July 10, 2007

Experimenting with Bread

As you can see from my previous post about how I cook, I try to make the healthiest foods I can. I make most of our food from scratch, but I generally buy bread. For awhile I was in the habit of making our bread, and it was good. I made it the way most people do though with regular yeast, which isn't necessarily good for you. However, we started moving and bread making went out the window, at least regular bread baking did. So, I'm experimenting with different recipes and methods to see what will work for our family. I made Candy's recipe for amazing bread, which was easy and since it takes a long time to rise, kind of takes care of itself, plus it uses sourdough starter, much better since it's a natural form of leavening. However it is a strong taste and texture than the store bought kind.

I had been wanting to try Hillbillyhousewife's method- which uses only a little yeast and it takes 12-18hrs for the dough to rise. I thought if I used buttermilk it would get rid of the phytates in the whole wheat flour, which lock onto the precious nutrients-vitamins and minerals- and make them unavailable to your body for nourishment. So last night I have it a try.

The ingredients:

1 cup warm water
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon yeast
about 2 T honey
1.5 teaspoons of salt
2-3 T softened butter
5-6 cups of whole wheat pastry flour (very finely ground whole wheat)

I did the usual- combine water with yeast and honey and buttermilk, let sit for a few minutes to dissolve yeast. Then I added the salt, butter, and 2 cups of flour. (I used a kitchen aid mixer) Then I switched to the dough hook attachment for the next 3 cups of flour. I took the dough out and kneaded it about 10 minutes, adding about 1/2 c more flour. It did not take the full 6 cups. Then I greased a bowl and rolled the ball of dough around in it, covered with a damp towel and let it rise. I did this around 8pm and at 6:30 am this morning it had doubled in bulk. I didn't think I had enough dough to make two loaves, so I just rolled it out and shaped it into one big loaf. It rose again in the pan for about 45 minutes. When the dough had doubled bulk I baked it at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. It turned into a gigantic loaf of bread!

After it cooled we sliced and buttered and jammed it- it's pretty good. I think it could use a bit more salt and honey for more flavor, but the texture is nice, soft but not crumbly, the crust is crunchy but not super crusty. My kids and I devoured our slices. It was also great with the egg salad we had for lunch. A good all purpose bread with lots of room for variations.

Thursday night I plan to make the full recipe, which makes four loaves, and bake them off Friday and see how we do with the homemade bread. Wished I would have taken a picture of it before I cut into it...oops.


Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your blog! I'll try to visit as often as possible. It's so good to "see" you. You're still so much like I remember. Blessings, Katie

Thirdtimemomma said...

Hey Mama!
Im working on perfecting my bread recipie too! I tried Candi's amazing bread. It turned out like a brick! and I didnt like how sour it was. Mountain Mama's NT breadmaker bread turned out great. I've also done well with Hillbilly Housewife's bread recipies. Except with hers I've done 1/2 white 1/2 wheat. I never thought of premixing my yeast like you did though, maybe that would help my bread?

Thirdtimemomma said...

Hey Jessica.
You soaked the flour? How'd ya do that?
Yeah that is how my Amazing Bread came out, brick like. I mean I couldnt even chew the crust.