A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Accidentally Great Multi-Grain Bread

This all started because Russell asked me for my standard whole wheat bread recipe. Here it is:

Whole Wheat Bread

3 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons gluten flour
2 teaspoons honey
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup water
1 pkg. dry yeast

Mix and rise in bread machine on dough cycle. Shape loaf, let rise ½ hour. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.

This reminded me to make bread, since we were eating dry crusts of frozen leftover loaves at this point in our hectic week.

As I watched the bread mixing in the first stage, it seemed way too dry, so I added water until it seemed right. I went away until the bread machine beeped. I looked in--the dough was pasty and wet, a puddle of dough, really. I added some rolled oats and coarse corn meal to take up the excess moisture, and restarted the cycle. I went away again, and returned to find a slightly less sodden pile of dough in the bottom of the bread pan. Then the light bulb went off: I had forgotten the yeast. So I threw the dry yeast directly on top of the dough and set the machine for a third cycle and went away.

The dough became beautiful, rose with exuberance, and baked to a lovely loaf. By the way, I now usually use just a quarter teaspoon of sugar instead of the honey, so that I can bake the loaf in a hotter oven for a longer time. It develops more flavor that way.

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