Sunday, March 7, 2010

Our Daily Bread

I've been using this mill for almost two years now and I really love it. It will turn just about any grain, rice, bean or corn into a lovely flour in mere minutes. Freshly milled grains provide the optimum flavor and nutrition, and experimenting with various combinations is a whole lot of fun.
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This is the recipe I use to make bread. It makes a loaf that is soft, yet sturdy enough for sandwiches. It's not crumbly, and it keeps well too.

I put the dry ingredients into the mixer bowl.
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(Did you know that there are natural compounds in oats that discourage mold? Oats also make for a lovely texture that is softer than a wheat-only loaf. It's lower in gluten (as are the pastry wheat and some of the grains in the 7 grain blend), so adding some extra gluten helps prevent the loaves from being heavy in texture.)

Mix them all together before adding the liquids. It helps them take on the oil and water more readily.
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Add the oil, then the water. Set a timer for ten minutes, start the mixer on speed 1, moving fairly quickly to speed 2.
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Occasionally I stop it for a quick second to push a bit of the flour along the edges toward the center.
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Once the dry ingredients have been fully incorporated, I add either pastry flour or all purpose unbleached flour about 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the mixer bowl.
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Next I oil a large mixing bowl, then add the dough. It's still a little sticky - that's fine. It will improve as it rises. I flip the dough ball over, so that the top and bottom of the dough have a light coating of oil.
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Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled.
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Lightly flour the work surface (I use a large shaker with all purpose flour in it) and grease the bread pans.
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Next I turn the dough out from the bowl, knead lightly and shape into a ball. I use the bench knife to divide it in two.
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I flatten each piece into a rectangular-ish shape, then roll and shape into a loaf.
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Cover with the plastic wrap from the mixing bowl and let rise again.
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When the loaves are about an inch above the rim of the loaf pans, I turn the oven on and set it at 375. They continue to rise while the oven pre-heats, and they look like this:
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I bake them for 30 to 40 minutes, turning the bread pans once during baking to help the loaves brown evenly.
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See how the one on the left has a poufed-up spot that's a little darker brown? There is an air bubble just below the surface. When the bread first came out of the oven that crust was pretty hard, but as it cools, the crust softens a little and it settled down. There is a 'loop' of crust above the bread, but generally, these things only happen if I'm making bread that I plan to blog about or if company is coming. Murphy's law, I guess.
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It has a nice texture, and with the exception of that top bubble, the inside is evenly risen and baked.
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Topped with some homemade tropical jam, it's a high-fiber, nutritious treat!
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It's also good for sandwiches and toasting. It freezes well too.

Here is the recipe, all together.

TenThingsFarm Multi Grain "Daily Bread"

Place dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer:
3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 c. 7-grain flour
1 c. oat flour
1/4 c. wheat gluten
scant 1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Mix together the dry ingredients. Install the dough hook, then add:
1/4 c. oil
2 c. warm (from the tap, no hotter) water

Set a kitchen timer for 10 minutes and turn on the mixer. Start on speed 1, moving to speed 2 after just a moment. Allow the mixer to integrate the wet and dry ingredients. If you need to, you can stop the mixer occasionally to push some of the dry flour toward the center so it will incorporate with the wet ingredients.

Once all the wet and dry ingredients have incorporated, add all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour, about 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer. Do not add more flour than is necessary (you will likely only need about 1/2 cup), and don't worry if the dough is a bit on the sticky side. When the timer sounds that the 10 minutes are done, turn off the mixer.

Oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the oiled bowl, turning once. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size (45 minutes to an hour). Remove plastic wrap, punch down dough and knead on a lightly floured surface to form a large ball. Divide ball in two and shape each half into a loaf. Place loaves into greased loaf pans, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise again. Check after about 20 minutes - when the dough is about an inch above the rim of the loaf pans, pre-heat the oven to 375. Once the oven is pre-heated, place pans in center of oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, turning pans once in the middle of baking to ensure even browning. When bread is well browned, remove from oven, let rest 1-2 minutes in pans, then remove to a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing it (if you can) and before storing it in plastic bags. Makes two loaves.

9 comments:

Prairie Farmstead Ponderings said...

Now, who can *really* resist cutting into a loaf of homemade bread before it cools??

Anonymous said...

Dear Darlin' Daughte,

I have to agree with Prairie Farmstead Ponderings. That nice brown heel of warm bread was just made to slice off, slather with butter or margarine and ENJOY!!!!

And the smell - - Heavenly.

Love,
Granny Ladybug

Gill - That British Woman said...

I love homemade bread with lots of butter on it and my raspberry jam...........I am drooling thinking about it...

Gill in Canada

tenthingsfarm said...

Well, that's what Little Bit is eating in the last picture! ;)

mentalutopia said...

Looks yummy! Do you know what grains are in the 7-grain flour?

tenthingsfarm said...

Let's see if I can remember without going downstairs to the pantry...
hard red wheat, rye, triticale, millet, oats...be right back...OK, they are listed in this order, so I assume they're listed most to least:
hard red wheat, hard white wheat, pearled barley, brown rice, triticale, rye, millet

I got it from Walton Feed. :)

tenthingsfarm said...

P.S. - It comes as whole grains - I milled it into flour. Just FYI.

desert said...

i wanna move in with you LOL
that bread looks amazing
you rock
D.

mentalutopia said...

Thanks--it sounds similar to a 7-grain rolled blend I can get at a local store...and happen to have a large tub of that I haven't done anything with in a while.. Maybe I need to make some bread.

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