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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Now we are cooking

This morning while I made the bread I made sure to measure what I was doing. I have been baking bread since I was old enough to stand on the kitchen stool and help my Mother.My Mother ground our flours and made many different kinds of breads for us. The bread I am posting here is my own variation of one Mom made for us.I changed it this past fall to include some Spelt Flour and Grain Cereal. I made this change for Issac and I, we both have an autoimmune disease called Crohn's Disease. One point of view is to limit the amount or all Gluten to help manage the disease, so last fall I changed our diet. Issac did not like the all Spelt breads I came up with and frankly Gluten free breads are yucky to my palet.So this bread is a compromise between us.Less wheat and more other stuff.It still makes a nice loaf of bread.In fact I don't think Issac knows my trick.The Crohn's also feeds into many other reasons we are growing more of our own food.We live on a tight budget and organics are spendy for us.By growing more of our own food we will be able to control what we are eating and save money to buy more organic items with the money we have saved.
But this post is about the positive points so back to the bread receipe.

Hrafinstaad's Daily Bread:

2 1/2 tea spoons yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
2 cups lukewarm milk **
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups Spelt flour
3 cups AP flour Pluse about 2-3 more cups for later##
1 cup mixed grain cereal (8 Grain is what I use.)
3 Tablespoons oil Whatever kind you like

Mix yeast,sugar/honey and water in a bowl.Let stand til bubblie.About 5 minutes
In the bowl you are going to make the dough in add the milk**,salt and oil.Now add the yeast slurry to the bowl.Mix it up a bit.Now add the cereal,Spelt and AP flour.
** I sometimes feel a bit "milk poor" so I either use all water or half milk and half water.I don't think there is a taste difference just a nutrition difference.**
Mix the dough until it comes together.You will have to finish the mixing with your hands. If you have a Stand type mixer this comes together quickly if not you may have to turn the dough out onto a work surface to finish the mixing.Now knead the dough untill it is smooth and elastic.You will have to add some extra flour at this point.## I listed this extra flour as AP above but you can use which ever flour you want.I use which ever I am wanting to use up or have plenty of depending.##
You want a dough that is not sticky.Keep adding handfuls of flour while kneading until the dough no longer sticks and is nice and smooth.This can take up to 10 minutes. Now oil your bowl and the top of your bread dough. Cover and let rise in a warm spot until it has doubled in bulk.My Mother says this is 1 1/2 hours but if I don't set a timer and get busy it is sometimes longer.Infact I think because of the lower gluten in the Spelt flour it is better to let it raise closer to 2 hours. Punch down the dough and let rise until doubled again.
Pre hreat the oven to 375 F. Now you can get a bit creative here.I like to bake my loaves as Cottage Loaves which are free formed and baked on a sheet sprinkled with corn meal.Or you can oil two loaf pans and bake them that way.
Which ever way you choose first form your dough into 2 loaves and let them rest on your work top for 20 minutes.When you check the dough gently press in with one finger tip.If the dough springs back it is ready to bake.
Now either oil two loaf pans or sprinkle a heavy layer of corn meal on a baking sheet that will hold both loaves. Bake at 375F for one hour. Keep an eye on your bread while it is baking.Times are different for each oven.I check for a nice golden brown color and a hollow sound when the loaf is tapped.
When your bread comes out you can do a couple of things.My Mom always buttered the bread tops when it came out of the oven.This makes a nice shine and a softer crust.Personally I like a chewie crust and leave out the butter.
Today when I made the bread I added a big handful of chopped Walnuts.Sometimes I add Filberts. Growing up here in Oregon Hazelnuts were called Filberts.They are the same nut with two names. Oregon used to be the Filbert/Hazelnut growing region for the States.I am not sure if this true any more.Many of the old orchards are sadly gone now.I belive many of our nuts now come from France.
I posted a photo of one of the loaves I made today.Tomorrows posting will be more cooking with a bit of garden trickery,Chance's Green Onions.

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