October 6, 2008

Real Bread

I know I wrote about bread in the last post, but I just made it again. And this time, it is actually real bread. Like, the kind that you knead. I know, I’m getting pretty fancy. Kneading bread? Good god, what will she think of next?

The no-knead bread was delicious and I definitely plan on making it again. But since I had the time on Sunday afternoon, I wanted to try my hand at this recipe from Deborah Madison. And I’m sure glad I did. I realized there is very little that is more satisfying than watching your own bread rising in the oven.

And it tasted good too! This is an excellent, hearty bread that slices nicely and is firm and flavourful. I will definitely be trying more of Deborah Madison’s bread recipes in the future.

Cracked Wheat-Honey Bread from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

When I started kneading the dough I found it VERY sticky and I had to add a lot more flour, I think probably at least 4 cups white. Next time, I would add more when the dough is still in the bowl since this will make it easier to knead.

¼ cup warm water

1 teaspoon sugar

2 ¼ teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast

1 ½ cups hot water

1 ¼ cups milk or buttermilk (I used a mix of buttermilk and soy milk)

¼ cup unsulfured molasses or honey (I used half and half)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup fine or medium bulgur or cracked wheat

2 cups whole-wheat flour

2 to 3 cups bread flour or all-purpose white flour

Combine ¼ warm water with the sugar and yeast in a small bowl and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Oil two 8 by 4-inch bread pans and oil a bowl for the dough.

In a mixing bowl, combine the hot water and the milk, then stir in the molasses, oil, and salt. Add the yeast, and bulgur, then begin beating in the flour, adding as much as you can until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured counter and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes, adding flour a little at a time. Put it in an oiled bowl, turn once to coat the top, the cover and set aside to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 ¼ hours.

Push the dough down by punching it several times. Turn it out and divide it in two. Form two loaves and set them in the pans. Cover again and let rise until the dough has risen to the top of the pan, about 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees during the last 15 minutes of the rise. Bake for 45 minutes or until well browned. If it looks like they are getting too brown during baking, cover the top with a layer of tin foil. When you turn them out of their pans, make sure the sides are firm and brown. If not, put them back in the oven for a few more minutes. Bread slices more easily if you let it cool for at least an hour.

1 comment:

J said...

I remember reading/hearing somewhere that the amount of flour needed for bread is largely dependent on things like altitude and the humidity level on a given day. That's probably why you needed so much more flour than DM. I'm beginning to think that the weather in Edmonton must be significantly different than San Fransisco...