Friday, May 28, 2010

mostly whole wheat bread

Mostly Whole Wheat Bread

Bread is a labor of love. I always feel a connection with it, once I’ve got my hands in there kneading the dough together… Even so, when you put a batch together, it doesn’t have to be time consuming. In fact, I frequently take a few minutes to toss a batch together while I’m making dinner at night for our family. The oven is already on, so the back of the stovetop provides the perfect spot for the dough to rise quickly… this is my every day bread that I bake for our family weekly.

2 ½ c. while wheat flour
1 ½ c. all purpose flour
1 heaping T. rapid rise yeast
1 scant Tablespoon sea salt – meaning, not quite, but almost.
1 ¾- 2 c. warm water
1 T. soft, unsalted butter
Whisk together flours, yeast and salt in a large, heavy bowl. Measure your warm water. Getting the right temperature can be a bit touchy. The easiest way to check is to shoot for something that would be comfortable for a hot bath – but not too hot. That would kill your yeast.  Pour the warm water over and lightly toss together until you get a mixture resembling a shaggy fur. Squidge chunks of butter off and toss with the mixture. At this point you’ll have to discard your spoon and dig in with your hands. Knead the dough by folding it over and pushing away from your body. Fold and push. Fold and push. Continue to knead for 8-10 minutes. Once you notice the dough start to spring back and develop an elastic quality, it ready to sit to rise.

Roll or round off into a nice ball in the bowl and cover with a dry cloth. Leave it in a warm place to rise until it’s roughly doubled in size. I made this with our youngest son last week and told him that we would check it later because it would get big all by itself. Sure enough, he was fascinated. When your dough is ready to bake, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease the center of a cookie sheet with olive oil.  Grab the risen dough out of the bowl and punch the air out. Roll into a ball and flatten slightly (it’ll rise up again in the oven). Set it on your oiled cookie sheet. Pop into the oven and bake for roughly 40-45 minutes.

This bread has a really lovely texture – not crumbly. Crunchy on the outside, but slightly moist on the inside. If you’re not familiar with baking your bread at home, be aware that this’ll store for roughly 5 days – since it has no preservatives. Which is a good thing! If you can’t finish it in that time, be sure to pop it into the freezer. Bread does not store well in the fridge.  The less humid air dries the loaf our faster.  Enjoy!

*Note: I use all organic ingredients in my recipes...


Connie said...

looks Delicious!!!!What can't you do?LOL {{hugs}}

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe! I'll have to give this a try.

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