Just broke out the butter and laid it on top of the still-warm bread. It’s really nice! The texture works and it’s definitely a real whole-wheat without weighing a ton. Not wimpy, but easy to eat and a natural companion to sandwich meats and cheese. Or, just on its own!
It doesn’t seem to be burned, either. The bottom crush is very dark but the taste is not affected. I’m pleased.
Whoa! Those loaves rose fast. I thought I’d have enough time to bake up a chicken parmesan before they went in, but those babies had doubled in size and were rising up over the pans. So, in they went, along with the chicken.
Yup, I’m still in the mood. This time I’m going for a heartier loaf, so I chose a wheat germ bread from Bernard Clayton’s Complete Book of Breads. In addition to the wheat germ it also has significant amount of whole wheat flour, with a bit of white to soften it up.
I suspect this bread will be darker and a bit sweeter than the white beginner’s loaf I churned out yesterday. There’s about 1/3 cup of molasses, in addition to a few teaspoons of white sugar.
The wheat germs soaks in warm milk, then gets added to a combination of butter, salt, sugar, molasses and yeast.
This kind of bread really gives my heavy-duty mixer a run for its money. I’ve beaten the crap out of that thing and, although it complains from time to time, it still keeps churning.
Anyway, I beat the bread into submission, both with the mixer as well as my own two hands (I always finish the final knead by hand) and tossed it into a greased bowl. Covered it with wax paper covered with a towel and put it into a warm place to rise.
So, I’m waiting for the sucker to rise. It’ll be about 1 1/2 hours and while I’m waiting I can do something else. Let’s see what else, what else? Dishes? Dinner prep? Work at the computer? Oh, wait (*facepalm*), I can blog – duh!
Well, I’ve come to the end of my doughy journey with a passable loaf of white bread. The texture’s a bit rough, but the taste is quite, quite nice. I ate two slices and gave one to my husband.
You have no idea how hard it was for me to take this picture. I had a slice of half-eaten bread in one hand and with the other tried to monkey around with the settings on my smartphone so I could take the damn picture. There’s a little margarine on the bread, in case you were wondering.
Now I have to decide what I want to do next. Whole wheat? Rye? Sourdough? Something sweet, like cinnamon raisin?
Well, okay! They’re out of the oven and that was easier than I had expected. I’m used to fancier breads that require more time and care. Maybe I’ll mix up a batch of sour, so I can knock out a few sourdoughs.
Hope they’re okay. They look fine, but my temperature gauge has gone missing. They look and smell done. I’m used to both of those as criteria.
Yes, it certainly takes its time, although I’m a bit surprised at this recipe. The dough basically rested for 10 minutes after I’d finished mixing it, then went right into the pans. Of course, this being a sponge bread method, it took about a half hour to 45 minutes at the very outset so maybe that’s where the first stage ended up taking its time.
Anyway, I divided and shaped the dough into two loaves, which are patiently resting, covered, in a warm spot.
Today I am baking. I haven’t baked a loaf of bread in years and now that 2013 is behind me I want to give myself more fulfilling activity. Last year was tough – actually, the last year and a half. A lot fell by the wayside, including aspects of my health. My doctor is telling me I need to de-stress and I’m taking her advice, with health and fitness activities and meditation. So, I’m hoping for a better, healthier and more prosperous 2014. Today, bread will be my guide.
I’m starting out small. No fancy whole grains or anything else, just a simple, white loaf that’ll come out of the oven this evening, just in time for dinner.