Saturday, May 03, 2008

Singin' in the Grain

After enjoying a couple of warm sunny days, I thought I was prepared for the forecast of rain for today. But the damp weather has kept the temperatures lower than predicted, so I'm still clinging to cozy warm clothes and the desire to bake.

And what could be more pleasant than fresh bread on such a damp, cool day?

I had no idea what kind of bread I wanted to make, save that I wanted to be able to use it in peanut butter and jam sandwiches. (I'm just having a craving.) So I flipped through my Tassajara Bread Book and landed on the basic white bread recipe.

Don't think that I stuck with the plain white bread, though. I decided that I would use the recipe, with its enriched dough laden with egg (local), dry milk (local), and butter (non-local but organic), and clean out some of my other flours to boost the texture and nutritional value. That meant adding the last of one bag of buckwheat flour, some spelt flour, and some toasted wheat germ to all the unbleached flour.

Right away, I knew the combination would work well. As the sponge bubbled and rose, the yeasty aroma of the batter produced a slightly nutty edge, making me hungry for fresh bread from the start.

After working in the rest of the ingredients and kneading the dough, I found the recipe even more promising: tender but substantial, with a pleasing fragrance.

I allowed the dough to rise twice before I shaped the loaves, and while those rose, I puttered and worked on other projects, something I haven't had time to do in a while. (How lovely it is to have unplanned time at home!)

After lunch, I slid the loaves into the oven and let them bake for a full hour, and when they came out, my mouth started watering. Aren't they beautiful? The inside turned out beautifully speckled, perfectly moist and tender, and oh so delicious.

I haven't yet made that peanut butter and jam sandwich, but I have a feeling I will certainly get my fill of them this week with so much bread to enjoy (unless I give a loaf away).

Now that's something to sing about!


At 5/05/2008 11:27 PM, Anonymous Janet said...

Looks and sounds beautiful. I'm just trying to figure out what it has in common with white bread besides yeast. Methinks you don't need a recipe.

At 5/06/2008 7:02 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

I used all the same ingredients as in the white bread recipe -- eggs, dry milk, butter, yeast, salt, honey, unbleached flour -- and added wheat germ, spelt flour, and buckwheat flour. So I guess you might call it "beyond white" bread? :-)


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