Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Place Where Bread Comes to Die...

This is my kitchen. I have never been good at baking. Over the years of being a good cook, I figured out simple things like quick breads, and the occasional muffin or two. But even garlic bread bought from the store just being warmed up usually ended up charred and black in my stove. (This has been true on MANY occasions.)

I have wanted to bake my own bread for years, but I just didn't have the knack for baking.

When my mom came up about this time last year, she tried to help me. But even with her, a seasoned and wonderful baker, looking over my shoulder, my bread turned out to be better used as a shot put than a tasty way to make a good sandwich. I gave up shortly after she left and didn't look back. Until...

St Patrick's Day I was having a big party, but had spent all of my party funds on really good Nitrite free corn beef, and didn't save any cash for bread. But I had eggs, and milk, and whole wheat flour. And thus, a Phoenix was born.

Adapted from the Milk Bread Recipe in the Joy of Cooking.

Combine in a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer and let stand until the yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes:

1 packet (2 1/4 tablespoons) active dry yeast

3 Tbs warm water (not too hot. Think baby bath water.)

Add:

1 cup milk (warm)

5 Tbs melted butter

3 Tbs raw sugar

1 tea sea salt

Mix on low speed for 1 minute. Gradually stir in:

2 cups white whole wheat or 'hard white' flour

Gradually add in until moist but not sticky:

1 1/2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour

Kneed with a pastry hook for 5 minutes or more and transfer to a floured board and kneed for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with olive oil in it and turn it over so the well oiled side is on top. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth napkin or kitchen towel, and let rise for in a warm place until doubled in volume. About 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough, knead briefly and shape into clover rolls in a muffin tin and let rise until again doubled in size, covered with the damp cloth again (about another hour). (Clover rolls are three med sized balls of dough put together in a muffin cup.)

Cook at 375* for 20 minutes or until the top is nice and brown.

Spread with butter and drizzle with raw honey and enjoy.

1 comment:

Sadie said...

Looks yummy! I figured out bread a few years back- my mom is an amazing bread baker so I had a lot to live up too. I found a pan roll recipe a few months ago that turned out amazing- an instant favorite here. (http://jillmoss.blogspot.com/2008/11/whole-wheat-pan-rolls.html) My problem was knowing how much flour too add....since it isn't an exact measurement...