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Work in progress

Big project time.  I just love our family tree images that are for sale and as a present I thought that I would do one for my Aunt, though unlike my family treeImage

which only has 3 images, this one has lots and lots of images. So here is a snapshot of the work in progress

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All the blue hearts are going to be images and there are lots more of the other hearts to be added too.  I’ll show the finished product when its done.

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A Flying Visit

Last week among the down pours of rain we had one lovely day and it was the perfect time to sit out in the garden and watch the clouds go by with baby bee.  We sat singing songs, reading books and generally enjoying the sun, so much so we had a little visit from one of our favourite friends – Mr Bumblebee.

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Bagels and Bees

Over the last couple of weeks Baby Bee and I have been extremely busy, with crafting, orders and generally being mummy and baby bee.  One day when Bee was sleeping I thought I would get my bake on and attempt to make bagels.  I think I did a good job, if I do say so myself.

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These where wholemeal sesame seed bagels and they were delicious and keep in a sealed container for about a week.

We just loved them so I thought I would share the recipe with you all.

Yummy New York Style Bagel Recipe

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast or easy yeast
1 ½ tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups of warm water (you may need ± ¼ cup more, I know I did)
3 ½ cups (500g) of bread flour or high gluten flour(will need extra for kneading) (I used wholemeal)
1 ½ teaspoons of salt

Optional Toppings:
Caraway seeds, coarse salt, minced fresh garlic, minced fresh onion, poppy seeds, or sesame seeds. (You can use anything you fancy)

Preparation:

1. In ½ cup of the warm water, pour in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until it all dissolves in the water.

2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.

3. Pour half of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. Depending on where you live, you may need to add anywhere from a couple tablespoons to about ¼ cup of water. You want to result in a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it.

4. On a floured counter top, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Try working in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.

5. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.

6. Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces (I used a scale to be extra precise, but it’s not necessary). Shape each piece into a round. Now, take a dough ball, and press it gently against the countertop (or whatever work surface you’re using) moving your hand and the ball in a circular motion pulling the dough into itself while reducing the pressure on top of the dough slightly until a perfect dough ball forms (as pictured below). Repeat with 7 other dough rounds.

7. Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.

8. After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF / 220ºC / Gas Mark 7.

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9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil as many as you are comfortable with boiling. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 1 minute, and them flip them over to boil for another minute. Extend the boiling times to 2 minutes each, if you’d prefer a chewier bagel (results will give you a more New York Style bagel with this option).

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10. If you want to top your bagels with stuff, do so as you take them out of the water, you may use the “optional toppings” (listed above) to top the bagels and if you’re risky like me, make a combination of the toppings to top the bagels with, but before hand, you will need to use an egg wash to get the toppings to stick before putting the bagels into the oven.

11. Once all the bagels have boiled (and have been topped with your choice of toppings), transfer them to a lightly oiled baking sheet.

12. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

13. Cool on a wire rack

Makes 8 medium-sized bagels
Recipe modified from  http://www.sophisticatedgourmet.com

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Sewing Machines and Bees

This weekend was rather a productive one, not only did Daddy Bee drive me and Momma Bee a 70 mile round trip to collect the frames for your lovely orders, and our own personal ones too, (Momma Bee would be jealous if she didnt have more pictures of me) we also stopped off for some yummy material to make some babywearing carriers so I get to be extra close to my Momma.  We really have gotten into this babywearing malarkey, it truly is quite addictive and it makes me cosy and sleepy.  Around feeding, cuddles, bum changes and playing Momma Bee managed to get out the sewing machine and turn the lounge into a workshop to sew a Meitai, it was Momma’s first attempt and I don’t think she did to badly, at least she put pretty bee’s on it for me. She also made me a big wrap to keep us extra snug.

Meitai wrap

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We’re Here!!!

This is the official page for Baby Bee Studios where you will find all about the work we are doing and what is going on in the world of Baby Bee and me. Keep posted for daily updates, snapshots of work we are doing and things that go on with Baby Bee behind the scenes.