Friday, July 13, 2012

Twins and Tens tri-corner cards


Here are some tri-corner cards I made for my daughter. It is a single page, print on card stock and laminate for best results.


Download Twins & Tens printout.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Number Bond Flashcards and Worksheets


I made these Number Bond flashcards and worksheets for my daughter who seems to be having a difficult time getting the facts to cement into her head. This is an approach I haven’t tried yet (except for some triangle cards for the 10’s family and number twins to 20) so we’ll see how it goes.

The first tab in the Excel spreadsheet was my first attempt at cards, but I didn’t end up liking them all that much. You can fold them in half with the question on the front and the answer on the back. I’ll leave them in just in case you can find a use for them.

My second attempt was tab 2 which are larger cards to be printed front and back like traditional flashcards. There is plenty of white space at the bottom for holding on to the card and flipping it over to see the answer.

Tab 3 is the same as tab 2, except it includes multiplication facts from 1-20 (zeros not included).


The last 2 tabs are worksheet generators. Mixed Families is for a variety of fact families, while Same Family is for learning a single fact family. I have directions in there on how to make adjustments to the numbers before printing.

Download Number Bond spreadsheet here.

Old Yeast

I’m definitely having some rising issues. My last batch of bread took parts of 2 days to complete (some of it spent in the fridge), even with the addition of an extra tsp. of yeast. I use Fleischmann’s ADY Instant Yeast in the 1 pound vacuum pack. The yeast I’m using right now is probably over a year old, but it has been kept in the fridge the whole time.
I do think that its age is part of the problem and I have been aware of the slowness of this yeast for awhile and got around it by proofing it in warm water with a pinch of sugar added to perk it up. However, since I started doing a preferment and soaking another portion of my flower, I’m left with no water to proof my rather large yeast particles (about the size of mustard seeds). The texture of this last batch of bread was fine, no complaints as to the tooth feel/crumb, but I do wish the loaves had peaked about 50% higher than they did.
My plan is to try just doing a preferment with the whole wheat flour and when I’m closer to the point of mixing everything together, proof my yeast in the remaining 1/3 c. water with a pinch of sugar to get it going, then mix it with the dough conditioners, sweeteners and some of the flour to autolyse for about 30 minutes before adding the oil, salt and remaining flours. I’m hoping this will get the yeast good and infused into my dough and that it will rise like I expect it to. I’ll keep you posted.

Monday, July 02, 2012

My Other Bread

When I’m not making sourdough (which I need to get back into since the temps are nice and warm again), or when DH is tired of sourdough and is pining for “store yeast” bread, this is my bread of choice.

I think it’s loosely based on a recipe I found on King Arthur Flour website years ago, but it has morphed and changed a bit into what it is today.



1 1/3 c. warm water

handful rolled oats

1 Tbsp. molasses

1/4 c. sugar or honey

3 Tbsp. oil

2 c. whole wheat flour

2 c. white bread flour

1 1/2 tsp. salt

Before we moved where we’re living now, I used to make decent bread and I even had people willing to pay good money for a loaf or two, but since I’ve moved up here, not sure if it’s a location thing or if I have just forgotten how to make bread, but whatever the case, I haven’t been as happy with my breadmaking results.

The crumb has been crumbly recently and I’ve been longing for that lovely, gluteny, chewy tooth feel that I get with less healthy, White Mountain type, store brand breads.

I went on a mission to figure out what I was doing wrong. I think I’ve figured it out. I wasn’t kneading the bread long enough (or at least I wasn’t having my machines [either my Kitchenaid stand mixer or my Bosch Universal]) mix long enough to develop the gluten properly. For some reason my brain was telling me that my dough was cracking as it rose because I’d overmixed the dough, but I was doing just the opposite.

Also, in reading Tammy (of Tammy’s Recipes)’s rundown of natural dough conditioners, I remembered some of the dough conditioners I used to add to my bread (i.e. ground ginger, ascorbic acid powder…) so I’ve been adding those back in as I can get them.

I also have been reading how bread consistency is helped by a preferment and autolysing or soaking some of the flour before mixing all the ingredients together, so I tried it yesterday and was so excited by the results. It adds a little more work, but accomplishes my desire to have my flour (or at least most of it) soak for 7+ hours before baking thus minimizing the phytates in the flour, plus the texture is so So SO much nicer! If I can figure out how to soak my flour overnight, I might try that, but for now, what I’ve managed is:



2 c. ww flour

1 c. water

1 tsp. yeast


1/3 c. water (try 1/4)

1/4 c. honey

1 Tbsp. molasses

Rolled oats

Enough of 2 c. bread flour to mix with liquid


After Preferment and Autolyse have sat at room temperature for 3-4 hours,


1/4 c. oil

2 tsp. yeast (dissolved in just enough milk to cover)

1 1/2 tsp. salt

Pinch of ascorbic acid

2 tsp. pectin

Rest of 2 c. bread flour plus enough to get right consistency

2 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten


Will try a.s.a.p.:

1 rounded Tbsp. Malted Barley Flour

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 c. lecithin granules (I might start with less, Tammy uses 1/2 tsp. per loaf for her bread recipe so 1/4 c. per here sounds like an awful lot!)

Based on the aeration info here, I also tried to whip my preferment and autolysed mixes for about 3 minutes till they

were good and “fluffy” before I added the rest of the ingredients.

Then I added enough flour to get the right consistency and mixed on a 2 setting for about 10 minutes, let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then mixed for 10 more minutes (see here, then here) before transferring to a greased bowl for the first rise.

I’m not big on really crusty bread, I like a softer crust so have been in the habit of baking at 325 deg. for 20-25 minutes, but yesterday, I preheated to 475 deg. and turned the heat down to 325 deg. as soon as I put the loaves in. I think that helped with a little oven spring. Next time I might try an initial temp of 500 deg. Geo gave the crust 2 thumbs up. He said he usually doesn’t like crust, but this crust was nice and chewy like the bread, “kind of like Dad’s potato bread,” so it was just fine. I consider that a compliment :).

As far as more dough conditioners, I will add in lecithin granules and powdered ginger when I can get them from the store.

Another benefit from extending the time it takes to make a batch of bread is that I can slow the baking process down as needed (with the help of the fridge if need-be) allowing me to bake in the cooler evening parts of the day.

Mmmm, I’m anticipating this next batch of bread, can’t wait till it comes out of the oven…

ETA: Note to self--I really need to work on my loaf shaping technique. One thing at a time…

The oven spring wasn’t as high today as yesterday so I’ll go back to 475 deg. instead of 500 deg. for initial temp. Also, I think for the preferment, I might try adding less yeast  and more yeast when I mix everything together. Either that or I’ll just add a little more yeast to the recipe as a whole. When it’s time for the final rise, I would like to see things work a little faster than they did tonight.

Ok, just tasted it and…. yum! And DH gave it the green light as well. I’m glad that the dough conditioners I added (pectin & ascorbic acid) didn’t alter the flavor negatively.