One of my culinary resolutions for 2010 was to make all of my bread at home. So far I’ve done great. I haven’t bought a single loaf at the store. However, I ran into the problem that Jon wasn’t eating it. His excuse was that the beautiful artisan bread wasn’t good for sandwiches. I made a couple of white bread loaves for sandwiches, but that didn’t work because we love the Nature’s Pride 12-grain bread, but the few times that I tried making whole-wheat bread it didn’t turn out soft and light, like Jon likes it… until I realized I was doing it all wrong.
I was missing a very important ingredient to make my whole-wheat loaves soft, fluffy and light: gluten. When I read that I could buy gluten separately to make better bread, I literally ran to the store and bought a package of the stuff. Oh my, that’s been one of the best decisions this year so far. Now I can make at home whole-wheat bread just like the one they sell at the store. Jon’s verdict was that “this is good bread [for sandwiches]”.
- •2 cups warm water
- •1 packet of dry active yeast or 2¼ tsp
- •1 TBSP agave syrup or honey
- •6 cups whole-wheat flour
- •2 TBSP olive oil
- •1 tsp salt
- •6-8 tsps gluten
- •2 large eggs
- •1 cup rolled oats
- •1/2 cup ground flexseed
- Mix syrup and warm water together. Add yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.
- Add water and mix well until all the ingredients are incorporated.
- Knead for 10 minutes by hand, or 3 minutes at low speed in a mixer and then 5 minutes at medium high speed.
- Transfer dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic and let double in size in a warm place (about 50 minutes)
- Punch the dough in the middle and turn it over a lightly floured surface.
- Divide in 2 and, with a rolling pin, roll each half to form a long rectangle.
- Roll the dough tightly to form the loaves. Tuck the ends under the loaves and place them on rectangular bread pans. Cover with plastic and let them rise for 45 minutes in a warm place.
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
- With a sharp knife or razor make a long cut along the top of the loaf. Brush water all over the top with a pastry brush.
- Place a baking pan with about 100 ml of water at the bottom shelf of the oven.
- Place loaves in the top shelf and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. You know the bread is ready when the tops are golden brown and they sound hollow if you tap the loaves.
- Let them cool down on wire racks before enjoying.
This is only the latest recipe I’ve come up with using gluten and whole-wheat bread. I get so excited when I am baking a new bread that Jon and the cats look at me like I’ve finally snapped and gone crazy, but this is how much I’ve been enjoying my bread and my new KitchenAid mixer. It looks like I am going to be able to keep my resolution of not buying bread at the store this year.
Lamb Update: I mentioned on my last post that I am going to create a lamb dish for a dinner on Sunday. A friend and I have been brainstorming ideas and we are leaning towards roasting a leg. The glaze would be tart/sweet/spicy, but that’s still on the works. However, this lamb souvlaki that Peter posted on his blog yesterday looks delicious. I should make a decision by tomorrow, because I need to start shopping soon, before we get another big snow storm…