Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Food Photo

I wish I could remember who asked me for a bread recipe this past week. I can't. But if I put my current one up here, if that person ever asks again, I'll just tell her (him?) to go check my blog.

This is a constantly evolving recipe. When I first started making bread, I started out with with this. It's a good basic bread with some whole wheat flour in it. However, I eventually wanted to take the bread flour out of the equation. I have a friend who grows wheat in Georgia, has it milled at Falls Mill in Belevidere, TN -- which is powered with water -- and produces Sonrisa flour. It's delicious, sustainably-produced flour and I didn't want to cut it with anything. Besides, people did manage to make bread back in the days before specialty flours, so surely I could find a way to manage in my modern kitchen!

I toyed around with some of Peter Reinhart's whole grain recipes, which are great (his whole wheat pitas are incredible!), but require some forethought (the challenge with whole wheat bread is giving the gluten time to develop, and Reinhart's solution is to mix the ingredients up a day ahead of time). I want to have a go-to recipe for when I'm not that patient.

Then I found this: Everyday 100% Whole Wheat Bread. My first pass at it was quite promising. I followed the recipe pretty exactly and the bread was very soft and yummy, though I found the coconut oil flavor to be a bit strong, even after baking. I tried the recipe again last night, with a few adjustments, and was very pleased with the results! Here's my simplified recipe (I also cut it down to a single loaf, because I like really fresh bread and am happy to cook just one at a time):

1¼ cups warm water
3½ cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp honey
2¼ tsp yeast
1 tsp sea salt

In a bowl, stir water, 1½ cups flour, honey and yeast. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Add the sea salt and the remaining 2 cups (give or take) of flour. Mix it well, knead the dough for a minute (or until you think it feels right), and then form a log and put it in a loaf pan.

Let it rise until it has doubled in size (about 30 minutes).

Bake in a 350° oven for 20-30 minutes or so.

That's it! An hour and a half from start to finish! The loaf I made last night did not get all that brown, but it was very tasty and it had, as they say in the industry, a good crumb (despite the fact that I let it rise a little too long the second time around):

Have a great weekend, everyone!! Be safe, healthy, happy, and treat yourself to something homemade if you can!!

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