June 10, 2011

How to bake bread!

Sunflower Millet Bread!

To have the house smelling like baking bread is a wonderful thing. Especially on a rainey day.


to start, combine

:1 cup of lukewarm water {the SAME temperature as your Wrist.}
: 2 tbsp of yeast
: one drop of honey, molasses... sweetener
let stand for 5 minutes.

next, you prepare "The Sponge"

by adding 1-2 cups of flour to the yeast water - in a big bread making bowl.

mix it all up

you may have to get your hands in there briefly.

let that rise 30-60 minutes,
here's my risen sponge:

while it is rising, you can prepare "The Mix"
which in this case is

: 1 cup of cooked (in 1 1/2 cups water) Millet
:1/2 cup sunflower seeds (cooked with millet)
: 2 tsp salt
: 1/4 cup butter
: 3 tbs honey

this is yummy just as it is!!

When the sponge has risen and the mix is room temperature,
mix the two well.
"sometimes the sponge and mix will resist each other at first. Keep mixing patiently until they merge" - molly katzen

now measure out how much flour the recipe claims you can put to the dough
and see how much you can actually get kneaded into it!

I will not lie, I can usually only get 3/4's the flour in my dough that they call for!! and it works out.
I am pretty sure this is because I use different types of flour, not just white... so I think these heavier flours take up more of the moisture. the easiest loaf to make is an all white one...
but you know how much nutrition that is lacking!

knead knead knead.

slowly adding flour and knead it in until its a nice uniform dough ball.

It is hard work!
Just think of them tough pioneer women with the 12 children who had to bake bread every day to feed the family. TOUGH women bake bread.
I want pipes like that.

but if the man (or a friend) is around, try to trick them into kneading a bit! ;0)

this is an example of kneading from utube:

although as you can see, she is just using white flour so it looks really easy. but you get the point!

everyone develops their own kneading style.
I think of kneading as pushing the dough into itself, flipping it and doing it again.

"remember, you are guiding the dough, making suggestions to it~ not forcing it, tearing it, or otherwise employing intimidation" -Molly K.

....and then my hands were all floured up and too messy to pick up my camera to document the rest of the process... so here it is without photos.

once you've kneaded all the flour in and then kneaded about 10 minutes more - you are satisfied with the uniformness of your living lump,

-wash out that bowl that you made the dough in and put about 2 tbsp's of oil in it.

-throw the dough in the bowl, roll it in the oil and put a clean, moist dish towel over top.

- place it in a warm spot to rise for an hour or until it is about doubled

1 way to make a warm environment for rising dough is:
put a pan of very hot hot water on the bottom rack of the cold oven
and place your covered bowl on the top rack to rise. thats enuf

-once it has risen, take it out and give it a punch (THWAP)!

-cut it into 2 chunks (for 2 loaves)

- roll it flat into a rectangle

-roll up the rectangle (like a jelly roll)

-turn the side bottoms under

-place in a greased and floured bread pan

- let those two bread pans rise until doubled or so

- preheat the oven 15 minutes before its time to put the bread in

- bake. usually 30-40 minutes at 350.

-go outside and come back in so you can take in the aroma of your house!

- the bread is done when you give it a tap tap and it sounds hollow.

howly crow its good. and good for ya.

A fool proof way to learn to bake bread can be found inside
Molly Katzen's cook book - the Enchanted Broccoli Forest.
The most beautyful thing: An Illustrated guide on how to bake bread! Without that, I am not sure I'd have ever made it to the other side of breadmaking.

This is what the breadmaking guide looks like:


happy baking!

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