September 3, 2010

Bread Making Day

I've baked our own bread for thirty years, rarely buying it. This past year I bought bread, but decided to start making it again. We're getting tired of so many flavorless, or too sweet or salty, or sawdusty bread. I like knowing it's the most optimal of ingredients and nutrient-rich. I also wanted to make sure I hadn't lost my touch. I walk you thru making bread extensively in my cookbook, so I don't want to lay it all out here now.



Company is here and I'm going to have to get started on supper soon. It's Mexican again. Stan loves my guacamole, and everyone loves my stuffed grilled poblano chilies, and I made the Mexican Zucchini Salad. I made a rhubarb crisp and have homemade yogurt ready to go for making ice cream. I think I've posted all these recipes. Two more people invited themselves for supper this morning, so now we're up to seven, and the eighth person here in Monte's office might change his mind and stay too.



I was only going to make my basic bread recipe which makes 6 one pound loaves. One cup of liquid equals a pound of bread. With whole grains I prefer 4x8 bread pans. Now that it's mainly just Monte and me, I cut the loaves in half before freezing, otherwise the bread molds before we eat it all.



Over the years I tried several different grinders and I used to have a Kitchen Aide mixer, which can hold half as much as the Bosch, which is what I've used now for over twenty five years. I like the Nutrimill so far the best. Monte made a shelf for the Bosch that pulls out from the wall (microwave above and toaster oven shelf below, and the grain grinder stores on the bottom shelf).



Once I got going I decided to do my French/Italian bread recipe which makes 4 larger loaves and 4 baguette size loaves. Then I decided I wanted hamburger buns/dinner rolls and some cinnamon rolls. Often I'll make these as separate recipes, each making 4 dozen, but instead I did one pan of each.



Dawson had come home for awhile that evening before heading down the hill to be closer to college, so I grilled some corn on the cob, large portabella mushrooms, and hamburgers, and it was SO good to have them with homemade buns! then of coarse a fresh sliced garden tomato and lettuce.



So now I've got lots of bread varieties to pull from the freezer. I've been making artisan bread too - trying out a new cookbook and bread making method. You make a wet dough and store it in the fridge. I pull out a grapefruit-size blob, round it and let rise on a cornmeal dusted pizza peal. Then bake it in a hot oven on a preheated baking stone with a water basin in the oven too.



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