Tag Archives: homemade bread

My Daily Bread and Sometimes Whole Wheat and Rye Bread

Whole Wheat and Rye Bread
Whole Wheat and Rye Bread

My Daily Bread means different things on different days.  Some days it just means I want to make fresh, homemade, fragrant bread for my family.  Other days it means I need to spend lots and lots of time in prayer. It means I need the Lord’s strength as food for my soul.
Lately, He has been my strength, my daily bread, my all-in-all, even more than usual.

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”   – Matthew 4:4

On February 20,  my hiking-husband and my cousin Tim, left for an adventure of a lifetime.  They began a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail.  I wasn’t ready for the emotional roller coaster I would be riding  during those first trail days.
But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

My Nephew’s Family-Favorite Pepperoni Bread

Homemade Pepperoni Bread
Homemade Pepperoni Bread

After a full-on Thanksgiving week of turkey, baked sliced ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, and a zillion side dishes I am usually “over-it.” Toss in a couple of holiday parties featuring turkey or ham and when Christmas dinner rolls around I am designing a menu based on pasta sauce or even meatloaf!

I don’t think it is all that unusual for families to choose lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs for their holiday get-togethers.  For our family, a pasta meal means one more thing … pepperoni bread!
But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

100% Whole Wheat Bread

whole wheat bread stacked sliced
Besides being the chief gardener, chief culinary consultant, and chief everything else my sweet husband is also the chief flour grinder.  A few years ago we bought a 5 gallon bucket of winter wheat berries.  (Yikes, that is a lot of berries!)  And so we have ground our own whole wheat flour for some time now.

wheat grinder Lee
Recently, the chief ground a big ‘ol plastic container of flour.  I got excited about the fresh whole wheat flour. The fragrance was divine and the flour slightly warm from the grinding.  It didn’t take me long to have the ingredients in my Kitchen Aid mixer.

wheat berries
I decided to use a recipe that I found on the King Arthur Flour website.  After all, they are a flour company, surely their bread recipe would be better than others. “Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread — who says whole wheat bread has to be dense, dry, and tasteless?” says the company website.

Whole Wheat Bread Rising
This recipe is a keeper!  I still can’t believe there is no white flour in this bread.  The crumb is beautiful. Slightly nutty and perfect for sandwiches.  And toast.  And butter and jam.  And honey. And grilled cheese sandwiches. Oh yeah.

Whole Wheat Bread Sliced
The crust is a darker brown than some others.  That is because the recipe calls for honey, or molasses, or maple syrup for sweetness.  Since I tripled the recipe and made 3 loaves, I used honey, and molasses, AND maple syrup for sweetness.  I highly recommend this trio for a perfect trifecta!

Happy Baking!
~Catherine

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.    John 6:35

100% Whole Wheat Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
King Arthur knows best when it comes to 100% whole wheat bread! Give this a try, you'll love it!
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1 to 1⅛ cups lukewarm water*
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup honey, molasses, or maple syrup
  • 3½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 2½ teaspoons instant yeast or 1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water in the recipe.
  • ¼ cup nonfat dried milk
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. For easiest, most effective kneading, let the dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes in the bowl; this gives the flour a chance to absorb some of the liquid, and the bran to soften. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine programmed for "dough" or "manual.") Note: This dough should be soft, yet still firm enough to knead. Adjust its consistency with additional water or flour, if necessary.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or large measuring cup, cover it, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8" log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8½" x 4½" loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 to 2 hours, or till the center has crowned about 1" above the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. The finished loaf will register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center.
  5. Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. If desired, rub the crust with a stick of butter; this will yield a soft, flavorful crust. Cool completely before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.
Notes
* Water - use the greater amount in winter or in a dry climate; the lesser amount in summer or a humid climate.

Check out King Arthur website for additional bread baking tips:
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/classic-100-whole-wheat-bread-recipe

 

 

 

 

TWD: Whole Wheat Loaves

If you have been with me very long you will know I LOVE baking bread!  You will also know that every-other-Tuesday I join about 400+ bakers around the world as we are baking our way through Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Baking With Julia.  So when Whole Wheat Loaves came up as our next Tuesdays With Dorie recipe I was thrilled.  In our home we typically eat whole wheat or multi-grain bread, except of course when the TWD recipe was White Loaves! Then I made white bread and as you can see, my sous-chef dish-washing mom especially likes it!  I think she would prefer white bread all the time … but you know, healthy eating and all that jazz dictates wheat, wheat, wheat…

The first bread I ever made was Hot Roll Mix purchased in a box that included the flour mixture and yeast. I was 18 years old, newly married and had no idea what I was doing — in and out of the kitchen.  I dissolved the yeast in water, mixed it with the flour and with any luck at all I would have yeasty rolls for dinner.  Sometimes they were good, sometimes they were little bricks.  I have no idea why, one way or the other.

Hundreds of loaves later … the wheat bread recipe from Baking With Julia, is the perfect recipe to add to any recipe arsenal. In Dorie’s own words, “… this bread has the flavor and heft to stand up to strong cheeses and spicy cold cuts, making it first-class sandwich fare.”

Honey sweetens the bread slightly.  Julia’s recipe calls for malt extract. When the mood struck me to make this bread for the first time, I didn’t have malt extract on hand. I didn’t use it although I plan to buy it when I find it and give it a try.

What I didn’t know “back then” and is a “must know” now, is that the liquid (water or milk) needs to be between 105 degrees F. and 115 degrees F. when used to dissolve the yeast.  Any cooler the yeast won’t bloom, any hotter runs the risk of killing the yeast.  For me about 110 degrees F. is just perfect. I remember when recipes stated “water should be the temperature of a baby’s bottle.”  Oookkkkaaay …. whatever that means.  Trust me on this one, when making bread get an instant read thermometer, warm the water to 105 to 115 and you will be off to a GREAT start!
Yeast, water, honey and a few minutes “resting” will cause the active yeast to bloom beautifully as it begins to bubble.  The rest of the ingredients are added into this incredibly fragrant liquid.  Often times bakers are confused about the different types of yeast and what to use if a recipe calls for one kind, but all you have is another.  There are three basic types of yeast:  fresh (or cake), instant, and active dry. One of my fellow Tuesdays with Dorie bakers wrote a very informative blog post about yeast.  Check it out at Of Cabbages and King Cakes.

I always include Vital Wheat Gluten when I make bread.  It isn’t part of this recipe, but it is always part of mine 🙂  Vital Wheat Gluten helps the bread to rise higher, stay fresher, while increasing protein and improving the shape.  I notice a difference when I use it.
My bread dough was mixed in a Kitchen Aid mixer and kneaded for 10 minutes. I love this part.  I add the flour slowly leaving about 3/4 cup to add one tablespoon at a time while the bread is being kneaded.  My hands aren’t actually doing the kneading but I tend to the dough, scrape down the sides and watching for the moment the dough leaves the sides of the bowl and forms into a ball. I stop adding flour at that time.  Even if I have 1/4 to 1/2 cup left I don’t add it.  Adding too much flour is how I made “bricks” in the past.
The dough is oiled and placed in a bowl to rise, doubling in size.  This takes about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the temperature indoors, outdoors, the humidity and a multitude of other factors that I am sure have sabotaged my bread … in the past.  Once the dough has risen a first time, it is divided, shaped and placed in baking pans to rise again.  When the dough rises about 1″ above the pan line it is ready for the oven.

This bread bakes at 375 degrees F. for about 35 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown.  Now is the second time you will want to use your instant read thermometer. When the bread is done it will register 200 degrees F. on the instant read. The easiest way to know is to take the bread out of the oven, tip the pan and let the loaf fall on its top.  Quickly plunge the thermometer into the bottom of the loaf.  At 200 degrees F. – DONE!
The loaves should be removed from their pans as soon as they come from the oven and cooled on racks.  Here comes the hard part … these should not be cut until they are almost completely cool.  We most generally cut too early, slather on butter and enjoy!  This recipe makes great bread for toast and sandwiches.

The recipe in full detail can be found in a couple places:  Dorie Greenspan’s book, Baking With Julia or from our hosts for this week:

Michele of Veggie Num Nums
Teresa of The Family That Bakes Together

Thanks for reading along!
~Many Blessings, Catherine

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