Thursday, February 27, 2014

Third Rising: Whole Wheat Bread (Again, Some More)

I've posted about my issues with bread-baking here and here using my mom's recipe, but I never did get it to work out perfectly every time. When I had Jack, my friend Emily brought soup and bread to us one night for dinner. It was so good, and she offered to have me over for a long playdate one day to show me exactly how she does it. She starts, as did my mom, with whole wheat berries that she grinds into flour. I don't have a grain mill (yet) so I go with the same brand of flour, Wheat Montana, which is nonGMO and can be purchased in bulk on amazon. There is only one store locally that sells it, and that's Wal-Mart, though I've requested it at two other grocery stores, so we'll see if they start to carry it. I love the Prairie Gold varietal, because it doesn't produce too dense a bread, but their other varietals are great, along with the all-purpose flour, which is a natural white flour; unbleached and unbromated.

The recipe she uses for her everyday bread is the Fresh Milk Bread from The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book, with a lot of' 'you'll know it's ready when it feels like this' and she'd pinch the dough between two fingers looking for the perfect amount of give. It was the best, most generous thing for her to host us for about four hours on a sticky, summer day. She walked me through each step, fed my kids lunch and sent me home with a loaf of fresh bread.

I ordered the book right away and embarked on my quest to replicate. After several months, I've had consistently good bread and am so grateful to her. My kids are brimming with gratitude as well. I believe H's direct quote was 'Can't we just buy bread at the store like normal people?' Brats. I do a one and-a-half batch of this bread to make three full loaves. My kitchen aid won't work a full double batch. The big-daddy kitchen aid is next on my appliance upgrade list. Also, I find that it's really important to weigh your flour because the way you scoop and measure it, may make the difference of about a cup when you compare weight to volume.

First rising

Punched down and risen again

use a bench scraper to divide into three equal balls and allow to rest on the counter

roll each ball with a pin into a rectangle and then roll up into a loaf and place in pans to raise for a third time

Third rising complete and ready to go into a 350 oven for 40 minutes

Golden Delicious

cool before cutting

Unless you baked it, and then you get a warm slice with honey and butter

Do you have a favorite bread recipe?

1 comment:

SAU First Book said...

Love it! I think I know what my next cookbook will be :)