Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bread From Grain to Crumb

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Here is the promised post about breadmaking from grain to crumb. Mostly pictures. Hope you like.
Grain, Vita-Mixer assembled, ready for grinding. I am using Prairie Gold White Wheat berries.

This is two cups of grain.
And this is what it looks like while grinding. It actually does end up with more flour than two cups. It's about 2.5 cups of flour. But the mixer piles it up on the sides. Nice thing about grinding in the mixer, no dust. The only dust is the flour I spill.
The finished product. Very fine, light and fluffy whole wheat flour.
This is the first mix. I mix up part of the flour, all of the yeast and water, sometimes all of the sugar and let it 'proof'. The bread turns out nicer, in my opinion.
This is what the first 'proofing' looks like when its done. I could let it go till it reaches the top and for some loaves I do, but really it just needs about 30 mins to make the loaf good.
Here is the dough with all the ingredients all mixed up, kneaded and ready for the second rise. See how the sides of the bowl are clean? That's when you know the dough is good to go.
After the second rise. Isn't it lovely?
All my 'shtuff' needed for forming loaves.
I dump the dough out onto a floured work surface (hubby is supposed to be making me a wood kneading board. I can't wait, then I'll be able to knead at the countertop.) pat it out into an even oval and divide it into two equal pieces.
Then I take the rolling pin and roll it even and flat. This helps to get out any air pockets and evens out the surface of the dough. This is important, for if you don't do this you could end up with holes in the body of the loaf. Ask me how I know this. After it's rolled up, pinch the seam shut and the ends. Fold the ends in and over the seam at the bottom. Place the loaf in a greased loaf pan seam side down.
I then place plastic wrap over the top of the pans (I stopped using tea towels long ago, it allows a skin to form on the top, which prohibits rising) and let it rise on top of my range with the range hood light on. That works wonderfully. Even in the winter!
Here are the two loves, lovely risen, in the oven ready to bake.

Tada! End product. Now that wasn't hard was it?

Few things about this particular recipe. It's 100% whole wheat and no oil (so very little fat).

Do you want the recipe?


Rachel F. said...

I enjoyed your pictorial bread-making report. Pretty cool!

I actually just tried my hand at making French bread tonight for small group and it actually turned out really nicely. The recipe made two loaves and I didn't take one slice home with me!

I'm finally feeling a little less intimidated by making my own bread.

Stacy said...

That's pretty close to how we do it.
I use tea towels to let it rise...I take a sharp knife and put a few slashes in the top of the bread, and I don't have any problems with it not rising.
I rise bread by putting the oven on as low as it will go while making the dough, then turning it off, putting the dough in, and leaving the oven door propped open. Then when its done rising I just close the oven door and set it for the correct temperature.