Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More On Bread

This is starting out with the hard red wheat berries (in jar at right). The downfall to using the Vita-Mix for making flour is that you can only do 2 cups of grain at a time. On the other hand it's extremely fast so not really that inconvenient.

This picture was taken after counting to five, so you can see it happens fast.

This picture was taken after 35 seconds - Voila! Fresh ground flour!

Today I ground spelt berries to make flour. Spelt is a relative to wheat, but I find it makes a little lighter flour and has a natural sweetness to it. It seems to cut the slight bitterness that can sometimes occur with Whole Wheat. Yesterday I made a batch of my beet bread using some spelt flour I had. It wasn't really rancid, but wasn't fresh either. Then I realized that I had bought it at the farm where it was grown in Eastern Washington. I was last there in August 2006! So, this was 18 months old. That's old especially in our hot climate. I did have some spelt berries of unknown age, but younger than the flour! So today I ground fresh flour from them and that was the key! It truly is amazing, even when your flour is fresh from the store, the difference in taste between fresh ground and purchased flour.

This is the wheat flour along with the sprouted, ground flax I found at Costco. I'm hoping this is okay to use. I was going to fresh grind flax seed as well. (Initially this recipe called for whole flax seed) But, the reading I have been doing lately suggested that sprouted grains are healthier, so I thought we would try this. I don't know for sure whether it is any better or not!

This is the beet/water/oil/honey combo in the Vita-Mix. Isn't it pretty? I don't like beets, so the smell is pretty horrid to me.

This is halfway through the mixing. The first ingredients are put together, yeast is added and allowed to rest. Different brands of canned beats seem to differ in color. This one is average. Another brand I used (but can't remember) produced beautiful raspberry dough. I let it rest for 20 minutes at this point in time, then come back and add the rest of the ingredients and the salt. This is supposed to enhance the yeast performance.

After the dough is needed in my Kitchen Aid Pro5 mixer, I put it in this large stainless steel bowl and set it on my stovetop. We have a gas stove and the heat from the pilot is vented to the top as well as through the vents. It is warm enough to aid in the proofing process but not too warm to kill the yeast.

While the dough is proofing you can read a book, sing a song, do a dance or visit with your damsel (A has a pink damsel's hat on but her head is tipped so you don't see it) who is playing with Mater!

After proofing, shape into loaves and allow to double in size again. This part, I'm still quite amatuer at as you can see from the shapes of my loaves. I have not figured out yet what size and how many to do and I think I have been proofing them too long because they collapse a little on top. At first I thought it was too much moisture, but that was not the problem with the dough today and after reading I found too much proofing can do this. I think I might need to just go back to doing 3 loaves and not using the small one, but am not sure. I did eliminate my large pampered chef pans. :o( I have three glass pans - all three are different sizes!

Here they are, ready to bake. Just behind the brown pan (part of a baking set I bought in Germany in 1984 and it makes a "cutie little loaf" as my Grandma would say) is an oven thermometer. My oven seems to be running 25 degrees lower than what the knob reads. I still did not adjust the temp. 375* on my oven is really 350* and if you adjust 25* for glass, that would be right anyway. I take the smallest loaf out at 30-35 minutes and leave the rest in 5-10 minutes more. That works for these sizes. I used the full 50 minutes when using big loaves.

Here are all 3 loaves, a little lumpy but very yummy. My daughter J would not eat the bread when I made it with white flour, but will with the spelt added. I think it has to be the sweetness of the spelt covering the slight bitterness of whole grain. This recipe, when fine tuned might be the keeper. It's a miracle that all 3 of my kids AND Hubby like this bread!!!

Here is a closer picture showing the nice texture. My adjusted recipe is as follows:

Beet Wheat Spelt Bread

Set Aside: 1/2 cup warm water

1 t honey

2 T Instant Yeast

Blend: 1 - 15oz can beets

1/3 c honey

1/3 c light olive oil

2 1/2 c warm water

Mix: 5 1/2 c whole wheat flour

1/2 c ground sprouted flax or flax meal

2 t Lecithin granules

Yeast Mixture

Beet Mixture

Mix only until combined and let set 20 minutes.

Add: 3 1/2 c spelt flour

1 1/2 c whole wheat flour

1 T salt

Knead in mixer for 4-5 minutes. If dough seems too sticky, add more whole wheat flour a little at a time. I added an additional 1/3 cup whole wheat flour. Placed in oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.

Divid dough into 3-4 loaf pans, depending on your size. Let them raise until double again.

Bake at 375* or 350* for glass, 30-50 minutes depending on loaf size. Remove from oven and release from pan. Brush olive oil on crust to keep tender.

Serve and Enjoy!

(Feel free to enjoy my recipe but please be kind and give credit where credit is due. This is shared to enjoy, not to be sold or copied without permission. Thank you!)


Danielle said...

It looks great. Thanks for journalling your bread making. I found some non-GMO, organic yeast from Rapunzel. I haven't tried it yet, but I now you were looking around for something like that.
A question for you: which Pampered Chef pans did you stop using and why?

Teresa said...

Your bread is very pretty! I've never thought of mixing the spelt and whole wheat. I'll have to give it a try.

S said...

Hi. Bread looks yummy! :-) I believe it was Sue Becker (www.breadbeckers.com) that I once heard say you should have a loaf of bread from grinding of wheat to finished product within 4 hours to retain over 90% of vitamins. If you grind and freeze or use later, you still have the extra fiber and some of the extra vits, just not as much as very fresh. I'm still learning about sprouting.

If you have kitchen scales, you might want to weigh your dough before shaping. It looks good. Perhaps you might want to try shaping with some oil and not using flouring of hands, etc.

Funny thing is, I found your site via a search on how to make damsel hats. LOL I'm teaching a medieval history class for our homeschool co-op and need some damsel hats. Alas, back to my search. :-)

Happy baking!

Theresa said...

S - I don't have any other way to tell you thanks for the input, but you probably wont' get this. I appreciate the advice and I hope you found instructions on a damsel hat! :o)