Thursday, October 1, 2009

To Bake a Bread

So its no lie that I have been very busy, I asked Jim to do a bit more work and he has a bunch of stuff coming up, I will be back for a feature Friday tomorrow hopefully and be back on track sooner rather then later. I find that I have a lot of things to post on but they are all long and wordy, as is par for the course for me, so its a matter of getting the time and sitting down and putting them together. Maybe multiple posts in parts would be a good idea....

Today I am trying something new, we will see if this works the way it's suppose to in terms of post time. I wrote this yesterday and am advancing the post time to see if it will actually do it right... idk though.

I recently started baking bread, this has been a very long time coming and about time as my um habit was getting expensive. Let me say I like my bread!

I used this simple recipe and went from there. I have found that they use way too much salt, 1/4 tablespoon or one teaspoon is just dandy. I also added a bit more honey then they called for and a little bit more flour is a good idea, but the flour depends on what type you are using. I used 7-grain whole grain locally milled Adirondack flour that bakes a wonderful brown bread. You can use any flour of course but this recipe I think lends itself to a nice whole grain, or multi-grain flour.

My changed recipe for 7 whole grain flour

4 cups Whole Wheat Flour, preferably stone ground
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 (4 tsp) packages active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons molasses, honey or ribbon cane syrup
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried coconut (this was NOT enough for a flavour difference)

Again experiment with the flour you can use and the salt and honey can be factored to taste in progressive baking's. For my second baking I added cranberries and coconut. I would say 1 cup cranberries is good, or until it looks enough. I did not add enough coconut to make any flavour difference and I think I added 1/2 cup. I allowed my bread to sit and rise in the boiler room of the house; it provides a nice warm environment for the little yeast to be happy in. Baking time for my oven was good but temperature needed to be lowered a bit from 450F to ~425F.

This will yield, depending on the flour, a nice dark loaf with a very strong flavour. Very good for fall baking and great for soups! The shape is of little importance really, but I used cake pans for this loaf, and you can split it nicely between 2 round cake pans or it will work in one square pan as the ingredients are listed. Bread pans are much better for form and so forth but alas I do not have any at the moment, you could also go freeform on a cookie sheet if you wanted and see what happens, although it will need to be thick to do that.

Last note, make sure you oil (or butter) and flour the pans well! This likes to stick a whole lot!

Last note, experiment and have fun, this is great to do with the kids as its nice and simple and an easy mess to clean up ;) once you are comfortable, go crazy!

There will be more pictures and recipe variations as I experiment and garner success or failure.

(edited note) I think I got the hang of linking the images to the image main page on my flickr account where you click the image and can view it in a number of different sizes!

1 comment:

  1. That looks really delicious and the molasses/honey addition is intreging. Must copy out and experiment in the kitchen. My husband, the Planner Guy, aka, The Running Bob, is also quite a break baker. He's posted several of his adventures in the kitchen on his blog,