Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker

This week I made bread. Sort of out of necessity. I wanted to try to make a bread somewhere near as decent as the wonderful Cracked Wheat bread that Winder Farms leaves for me every two weeks. I only get my milk delivery every two weeks, so if I run out of bread earlier, I am S.O.L, as the saying goes.

A few months ago I attended an activity at church where we all made something to eat from our food storage ingredients and brought them for each other to taste. One lady in my ward brought homemade bread. And it was the BEST homemade wheat bread I had ever had. I asked her why it was so light colored, so mild tasting, so smooth textured. It wan't like any whole wheat bread I had ever had. The key, she said, was using white wheat rather than red wheat. Previous to this, I think I might have heard of white wheat, but I had never tried it. Well, I was converted right then and there. I couldn't believe what a smooth, delicious, benign taste it had. So I decided to try to make my own wheat bread out of white wheat.

Luckily, I had bought two 50 lb containers of white wheat this fall. And I had bought dough enhancer and gluten (both of which I don't really understand, but I know that the recipe the lady in my ward gave me called for them.) And I had a wheat grinder even. So this weekend, I set out to try my hand at making bread. I have to admit it took me a couple of tries. The biggest problem was that the lady with the recipe was one of these types of cooks who "just knows" when the recipe is right. She doesn't measure. She eyeballs it. So there was a lot of detail missing from the instructions. The other problem was that her instinct for knowing when things "look right" comes from years of experience. And I have zero of these. So...

Batch 1: mushy on the bottom, flat, holey (not firm in texture), and entirely disappointing.

Batch 2: This time I didn't punch the dough down at all. I let it rise twice as high as the first recipe (even though the directions said 20 minutes and mine took 45), and I added a bit more flour. The result? Well, see for yourself...




If you'd like this recipe, just leave me a comment with your email address and I'll send it to you (ammended with my own tips, clarifications, and advice so your first 4 loaves won't end up in the trash like mine did.)

7 comments:

jennie w. said...

Much more gorgeous than mine. You probably should just post your recipe.

devri said...

Quit making me look bad!!!!


jk


I want one please-

makadevri@sfcn.org


Thank you, thank you thank you!!

veronica said...

I had to de-lurkify so I could ask for this recipe! Please share!
veronicajohnson3@gmail.com . Thanks!

Mama C. said...

Me please! I've always wanted to try my hand at homemade bread, but never had the nerve. Thanks for taking all of the guesswork out of it for me! :)

nickjsmom(at)aol(dot)com

Gayle said...

Hey Arianne,
It's Gayle, Sara's sister-in-law, married to Tommy. Anyway, I stumbled upon your blog via Sara's and I have now spent way too much time reading and laughing (no, guffawing) at your hilarity! I read lots of blogs for the cooking inspiration and, though many of them have good recipes, it's a precious few that can write like you. So thank you for the gut busting workout--laughter really is the best medicine. A bit thank you to Kelly as well for that gem of a story about the video store!! BTW, congrats on your LOVELY loaves of bread and, you betcha, I'd love to have the recipe. Have a great day!
Gayle

Ben said...

I've been trying to perfect mom's whole wheat bread recipe on and off for a few years now, and last time she was here I hd her make it...it was nothing like the printed recipe she gave to us kids. So I'm now willing to abandon family tradition and try something better. Send it on over to me. Please.

alex dumas said...

Go Ben. I love a man that makes bread.