Girl Versus Dough

swedish knäckebröd

Swedish Knackebrod

I’ve had a thing for crackers ever since I made those Blue Cheese & Walnut Crackers, along with my love letter to Ina Garten. There were those, and then, these flat breadsticks. Then this (these?) knäckebröd, which I made because I love those Wasa rye crisps from the grocery store, but mostly because I love the word “knäckebröd.”

(Which means “break bread,” for those sans Swedes in their families.)

chocolate peanut butter swirl bread

chocolate peanut butter swirl bread on cooling rack

I’m not a huge proponent of Valentine’s Day. It’s never been one of my favorite holidays. I’m not going to rattle off a spiel on how bitter I am about how our culture fuels an irrational need for us to spend millions of dollars each year on a single day to prove our love to others, blah blah blah… It’s just that if I could choose tomorrow to be any holiday, I’d choose Christmas, or my birthday, over Valentine’s Day.

Yes, my birthday is a holiday. Enough on that.

loaded baked potato bread

loaded baked potato bread slices on cutting board

Lately, I’ve been a bit frustrated with baking bread. You see, homemade bread is a finicky thing. You have to be sure the yeast is alive, that the flour is properly weighed and that you don’t knead the dough too little, or too much.

It has to be smooth and elastic, but not sticky nor crumbly. If you don’t let it rise long enough, the flavors won’t develop and if you let it rise too much, well… I don’t know what, but I’ve heard it’s not good.

That said, part of the reason I started baking bread in the first place was to learn about these idiosyncracies — to find out, in short, what makes bread tick.

sifted words — tablespoon recap

English Muffins

Greetings, dear friends —

I apologize for a delay in recipe posting. I’ve been in a coma for a few days after eating my weight in bourbon bacon pancakes. You understand.

I also took a mini break from my daily obligations to visit my dear friend Ashley (see above) in her homeland. Which used to be my homeland. Which is really still only four hours away, barely far enough to consider it a “homeland,” but still far enough away that I have enough time to completely lose my voice upon arrival after all the loud, obnoxious singing I’ve just done in my car. True story.

bourbon bacon pancakes

Bourbon Bacon Pancakes

Oh yes.

Yes, I did.

I really needed an excuse to buy bourbon, you see. Scratch that — I really needed an excuse to make pancakes. Fancy pancakes. Pancakes with pizazz. And what better way to give your pancakes pizazz than to mix them with bourbon (yum) and bacon (double yum)? There is no better way.

everything breadsticks

Everything Breadsticks

I really wasn’t sure what to call this post.

Flatbread sticks?

Flat breadsticks?

Seedy breadsticks? No, that’s weird.

So, everything breadsticks it is. That way, it covers both the seeded, “everything” topping and the fact that these breadsticks turned out to be, well, all sorts of shapes. Mostly flat. Just how we used to think the Earth was.