15 November 2011

A Daily Loaf

We make most of our own bread. Sometimes we do baguettes or a boule, using the Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day method. And sometimes we make a sandwich bread, baked in a loaf pan.

I've written about this bread before, but I've never posted the recipe. Actually, I'm not really going to post the "recipe", because I'm going to skim over the baking method and just give you the ingredients.

2 cups of bread flour
1 1/2 t. yeast
2 T. sugar
2 T. powdered milk
1 t. salt
1 cup of grainstuff of your choice, see below
18 T. water
1 1/2 T. butter

Get a bunch of 1 quart plastic containers and line them up on the counter. I usually do five or six at a time. Working assembly line fashion, add 2 cups of bread flour to each container, then the sugar, yeast, powdered milk and salt. Ignore the water and butter; they're for later.

You need another cup of flour, for three cups altogether, but I find that as long as I use two cups of bread flour, I can play around with what goes into the third cup. In the most recent assembly line, I used:

  1. a cup of whole wheat flour
  2. 1/2 cup of chickpea flour + 1/2 cup bread flour
  3. 1/3 cup of dry Wheatena + 2/3 cup bread flour
  4. 1/2 cup harvest grains (as is) + 1/2 cup bread flour
  5. 1/2 cup harvest grains buzzed in the food processor + 1/2 cup bread flour

In short, I look through the freezer and the pantry and pick and choose from what's there. Seeds, non-wheat flour, grains - all are fair game.

Last, I label all the quart containers, with shorthand instructions about the water/butter, and store them in the fridge. If I'm really organized, I note what the mystery ingredient was, so I can assess later. Usually I forget, though, and have to guess: is this spelt or Wheatena?

When it's bread time, the water & butter go in the bottom of the bread machine, with the dry ingredients on top. I let the machine do the kneading and first rise, and then I fit the dough into a loaf pan for the second rise (in a warmish place for an hour or so) and the baking (about 45 minutes at about 350° F).

[Without a bread machine, you could dump everything in a bowl and mix it up by hand.]

In any case, it makes a terrific loaf of bread. We toast it, we cut holes in it and fry eggs in the middle, we send it to school sandwiching cheese or jelly, we use it for bread pudding, and if get stale before we finish it, it goes in the food processor to become bread crumbs.


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a great idea. I used to do bread every day, but lately . . .

snozma said...

That's fabulous. I lament my problem with gluten. I should just make everyone else bread though.

The Library Lady said...

I am baking an oatmeal bread from the Artisan in5 people on a regular basis as the girls sandwich loaf. In fact, JR likes it just as "bread and butter" sandwiches.

I cut the recipe in half and make one loaf at a time because of lack of storage space. Haven't bought store bought bread (aside from pita) since school started!

The Library Lady said...

@snozma: Artisan Bread in 5 has a "Healthy Bread" book and I noticed it has lots of gluten free recipes. Worth trying.

josetteplank.com said...

I really want to try making my own bread. I looked at the 5-Minutes-A-Day books and they look about right for me. This sounds just fantastic!

leanne said...

I need to get back to making bread again. There is something therapeutic about working with dough and kneading it with your hands.

The Library Lady said...

This morning at 7:45 I mixed up Artisan In 5's basic recipe, went out at 7:50 to wait for the bus with daughter. Came home at 1PM and put the dough in the fridge. Will call daughter in an hour and ask her to take it out again. Around 6:30 will put it in a cast iron pan to bake and around 7:30 will violate the "don't slice hot bread" rule probably to eat it with dinner!