Archive for ‘Bread’

November 29, 2011

I MADE BREAD!

Ever since I can remember, my mom has been obsessed with being able to make fresh bread at home. For mother’s day, not so long ago, my dad and I got her a mystical and mysterious bread machine which promised delicious freshly baked bread whenever we walked in for dinner. MMMM. The machine certainly delivered as promised as long as it wasn’t whole wheat or whole grain bread. Whenever we attempted any of our preferred wholesome breads, the result was more like a weapon. Super hard and dense bread that scared us and left my mom hopeless… and for the longest time, I perceived whole grain bread as some mystical being that could only be obtained at fresh at a bakery made by someone with YEARS (if not an entire bloodline) of experience, or something scary that came in a plastic bag with a really far away expiration date. I was screwed, and afraid, and I really wanted bread to stop being my baking nemesis.

Then yesterday happened. I suddenly got really annoyed at having to go to the store to get some lame sliced bread wrapped in millions of layer of plastic. And then I found I had yeast in my pantry. And then this bread was born.

After hours and hours of surfing the blogosphere for an easy not intimidating and simple bread recipe that didn’t take 15 hours until completion, I came upon this one which seemed promising. Not many ingredients, adaptable, and didn’t warn me about hours of kneading waiting leavening and hunger (it did take a long time until completion, but ignorance is bliss) before my long awaited ultimate sandwich and so I set to work. As you should. Because honestly, getting those two tiny little loaves out of the oven was one of the most exciting moments ever. Right there with my first spaghetti squash.

 

For one loaf, or two petite ones (I like two tiny ones, I can freeze one and devour the other), you’ll need:

  • little less than half a cup of mixed seeds (I used sesame, brown flax and chia) 
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 packet/half a tablespoon of active dry yeast, preferably the one specific for whole grain baking
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • half a tablespoon of honey, agave nectar, maple syrup
  • 1/8 of a cup of vegetable oil (I used canola because it is what I had on hand, but I think it’d be great with olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • approx 2 cups of whole wheat four

 

  1. Mix the seeds, salt and yeast in a large bowl
  2. Add the warm water and whisk slightly to combine
  3. Add the sweetener and oil and combine well
  4. Gradually add and combine the all-purpose flour and a cup and a half of the whole wheat flour with your hands until the dough holds its shape
  5. Turn dough onto a well-floured surface (use the remainder whole wheat flour for this) and knead for about 10-15 min. Add more flour as needed, until the dough stops being a sticky mess. It shouldn’t be super dry by the time you’re done with your workout the kneading, but it should no longer stick to your hands
  6. Oil the bowl you were using before and return the dough to it and cover with a dish towel or rag. Let it rise for 1-2 hours until it doubles in size
  7. Take the dough out of the bowl, back onto the floured surface, and shape it as you wish. Baguette-ish, round-ish, square-ish or turn it onto a well greased and floured bread pan. Once its shaped, turn it onto a greased cookie sheet or pan and cover again. Let it rise until it doubles size. Again. (This step I shortcutted because I was sleepy, but be patient! Mine took about an hour to almost double its size.. so it’ll probably take more than that)
  8. Bake at 350 F for about 40 min, or until its golden and sounds hollow when tapped
  9. Let it cool before slicing. It will soften as it cools 🙂
  10. Enjoy the best sandwich ever.