Monday, October 1, 2012

Wheat Bread and a Change of Plans


 
He changed his mind.

In the early morning hours on the day my husband, Michael, was to have quadruple bypass surgery, he pulled me close in the darkened hospital room and quietly said, “I don’t think surgery is the right thing for me. I want to try something else first. And I need you to stand by my decision.”

At first I thought my sweetheart was just afraid, but it soon became clear Michael truly believed deep down inside that surgery wasn’t the right path for him to take. So we broke the news to nurses, doctors, family and friends. After a lot of shocked reactions and serious discussions, everyone rallied around him and came up with a new plan. He hasn’t ruled out surgery completely, but for now we are trying new medicines and diet changes to keep his heart as strong as possible.

So instead of spending Friday waiting for word from the operating room and giving comfort in the intensive care unit, we came home to begin adjusting to our new “normal” life. Our daily activities are the same as before this hospital stay, but now there is always that small realization in the back of my mind that something is different.

I’m trying very hard not to be a hovering, worrisome, nagging wife…but sometimes I can’t help it. As each day passes, my stress level lessens as I learn to turn my worries over to God, since He’s the one ultimately in charge.

Thank you everyone who sent get-well wishes and support on this blog and also through Facebook and Twitter. I can’t tell you how much your thoughts meant to me.

On our first full day home from the hospital, I made wheat bread. There is something comforting in the process of mixing flour, yeast, and water together to create this basic dietary staple. Since I find kneading dough by hand stressful (I never seem to get it right!), I let my handy-dandy Kitchen Aid mixer do the work.

As the smell of baking bread filled our apartment, my anxiety was quietly replaced with a sense of home and well-being. And The Picky Eater liked it!

Everything will be okay.

Wheat Bread
Adapted from one found in the cookbook that came with my Kitchen Aid mixer.
Makes 2 loaves

1/2 cup fat-free milk
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees, or just warm to the touch)
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 to 4 coups all-purpose flour

In a small sauce pan, heat the milk, honey, salt and butter just until the butter has melted and the honey and salt are dissolved. Set aside.

In the bowl of the mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the whole wheat flour and 2 1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour. Add the milk-butter mixture. Mix with the dough hook on speed 2 for about 1 minute.

With the mixer still running, add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is cleaned from the sides of the mixing bowl and clings to the dough hook, about 2 minutes. Continue to mix for an additional 2 minutes to knead the dough. When finished, the dough should be smooth and slightly sticky to the touch.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, making sure to grease the top of the dough, and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot free from drafts to let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. (I preheat my oven at 400 degrees for just 1 minute, shut it off, and place the bowl with the dough inside to rise.)

After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it in half. Roll out each half on a lightly floured surface into a 9- x 14-inch rectangle. Starting from the 9-inch side, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the seam to close and tuck under the sides. Place the dough, seam side down, into a greased loaf pan. Cover with a towel and allow the dough to rise again until doubled in bulk, about one hour.

Place the loaf pans into a preheated 400-degree oven and bake until golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the baked loves immediately from the pans and allow to cool on a wire rack.

2 comments:

Kimberly Hocking said...

Welcome Home Guys:)Loves ya!!!

Susan Lindquist said...

Everything will be okay! You're home and you have wonderful support ... will be thinking of you as you do the med and diet thing ... stay well ... both of you! Virtual hug!