Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Beet Bread Revisited

So that I don't have to post twice, please go visit Wellness Wednesday #9 on my main blog to learn about my latest adventures in breadmaking. I will post the recipe here though:

Beet Bread (adapted from A Good Cook...Ten Talents by Frank and Rosalie Hurd, published by The College Press, Collegedale, TN, 1968)

Into a blender:
1 can diced beets, including juice (abt 2 cups)
1/3 c honey
2 1/2 c warm water

In small bowl or measuring cup:
1/2 c warm water
1 t honey
2 1/2 T yeast
Dissolve and let set five minutes, while...

Put beet mix in bowl and add:
1/2 c oil (I used light olive oil)
1/2 c ground flax seed
5 1/2 c whole wheat flour (mine was fresh ground)
Yeast mixture

Mix at low speed (I used a Kitchen Aid Pro5 mixer). When thoroughly combined, allow to rest in mixing bowl for 20 minutes.

After resting, add:
5 c unbleached white flour (I used King Arthur bread flour)
1 T salt (it is important to add the salt last, AFTER the yeast has rested in the dough as described in the previous step)

Knead 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. It may take less time in the mixer. Place in oiled bowl in warm, draft free area. (I used a large stainless steel mixing bowl because it grew out of my glass mixing bowl last time) Let rise until doubled.

Oil bread pans. Shape into 3-5 loaves, depending on size of pans. (I got 3 loaves using 2 large Pampered Chef stoneware loaf pans and 1 medium glass loaf pan or 4 loaves using only one stoneware pan, two medium glass pans and one small metal pan) Allow to rise again until double.

Bake at 375* for 50 minutes until done. Time will vary depending on loaf size. The glass pan could have done with a little less time. The stoneware pans were just right at 50 minutes. Loaves are cooked through if they sound hollow when tapping the bottoms. (ADD: Lately I have been setting the timer at 35 minutes and take out the smallest one, then set another 5 mins and check the mediums and take them out and leave the large one another 5 minutes. This seemed to work well.)

Oil tops to keep soft. When thoroughly cooled , wrap and store.

My Grandma Hopkins' notes say that she used 13 1/2 c whole wheat flour and 3 1/2-4 c beets/juice. From this she made 2 medium loaves, 4 small loaves and 12 rolls.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Beet Bread

Look what I did today! This feels so good to have a bread success, especially when you don't know really what you are doing! I had been looking for a recipe for years, for beet bread, which my Grandma Hopkins always made. Then last year my Aunt found it in the Ten Talents Cookbook, which is a Seventh Day Adventist cookbook. This is my first chance to make it. I remember helping Grandma grind the wheat and put the dough into all kinds of containers...baskets, tin cans and occasionally real bread pans! :o) She was always inventive about things like that, the ultimate frugal queen!

She made batches and batches of this and always gave it away. It had the loveliest raspberry colored dough and I always liked it, though many others were afraid to try it when they heard what was in it. Grandma was always making "experiments" and some family members and friends were quite cautious when she offered her goods! LOL

I ground the wheat in my Vita-Mix, so had fresh flour. It called for 5 cups wheat and 5 cups white. I used King Arthur unbleached bread flour and followed the recipe except for the 1/2 cup of soy flour, because we don't use soy. As I suspected Grandma didn't follow the recipe! :o)

You can't tell by the pictures but this is a king size loaf. My bread knife was in the dishwasher and the dishwasher was running so it didn't cut well, but I ate two slices with a little butter and a little wild, raw honey! Hmmm...DELICIOUS! It is tender and moist with a texture that a storebought bread eater would tolerate. That must be the white flour. I believe my Grandma used more beets because hers was really raspberry colored and used all whole wheat flour. Hers was a fairly dense bread. I would like to work on using less or no white flour but still need a texture that my picky family will tolerate. Would it work to use some oat flour or barley flour to replace some of the white?

This is a blurry picture, but I feel blessed to have Grandma's original cookbook and she does have notes. I misread her notes...that's why I have two king size loaves instead of 3 or more normal ones. Still, overall this was a bread success. My goal is find a bread my family will enjoy eating on a regular basis so that we can quite buying store bread!