Tag Archives: kitchen

Bread-Making vs Bead-Making

28 Dec

Being creative in the kitchen can be fun.

Being creative in the kitchen can be fun.

Club Creative Studio is sharing creativity in a different way today. We’d like to encourage you to be creative in the kitchen.  If you are a natural at being comfortable with kitchen creativity, specifically baking great. If you find it challenging to stick to a recipe and create food in a step-by-step scientific matter, then open up your world and try something new…make bread! I can appreciate making bread now because of these comparisons: Making bread, like art takes time but, in the end it is valued for the time spent and the one-of-a-kind aspects of each creation. Each loaf of bread is unique unto itself, just like Club Creative Studio art is.

I made bread and it is just as time consuming as making beads!

I made bread and it is just as time-consuming as making beads, and just as great to enjoy in the end.

I don’t really know what prompted me to try to make bread. It may have been watching many food network shows in a row that gave me the confidence to want to try to be successful in the kitchen.  Normally, this is the last place that I want to be. I am most comfortable working with a different kind of material my “dough” is most commonly polymer clay, or glass not flour and yeast.

In comparison, however, my workspace supplies and the kitchen materials do have similarities. In fact, I have many stolen tools from my kitchen that I have transformed for use exclusive to clay. For example, the cutting board, pastry cutters, the sharp pick-like tool for cracking nuts, various mint molds and cookie cutters, pasta machine, toaster oven, mini-chopper, rolling-pin, empty spice containers, spice rack, bamboo sticks and empty tin cans are all now part of my studio tools because they are most used to benefit me there.

I can appreciate knowing that there is room for adjustments and experimentation in both settings.  There is an exact science to creating items out of polymer clay and glass, as well as bread-making techniques.  I am sharing ways today that one recipe can allow for experimentation.  Incorporating your own personality into your art and baking can be an important aspect to sharing your skills in a more expressive way.

Below is the basic recipe that I followed to make my loaf of wheat bread. What I found online was wonderful. The recipe was posted and then many others posted their comments and questions. Many shared how they made the recipe their own to fit their needs or just try out their different creative ideas with the recipe.  This was interesting to me to learn the various ways that people used ingredients to change the recipe to suit their specific tastes.  It made me realize even more that we are all individuals. We may all like bread as a common love, just as we may all like jewelry but, we also have our specific needs and taste, just as we have our individual taste in jewelry fashion and needs of specific styles.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread makes two loaves 1 lb whole wheat flour 12 oz hot water 8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour 1 5 oz can evaporated milk, 1/3 cup honey 2 teaspoons salt 3 teaspoons instant yeast an additional 1/2-1 cup flour, as necessary, to achieve the desired consistency.

Making bread is sort of like making beads...

Here is a close-up of my home-made bread. Making bread is sort of like making beads, both take time to create.

 http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/wholewheathoneybread

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour. Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes. Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic (I put them in a plastic bag), and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes. During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

My home-made bread sliced and ready to enjoy.

My home-made bread sliced and ready to enjoy.

Here are a few things that people changed in the recipe to creatively make it their own:

~substitute milk for evaporated milk

~ add more water instead of milk

~ substitute soy milk for evaporated milk

~substitute dried whole milk powder

~add agave nectar instead of the honey

~add sugar to taste

~add molassas instead of honey

~add raisins, sun flower seeds, or oats

~reverse the flour measurements of wheat and white

~brush egg on top of bread to finish

~pour additional honey on top of dough to bake in

Let me know if you try the recipe out, adjust it, or make a different type of bread. I have learned that bread-making like bead-making takes time and patience, and the methods can be altered to express your own creativity. It was also well worth it to smell and taste a hand-made bread creation made from scratch, just as it is worth it to wear a hand-made beaded item. I will stick to bead-making for now as my “go-to” creative activity vice bread-making but, it won’t stop me from being creative in the kitchen when I have to be there.

To view more creative items made with beads (not bread), check out the evolving inventory of hand-made beaded items at: http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

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Making Jewelry Stinks (sometimes)

20 Jul

It does, this idea does stink but, with artful results.

Today’s Club Creative Studio post is a special feature post that deals with a great idea that stems from what might seem as an unlikely place in jewelry-making, it is the location called your kitchen.   I love to discover a technique that is interesting and this one is so worth sharing.

Although we love for things to come out of our kitchen smelling wonderful, this is a kitchen/jewelry project that really stinks!  Consider yourself warned AND informed.  In this case, what stinks is also pretty cool.  If you are making jewelry and enjoy experimenting, this is something that you may be interested in trying, or at least it is nice to know.

People called “Foodies” are great fans of food.  If you are one that spends many hours in the kitchen creatively cooking, baking or eating, then you know how important that environment can be.  It can be a space of much discovery. And so today, you can combine the kitchen, food and jewelry making all in one project.

How could this be that all of those things can combine in an artful way?  Let me share a tip I came across that is helpful for those who like to experiment and find options to incorporate in their creative jewelry creations. Don’t be chicken (like me) try it and let me know about your results.  It’s and Egg-cellent idea. 

Did you know that you can use a hard-boiled egg to create the look of patina on sterling silver wire findings? You’ll need a hard-boiled egg, sterling silver item, a zip-seal plastic bag. Here is what you do for the process:  After hard boiling your eggs while they are still hot, take your peeled hard-boiled eggs and slice them in half, placing in the air-tight bag.

The yolk is the primary source of sulfur and it is the yolk that will be reacting chemically to the sterling silver item you place in a bag.  For an average-sized single piece of jewelry, two eggs will be enough, but the larger the item, the more eggs you need. To oxidize multiple pieces of jewelry, you will need to add more eggs, and use a larger bag as well.

The aim of this project is to turn sterling silver items into items with an aged and patina-look.

Waiting for the oxidation process is next, the silver will bond with oxygen.  Leave the contents in the closed zipped bag for a few days, when it oxidizes, you’ll want to brush your item with fine steel wool.  Polishing with a soft cloth afterwards will complete your project.  You hope to come out of this with a nice aged-look on your item. The longer you leave it in the bag, the darker your patina will be. Make sure to discard your eggs when done, do not consume them.

The alternative to this method in the kitchen is of course using Liver of sulfur (which actually smells the same) but, this is a natural way to avoid that chemical.

I look forward to trying this technique as I become a bit more brave with rotting egg smell.  However, if it works, in the end it doesn’t stink after all.

Do not eat the eggs after you have completed this project.

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