Friday, September 25, 2009

Home Baked Bread.

We just got home yesterday from another trip to Nevada. This trip was to West Wendover. I blogged about our last West Wendover trip here, and this week's trip was pretty much a complete repeat of that one. We had lots of fun, it was really cheap, and had trouble in the Love Field parking lot. THIS time, we couldn't find our car.

Before we left, I'd been jonesing for some homemade bread, but Em didn't want me to make it until we got back. So, today we did the same thing we always do when I make bread starting with me asking him where he stored the grain mill. I've been baking bread for several years, but I've never been able to get high bread. I think one reason is that my bread pans are 5" wide instead of 4" wide. The bread spreads out sideways. Another reason is that I ALWAYS make wheat bread because we just don't like the gummy white stuff.

Diane made some really pretty loaves recently and sent me the recipe which I modified to use half freshly ground hard white wheat flour and half unbleached white store-bought stuff. I just tasted the end piece with butter. It was sturdy, but the next piece in really resembled Wonder Bread in consistency. I think you can get away with half hard white wheat flour without anyone noticing, Diane. I'll let ya know how the half hard red wheat turns out.


That was the last of my hard white wheat berries, so I ordered more today, along with a few new bread pans. I put tinfoil inside the one pan today because the surface finish is chipping off.

If you want to try the recipe for Wonderbread:

Diane's Beautiful Looking Bread

2 cups warm water 1/3 c sugar 2 T yeast 1.5 t salt 1/4 c oil 6 c flour

Dissolve sugar in water. Stir in yeast. Proof till foamy. *
Mix salt and oil into yeast.
Mix in flour 1 C at a time.
Knead 10 minutes. [Both Diane and I use our Kitchen Aid mixers to knead]
Cover and allow to rise until doubled (30-45 minutes)
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead out the air. Divide in half, roll into loaves with seam on bottom. Put in oiled or nonstick pans and squish the dough into the corners of the pans. Let rise 30 minutes or so, until over pan tops. Bake 30 minutes @ 350. Butter tops once done.

* On the chance that the bulk yeast I keep in the freezer (2 years old now) was responsible for my wheat loaves not getting very high, I bought a 3-pak at the local grocery. I had one pack of that left, but it expired last month. I tried it anyway (as is my way), but it didn't proof. My bulk yeast proofed beautifully.

I'm going to experiment more with the basic recipe, adding more wheat flour, using hard red wheat, using honey instead of sugar, adding gluten, dough enhancer, buttermilk, potato flakes, etc.


Diane said...

Gorgeous bread! Good to hear about the wheat. I almost ground some today to try a half & half batch but decided I felt too crappy to mess with it. I'll let you know how it goes once I get to it.

I do love the heartier, crustier breads myself, rather than the Wonder-type breads but I'm outnumbered.

Farmer's Daughter said...

Congrats on your granddaughter to be! My next ultrasounds is on Columbus Day and we're hoping to find out then.