What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Monday, February 08, 2010

Bread Cloth Tutorial

Last week I told you I had a self-diagnosed case of Winter/1st trimester blues and I also told you I had self-prescribed the latest medication called the Blues-Buster (scientific name: createsomethingeveryweekuntilspringticus)

Last week was my first project and started out SIMPLE, but tackled a to-do that has been on my list since last summer. (Why does it seem the easier the project the more procrastinating?)


I am a bread maker. As you probably know, I am going to amp up that title pretty good in the next few months so now is as good a time as any to get this project off my to-do list.

I have this GIGUNDO bowl with about an 18 inch diameter. I bought it for a large bread recipe and wondered what I would EVER use the thing for besides that. Turns out~ SO MUCH. That bowl is such an asset now and is used weekly. For harvesting. For canning. For rinsing. For kneading (without making a sticky flour mess on the counter!). For huge vats of popcorn. Pizza night. I use the thing all the time.

Only problem is: when rising, a dishtowel doesn't cut it (it isn't wide enough to cover the whole thing) and plastic wrap seems like such a waste. I noticed the problem especially, this past summer when I would plunk my dough out in the sunshine to rise and cover it with plastic wrap so no bugs would get any clever ideas. I thought then, how nice it would be to have a rising cloth that actually fit!

It occurred to me, too, how handy it would be to make sure said rising cloth was properly weighted so a bit of wind wouldn't set it sailing.

Thus, the weighted rising cloth was born. If you know how to straight-stitch you can do this. In fact, I feel sorta bad making this a tutorial at all, since it is such an elementary project but I have seen tutes for cloth napkins (that people actually appreciated) so-I guess I can do this.

Here goes nothin'.....

Step 1: Measure your bowl. Add 2 inches to that measurement. 1 inch for overhang and 1 inch for your seam allowances ( 1/2 inch seam allowance each end) and cut your fabric. My gigundo bowl was 18 inches across so I cut the fabric 20 inches, squared. If you have a gigundo bowl, feel free to do the same.

Step 2: Fold 1/2 inch down on one side and Iron to crease. Open it up then fold the raw edge down flush against the crease. Iron again. Then tuck THAT over, encasing the raw edge. Your initial crease (the 1/2 in. seam allowance) will now be on top and the hem will be 1/4 in. Pin in place.

Step 3: Miter corners. I don't know how everyone else does it. This is how I do it and it works for me...but if you have a better way~by all means. Ignore me! Mattie does all the time!

Step 4: Continue around all four sides and stitch into place.

Step 5: Find a weight: washers, nuts, and quarters all work well. I used quarters because, if ever I am in a pinch, I will know where that last buck is.... ;-) Trace a simple circle (or in this case a heart) allowing a bit of extra space for stitching. I used felt to avoid all that applique mumbo-jumbo. You can too. Or not. Whatever.

Step 6: Place it in all four corners and stitch it on. (Be sure to use a hide-able thread since your stitching will show up on front.) You can stitch the whole thing closed (with weight already inside) or leave a space on top to make weight removeable.

And that's it!

A fabulous rising cloth! My bread won't be rising outside anytime soon-15 degree weather isn't really conducive to rising-but I have a nice woodstove that does the job really well in the meantime. And now a rising cloth to be sure so specks of soot float too close!

The end result of above baking? Three loaves of egg bread, deliciously golden. Yum-o. It's official...a rising cloth IS worthwhile.


...they call me mommy... said...

YUM! :) That last picture...delish! Thanks for this great idea...guess what I got for Christmas? A bowl JUST like that one! I was sooooo excited!

Anonymous said...

OoooOOOOOoooo! Very pretty! And if that last picture is bread YOU made, you are the bread queen! It's gorgeous! I've used terry cloth towels before and had terry hairs in my bread from where it stuck. Not cool. Thanks for the tutorial! Hope you're feeling spry these days.


Nanci said...

Very clever project. I really like the fabric (it reminds me of you). You get A++++ for the weights idea.

Grandma Bibby said...

That bread looks absolutely fabulous! I would like to dive into a loaf about now.

On another topic - I think having this 4th child on August 27 would be quite wonderful. :-)

Grandma Bibby said...

Oh, and I love the dutch cloth bread cover. Nice print.

Bonnie said...

First I LOVE the fabric! Is it from your Oma's collection? (I ask since it is obviously Dutch...)
Second FABULOUS idea. The weighted corners are brilliant, I am absolutely making one of these, and I'm going to figure out how to make my gigundo bowl usable (Its an old wooden bread bowl- that sets my Mom to slobbering every time she sees it)
Lastly, I am now in the mood to make bread. Scads of it. French toast with homemade cinnamon bread for Biscuit's birthday dinner tomorrow it is!
P.S. If you read this tonight, I'll be posting Honeys completed doll house pictures in the AM.
And, I am sending you 2 of my favorite bread recipes- oatmeal and pita. Oh, and 2 soup recipes. Should be mailed tomorrow.

Peggy said...

Umm, I can smell your bread from here! I love the idea of a dedicated bread cloth. I've been using my old flour sack towels that Mom embroidered many moons ago when she was living w/ her older sister. I think she was 21 when she made them! For years I kept them wrapped up in a drawer because I didn't want to ruin them. It finally hit me recently that I was hiding something away that was near and dear to my heart! NO MORE! They will be used until they towelling falls apart and then the embroidery will be framed!

Thank you for all your wonderful ideas!! I always come away with wonderful new ideas


Rebecca said...

For those of you who asked: that fabric was actually one that I got at a yardsale for a "fill the bag for a buck" deal. I made out with flannel, knit, cordoroy and cotton. So-it was about 10cents. or Less.

And yes-it looked Dutch to me too...that's why I was so excited about it!

Anonymous said...

Cool cloth :-)

Now for purely selfish reasons, a quick question. Are you planning to post some bread recipes on your foodie blog? Hope so, if you are going to making lots of different bread products.

Cheers, Wilm in NZ

Rebecca said...

I do, indeed, Wilm.

I didn't know anybody actually checked that long forsaken blog.

It was forsaken due to lack of daylight for photos this winter but I have about five recipes photographed to share now that days are beginning to grow longer. Yay.

Full of Grace said...

Beautiful work, perfect for covering over a warm bread for company as well :)

Victoria said...

I was told that cheese cloth is the best to cover bread with. Does it do a good job? I always just use my dish cloth but when i have alot of dough to let rise, especially rolls in the final rise, I run out of towels. Thanks.

Rebecca said...

Victoria~ I have never used cheesecloth before, but I almost think that would allow too much air to get to the dough and then it would dry it out. Maybe not. I haven't tried it. I just use my cotton fabric cloth and that works wonderfully for me.