Friday, April 18, 2008

Cooking From Scratch - Baking Bread Update

Ah...sweet success! I told you of my quest to make my own bread and that my friend helped me with some hands on lessons (read about it here). Well, I think I have succeeded!

When I went to Jodi's store, I wanted to recreate exactly how I would be making bread at home. I did this by taking my own flour (ground from my mill) and all my own ingredients. I even lugged my KitchenAid mixer down there!

Jodi helped a lot and the loaves we baked that day were perfect...but could I do this at home? Well, it's been a few days and I've baked four batches of bread since then. The first batch went flat but the kids ate it still tasted too good to throw out. I figured out what I was doing wrong and adjusted accordingly. I have since baked three more batches that turned out beautiful!

I will need to get narrower pans. Mine are an old glass type that is too wide so the bread spreads out and doesn't get quite as tall as I'd like. That won't be hard, Jodi's got some at her store that I've had my eye on.

Here is the recipe I'm using...maybe you'd like to give it a try. My mixer will only hold enough dough for two loaves so if yours is bigger, go ahead and double it.

Whole Wheat Bread

2 1/4 cups warm water
1/8 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon lecithin granules (purchased at health food stores, it keeps the bread moist)
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
6 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt

Add liquids to the bowl. Gradually add 3 cups of flour, yeast, lecithin and gluten while mixing. Stop mixing and scrape bowl and let it "sponge" for about 10 minutes (this means it will bubble and get about twice as high). Turn mixer back on and gradually at 2 cups of flour then the salt. Add the last of the flour until the dough comes clean from the sides of the bowl. Knead for 5 minutes until the dough is elastic. While dough is kneading, prepare pans by coating with oil or non-stick spray. Shape dough into loaves and let rise until rounded over the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool.

Have a great day!

Mavis D.

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