpy. Just as soon as I figure out which stitch to do.

I’ll keep you posted.

Patti