Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 2011

Sunday, March 6
It's been difficult to post.  I need to get new batteries for my camera which I may remember to do today as I still need to go out.  I have also been going over to Debbie's house every hour or so to check on her and care for her.  She is in the hospital now so will be going up there until she comes home.  She lives next door to me and is my second oldest daughter.  Her birthday is on the 13th of March and will be turning 27.  She has stage 4 brain cancer and has already lived a year longer than expected and is doing reasonably well except that she is in so much pain.
I am still baking because we have to eat. lol
But it is hard to keep up on my blogs and everything right now.
I will do my best.
Yesterday I baked a batch of light whole wheat everyday bread in the morning and today I got up and did the same but with oatmeal in and on the outside.
Camera isn't working so can't take picture right now.

Monday, February 7, 2011

February 2011

Let's see what February brings.  Hopefully I don't forget to take pictures and report again.
Week One
This is just a regular recipe for using leftovers and making a quick meal on a busy night.
all mixed up and kneeded

covered up
30 minutes later
spread out and pricked
covered with toppings
baked then promptly enjoyed.

such a small piece of dough can be kneeded by a 5 year old.
Week Two
Bread was on order for week two
White Bread again.  This time I would like to share the recipe.  It is a very simple one which I have been perfecting for over 30 years.  I make this bread every week.
If using dry yeast otherwise put directly into flour.  I like this method though:
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 T yeast
put into a small bowl until it softens and froths up, about 10 minutes.
In a larger bowl:
2 cups water
1/4 cup butter
microwave for a minute or until butter is almost melted, stir butter around to melt it
add:  1 tsp sugar and 1 T sea salt stir to dissolve
add: 1 cup cold water
Put yeast mixture into it and whisk it together.
Whisk in 3 cups of white bread flour (I use King Arthur)
I also use the mixer with the whisk attachment.  I whisk for about 5 minutes and then let is rest for about 5.
Change the attachment to a dough hook and add 3 more cups of flour.  Start mixing slowly and after flour gets into it mix a little faster.  It is still slow, if you are using the Kitchenaid you can't go very fast with a dough hook anyway.  Gradually add 3 more cups of flour until all is in then take it out of the mixer and kneed the dough for 5 or 10 mins adding whatever flour you didn't manage to incorporate in in the mixer.
lightly grease the bowl with olive oil and place the dough in and turn it over to grease the other side.
I know they always say "cover with plastic wrap"  but I don't.  One: plastic is wasteful ,  Two: plastic doesn't breathe.  It is important to let the dough get air without it drying out.
I cover the dough with wax paper and a clean cloth and place the bowl in the oven for: 1 1/2 hours or till double.
(when the wax paper is done, I put it in the compost)
Punch the dough down gently after the first rise.  Let it rest again for 20 minutes.  Divide it into 3 portions and shape for well greased pans.  about 10 oz per loaf.  Cover pans with clean towel and let rise for one hour or til double.
Bake 30 minutes at 375 F high in the oven.
Test doneness by tapping.  It should sound hollow.  Remove immediately from pans onto cooling rack.  Turn occasionally on the rack until loaves are cold.  Slice and wrap and freeze.  I freeze because we don't eat it fast enough and this bread has no preservatives in it and will lose it's freshness within the first day.  So we freeze it and take out daily the number of slices we need.  This bread is great for sandwiches and so many other things and also great crumbs.  I make it especially for my daughter who is on a special diet due to her chemotherapy.  She is not allowed to have any fiber.  This bread is fiberless.  I would not normally make it like this if it were not for her because I believe in bread being the substance of our life, after God's Word of course, and therefore it should be packed full of nutrition.

Brown Bread
So I don't know why I call it brown bread, it's real Whole Grain Bread.  It is definitely not white bread though.  Each time it turns out different.  Here is a picture of February's.  Then I will share what I do to it to make it not white.
 I make this bread just like the white except:
In the larger bowl that I put water and butter in, after the butter has melted I put the salt but not the sugar.  Instead I use up to a 1/4 cup of either honey or some kind of molasses.  Cooking molasses is fairly light and that's what I used this time. (I'm trying to use it up)  Black strap molasses is much darker.  I buy it by the gallon at Gordon foods and use it for my chickens.  When I use this it does make the bread much darker.
I also trade the first cup of flour for any whole grains I may have in my cupboards.   Oats (prefer to use cooked oats because they soak up a lot of moisture), if I use a whole cup cooked oats then I don't add much else.  I usually use 1/2 cup and then the rest of the cup I fill up with wheatgerm, bran, flax seeds, cracked wheat, soaked barley, you can just see what you've got and when you're shopping get stuff which would be nice.  Broken unsalted shelled sunflower seeds would be great too.

For the second cup of flour I substitute rye and the third whole wheat.  Sometimes the fourth cup will be white whole wheat.  Then the rest will be King Arthur's white bread flour.  Mix the same way I did the white bread.  This bread may be more sticky but not too bad.  I try to keep it light and 9 cups total including grains is just about the right amount.  I rolled these loaves in sesame seeds when I shaped them.  This was the best batch I ever remember making, but then I say that a lot.

I love this bread because it is soft but healthy and it goes good with so much.  It is even good for sandwiches.  My husband does like it too which is important.

Friday, January 14, 2011

January Bread

Wednesday, January 12th.  Need to bake bread because I'm out.  This is a brown slicing bread.  I put oats, wheat germ, bran, whole wheat flour, white whole wheat and white bread flour.  I leave the milk out and used butter and olive oil instead of the shortening required.  I also used honey instead of sugar. 
I've been making this bread for decades.  I like it and that's all that counts since I'm the one and only one eating it.  I slice it and freeze it.  It will last about a month sometimes more.  It isn't so good for sandwich bread for Chloe because it is a bit heavy.  Only a bit though because it is actually quite light just not light enough.

On Thursday, January 13th I made a special bread for my daughter Debbie.  Debbie is on a chemotherapy which requires that she eats the blandest of foods and absolutely no fiber.  No fats, no sugar, no raw fruits and vegetables etc etc.  So I will make her some white bread.  I will use the same recipe just use only white bread flour, lessen the amount of sugar to 2 T from 1/3c.  I used pure cane sugar.  So no GMO.  I used very little real butter.  I tried to use no sugar but that yeast wasn't doing anything and I am used to it popping in 10 minutes.  After I put a T of sugar in it began frothing and was ready in a minute.  Her bread looked like this.
This is what it looked like.  We took a couple of slices to taste it.  Debbie was visiting at the time and she was delighted.  It was very light and fluffy but also very moist.  She was not going to need any spread on it.  We left it on the racks to cool.  I took Debbie home and went on with Chloe to ballet class.  When Mark got home, probably about 15 minutes after we left, this is what he found;
Bad bad bad bad bad bad dog.  So today I am remaking the bread.  I did salvage a few slices.  She did not touch the one we had tasted and another one was only a little bit ruined.  I couldn't take that over to Debbie.  Goodness, she has cancer.  She doesn't need any other germs.

Jan 25th, 2011
Baked 6 loaves of white bread today.  This is the same bread as before but was completely protected from the dog.  Anyway it has only water, King Arthur White Bread flour, yeast, salt, small amount of real butter and tiny amount of organic cane sugar.  It is so soft, chewy and flavorful.  Chloe loves it too, so now I make it for Debbie and save some for Chloe.  Voila!!!  NO MORE STORE BOUGHT BREAD. This has been my goal for a very long time.  I have also made pizza's this month.  I make a pizza generally on friday's.  But I have never taken a picture of it.  Maybe I will remember this week.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Start Blogging

Wow, I must be crazy, I'm starting another blog.  This time it is about bread making.  Yeay and I love to bake bread.  I want want want to learn how to make artisan bread and have been researching a lot about it.  So this is my committment to BYOB.  It is a year long committment through "the Bread experience". 

BYOB 2011 ~ A Year of Bread

BYOBYour mission, should you choose to accept it, is to bake your own bread and other baked goods throughout the whole year.
Clicking on the picture should take you to BYOB's page.
I love to bake bread.
I will have an adventure this year and see what I can bake.
Sour Dough starter.
Sour Dough breads.
Artisan breads, all kinds.

My husband told someone else that he just loves to come home when I've been baking.  The house smells so good and inviting.