Monday, November 24, 2008

Food blogging

Yes, there's a lot of news, bailouts, yucky stuff.  But it's also Thanksgiving week, and so I'm going to post some of my favorite recipes this week.  Feel free to try, comment, share!

I make the sandwich bread at my house.  I read this book about two years ago and got weirded out about mass-produced food for a while.  Well, the cereal and Hostess treats and granola bars have made their way back into our house but the bread habit is here to stay.  Here's the recipe, modified a lot from the Betty Crocker recipe I started with:

Whole-Wheat Bread, two loaves

3 cups whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur flour for our bread)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey, molasses, or grade B maple syrup
4 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 tbsp. salt (DON'T FORGET THE SALT!)

Put these in the mixer fitted with a bread hook and blend for a minute.  Then add:

2 1/4 cups hot tap water

Mix again for about a minute.  Now add:

3 1/2 cups bread flour

Now mix/knead for about 10 minutes.  The mixer will get hot!  (I've burned out one mixer already on this recipe.)  If the dough looks too loose, too batter-y, add a little more flour.  By the time you're done the dough should form a mass around the bread hook.

Now, if you want, dump the dough onto the counter and give it a couple of kneads.  This is part of the fun of baking bread!  Then, pull it into a ball and put it into a large greased bowl.  (Pam is fine for this.)  Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for about an hour--here is what I do:  Fill up a big pot with hot tap water.  Put it onto the bottom of a cold oven.  Put the bowl with dough on a rack above the water.  The oven will get a little warm with that hot tap water and it's the perfect way to let the bread rise.

Okay, after an hour, pull out this beautiful, puffy dough and punch it.  Yes, deflate's okay, like the South it shall rise again.  Divide the dough in half, then stretch and pull one piece into a wide rectangle.  Fold it in thirds, then roll it into a loaf starting from one of the open ends.  If it's not quite as long as your loaf pan, that's okay.  Roll it a little (like you used to with playdough when you made worms), just enough to get it a little longer.  Put it into a greased loaf pan.  Repeat with the other loaf.  Now pop them back into their rising oven for another forty minutes or so.  Don't panic if rising times aren't exact!

Now for the baking:  375, for forty minutes.  Now take the loaf out of the pan (doesn't it smell good?!) and place the loaf back in the oven UPSIDE DOWN for about three minutes.  This browns the bottom and keeps the loaf from getting soggy.  When you take it out of the oven this time, lay the loaf on its side on a wire rack.  That's it!  It looks like a lot of work but really it doesn't take much more time than a batch of cookies.  Most of the time is rising and waiting.

Enjoy!  I'll post some pictures when mine gets out of the oven.

1 comment:

ZipperTPartee said...

Sounds great Cheryl, I usually cheat and use my bread machine, still better than store bought. I'd like to join in and share a holiday favorite:

Carefully open your refrigerator door.

Scan for any interesting 12 ounce cans or bottles (I prefer bottles)

Carefully remove the selected item and gently place on counter.

Place opener on cap gently pull upward, making sure to keep a firm hand on the base at all times.

Ideally the refrigerator will keep the bottles at 38-40 degrees F unless you are using a dark import and then you may be as much as 10 degrees F higher.

Select your glassware carefully, the following website has some excellentinformation, a "beer clean" glass is very important. Remember that thin unchilled glassware will raise the liqid temp 2 degrees and thick walled unchilled 4-6 degrees (I prefer chilled frosty mugs).

Pour down the middle of the glass, and imbibe away.

I recommend Amstel Light for an everyday smooth beer, but be brave their are hundreds to try.