Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Favorite Smell

Bread....mmmmmm! Nothing is more soothing than walking into the house and smelling the heavenly aroma of bread baking in the oven. In fact, if they made honey whole wheat bread perfume, I'd buy it and dab a little behind my ears. Everyone who knows me well, knows that I'm a bread baker. I've never met a loaf that I didn't love. I'll try any recipe once, and get bored making the same thing every day, so I've built quite a collection of recipes up. Among my favorites are Potato, Honey Oat, French, Buttermilk, and 7 grain. Today I made Honey Whole Wheat. It's a fairly strait forward sandwich loaf. Each morning I start the day off by grinding my favorite Montana Hard wheat berries.

It takes about 8 minutes to grind two cups of berries in my Country Living Grain mill, so I prep the rest of the ingredients while I wait.

After I knead the bread, I let it rise for about 45 minutes. Then I punch it down and put it in a greased loaf pan for a second rise.

Then, because it's still quite cold in the mornings in my house, I cover it and let it rise by the wood stove, or on top of the warm stove until it doubles in size. I bake it @350 degrees for 33 minutes.

Whole wheat loaves are slightly denser than breads in the white family, but are much more filling. I absolutely love both types, but when it comes to the kids, I prefer to feed them whole grains most of the time and throw in a loaf of white bread every now and then to keep it interesting.

After taking the loaf out of the oven, I let it sit for a few minutes and then plop it out to cool.

Next comes a test of my will power. If I'm really hungry, then I cut into it while it's still warm and eat a piece with melted butter. But if I'm using it for sandwiches, I wait until the whole thing cools, and slice it up to put in a bread bag.

YUMMY! Here's the recipe I use:

Honey Whole Wheat Bread
1 1/2 cups very warm water
2tsp salt
1/3 cup honey
2 1/4 cups bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 TBS shortening
2TBS dry milk
1TBS Vital Wheat Gluten
1TBS dough enhancer
2tsp yeast
Mix it up and knead it. Let Rise for 45 minutes. Punch it down and put it into a greased bread pan. Let it rise for 45 minutes more. Bake it @350 for 33 minutes or until done.(Baking times may vary. I live in high altitude.)
P.S. This works great in the bread machine too!

1 comment:

  1. What a pretty loaf pan! :) I really want to get a grinder and wheat berries! Maybe this summer....