Friday, January 29, 2010

Our Daily Bread

Several days ago a reader asked for my whole wheat bread recipe.  I decided to make a batch today, partly in order to verify my recipe before posting it.

While I was grinding my wheat with my trusty Magic Mill grain mill (purchased back in 1993), it suddenly started making a Very Loud Noise!  I noticed that it smelled hot too, so I let it cool off and tried again, but to no avail.  My wheat grinder ground its very last wheat berry today.   :(

Here is a picture of my deceased Magic Mill, which lived a very productive life. 

So, we dug out the Back to Basics hand mill, which we purchased during the Y2K scare!  (I'm surprised I even knew where I had stored it!)  It took forever and wore out many a strong arm to grind a few cups of wheat!  I predict that I won't be making too much bread in the days ahead!

The work is worth it when you see and smell this:

Here is my recipe:

Grind 10 cups of white winter wheat into finely milled flour.

In large mixing bowl with a dough hook (such as a Bosch or DLX), put 3 TBSP instant yeast, 2/3 cup olive oil, 2/3 cup honey, 6 cups warm water, and 6 cups freshly ground flour.  Mix together and then let the dough rest for about ten minutes (forming a sponge).  Add 2 TBSP salt, and 8-10 cups of flour.  (You can also add 2 TBSP freshly ground flax seed.)  Take care to add the flour slowly, so as not to add too much, which makes the bread dry and crumbly.  When dough cleans sides of bowl and clumps onto the dough hook, stop adding flour and knead for about 8-10 minutes on medium speed.

Turn dough out onto oiled surface, oil hands, and form 5 medium-sized loaves (or shape into rolls).  Place loaves into baking pans sprayed with cooking spray and place in oven set to lowest temperature to rise.  Let rise until dough fills the pans, about 30 minutes.  Turn oven up to 350 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until bread is golden brown.

When bread is done, turn out onto wire racks to cool.  (If a loaf sags when you turn it out onto wire rack, it is not all the way done inside.  Put loaf back into pan and put back into oven for 5 more minutes.)

When cool, place bread in large Ziploc bags and freeze what won't be eaten within 48 hours.

Our favorite way to eat fresh bread is warm from the oven and smothered with honey butter!!  (Put 1 stick of softened butter into a bowl and add 1/2 cup of honey.  Mix together briskly wtih a fork until smooth and creamy.)


Christie said...

Oh no!!! Its so frustrating when things break! I bought the exact same mill of ebay a couple of years ago for a pretty good price, so... maybe you can find replacement for a good price!

mommyx12 said...

This is a great post. I love your wheat grinder. Have you seen a pic of mine. Oh my, such a garage looking thing it is. I should do a post about my bread too. I need to make more tomorrow. It will be the 4th time just this week!! You'd think I would wise up and double up on my batch!! It goes so fast.

PS. We have a hand grinder just like yours too. My hubby mounted it to a stationary bicycle. Isn't that too funny.

Happy Busy Mama said...

Wow! Still going strong. You know I bought my mill and DLX mixer from you about 17 years ago. I sold the grinder a while back and bought a used Whisper Mill which is much quieter. My DLX is still going strong! Sadly, I have not used it for bread in a long time, but I do use the high powered blender for my green shakes. I love my green shakes except they seem to be the culprit of my kidney stones, so now I am researching which greens are lower in oxylates. ;-)

Rebecca's Refining said...

That looks so yummy!!! I may have to make bread myself this weekend! :) I love fresh, warm bread! :)
So sorry about your wheat grinder!

mommyx12 said...

Hey Elizabeth. I made bread again today and remembered to double the recipe so I would have to make any on the Sabbath. But I have a question. For years I have been making bread but gave up long ago in shaping the loaves so I just turned the dough into big rolls that could be easily sliced and toasted. Looking at your perfectly shaped loaves I really want mine to look like that. What's the secret? Mine just came out of the oven and I'll take some pics to try and do a post later. Tonight late if at all!! If you get a chance to see their misshapen form I would love any advice.

mommyx12 said...

I didn't get the email. I checked my spam but it isn't there.

About the eggs. You must pay quite a bit for eggs if buying a more natural brand is 2.50 more. When I buy store bought (walmart) I get an 18 count box 2.42. When I go to the farm I pay 2.00. I use the farm eggs raw in our smoothies (because I trust them more) and the all natural for hard boiling. I don't buy the organic ones unless they are on sale. The all natural ones are cage free and I figure that's good enough. How much are eggs down south?

Angela said...

Thanks for posting this, Elizabeth! I see that you use white winter wheat. I've been buying the red. I wonder which produces the more favorable results?? That was a lot of flour to grind by hand! I tried a hand mill before getting my KitchenAid mixer and grain mill attachment, and I was worn out! Knowing how much work it could be to grind flour, I am all the more thankful as I stand and watch my KitchenAid machine do the work. :-)

Great idea on the honey butter! I might just have to do that!

Thanks again for posting this, and thanks for visiting my blog!

God bless,

Diane said...

I have just started learning the art of bread making and those loaves look so lovely.

Neide Colson said...

I LL-OO-VV-EE Breads of all kinds! At our home, we've learned to use the Bread Machine (in fact, we are probably on our 4th or 5th machine), though. And, here in Brazil, there is a bakery on each corner of each street. So, we can get fresh bread any time we want, therefore, we haven't used our Bread Machine hardly ever, down here. But I have a question for you: I've been thinking about getting a Kitchen Aid (next time we go to the States). What is the difference between a Kitchen Aid and a DLX (never heard of this one before)?

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