May 19, 2010

BBB aka Bread Baking Bunch aka Bread Baking Bitches aka Drink and Bake

Nine months ago I was walking the cluttered aisles of TJMaxx and found a book that would change my life. Ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. I'll just say it added a lot more fun and friendship to my life. The book was a $2.99 bread baking book and as soon as I picked it up, still standing in that cluttered aisle of cheap treasures, I formulated the idea to begin a bread baking group.

Quite similar to how most of my ideas begin to take shape, I called the bff and asked her if she'd be interested. Her response, as usual, "you plan it, and I'll come." (She will be receiving an extra jewel on her crown in heaven for how many things she participates in that I drag her to.) So I went to work.

The first thing I needed to do was practice the basic bread recipe. I couldn't be teaching a group how to do this if I couldn't do it myself, right? So here's my first ever loaf of wheat bread...

So after I proved to myself that I could indeed bake a loaf of bread that actually tasted good, I called up a few friends and asked them if they'd be interested in getting together to learn. They were. So back in September 2009, we had the inaugural meeting of BBB - Bread Baking Bunch. I taught everyone how to make a loaf of bread, we drank a lot of wine (too much wine) and enjoyed each others company.

We began the night at 6:30 and ended it around midnight. It was so much fun and we all decided we wanted to do it again. So in October, we went to Jeannie's house for a tutorial on cranberry orange scones and buttermilk biscuits and to, again, drink too much wine.


Those were so delicious. November's group was held at Chandler's house where she taught us how to make a cream cheese braid, which better be served in heaven. Rachel, a new member at this meeting, suggested we rename our group "Bread Baking Bitches" and coined the phrase, "Drink & Bake", because that's essentially what we do.
Jeannie spreading the cream cheese
Chandler and me
Sara and Bea

In December, we decided we'd let the men in our life in on our new found talent. We had a cookout and cookie bake with the guys and named our party the "Drink & Bake." We made gingerbread men, peppermint bark, and cranberry white chocolate shortbread.

Our invitation:
Jeannie, Michelle, Leah, Erin, and Rachel
Haley, Jeannie, me
Our gingerbread men!
Busy decorating
Erin and Leah
Mark, Joel, Lance, and Wes...and their dixie cups
So much wine
Leah, Erin, me, Sara, Rachel

Whew! The Drink and Bake was awesome. In January, we deviated a bit from bread onto another carb - PASTA! Sara spent a summer in Europe taking cooking classes and learned how to make homemade pasta. It's soo simple and fun to make! We made ravioli with a homemade filling, homemade sauce, and homemade tomato chips! And, of course, we drank a lot of wine. This meeting really solidified our group, I think. The regular members are myself, Jeannie, Rachel, Chandler, Michelle, Sara, Erin Pringle, Leah, Lindsay, and Erin Prielozny.

You start with a little Semolina flour and an egg
And then you get really messy
And you drink a little wine
And then you streeeetttcccchhh out the pasta to paper thin
I love this picture
Stuffing the ravioli
Yummy sauce
Perfect ravioli
Live, reporting from the scene of Hurricane Pasta
Jeannie, Erin, Leah, and Sara
Jeannie and Sara
And by the time it's all over, you've consumed an insane amount of alcohol. Yep, that's pretty much how each meeting goes!

In February, Erin and Leah taught us how to make homemade pretzels and homemade dipping sauces!

Michelle & Rachel
Mound of dough
Leah, Erin, Jeannie, me, Rachel, Michelle

In March, Rachel hosted and taught us how to make a Southern classic - cheese straws.

Michelle cranking out the straws
Erin and Michelle
Clockwise from top left: Lindsay, Erin Prielozny, me, Sara, Michelle, Rachel, Chandler, and Erin Pringle 
And of course, the aftermath

In April, we met at my house to learn how to make pizza dough. Turns out, the dough didn't rise. Thank goodness we had a back-up plan - Publix sells raw, already risen pizza dough for $2.50 in the bakery. Thank you Publix! We decided this would be our "Semi-homemade" night as we channeled our inner Sandra Lee's. We decided that even though we had this failure, we are still domestic goddesses.

My awesome toppings spread
Rachel and Chandler
You still have to roll out the Publix pizza dough so it still kinda felt authentic
Just your typical BBB table-scape
Mmmm so good!

So that's nine months of bread groups, nine months of lots and lots of wine, nine months of new friendships forming, and nine months of tons o' fun. This month, we're hosting a Mother/Daughter bread group in honor of Mother's Day. We'll be teaching our moms how to make a loaf of wheat bread. And then in June, we're taking a trip to Chateau Elan for a winery tour, cooking class, and spa time! It's going to be a blast!


amber said...

Yum! If I still lived in town, I would be crashing your party! If y'all ever try to do the pizza again, check out Ben's blog post about it. We make it all the time and it always comes out perfect. I hope we can catch up this weekend!

PeyPey said...

Will do! I think the yeast I used was bad or something. And if you're ever in town when there's a BBB meeting, you could be our guest of honor!

Linell said...

The mother-daughter evening was so fun, I'd like to suggest that it be a yearly event! My bread was delicious and the wine and company were perfect! Thank you for including us!