Monday, April 25, 2011

What's for Dinner? 4/25/11

 Ok, so I don't actually recommend eating just bread for dinner, but it's good to eat none the less. As some of you may know, I don't actually buy bread anymore. I make it myself; but I have a bread maker, so it's not so difficult. Here's what I normally do to make it. It's heavily adapted from the pastor's wife of the church I grew up in. She makes wonderful bread, so here are my little tweaks. Enjoy:

1 cup warm water
4 tbsp milk
4tbsp oil
4 tbsp sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
1 cup white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp vital wheat gluten

  It's important that you put in the ingredients in the bread pan in the order the manufacturer suggests. Mine says to put the liquids in first, so that's what I do. Start with some warm water.
 Add the 4 table spoons  milk.
 And the 4 table spoons oil.
 And the 4 tablespoons sugar (noticing a pattern here?)
 Now for the yeast. Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons to the pan. It's important that you keep the salt and the yeast from touching each other in this process. So I always put the yeast in as the first dry ingredient and then put the salt in as the last ingredient.
 The yeast will start to spread out and look like it's melting. That's good; it's how it works correctly. But this is why it's important to use warm water to make sure the yeast rises properly.
 You can use any combination of whole wheat and all purpose flour. Use one cup all purpose to keep the bread light enough to make sandwiches out of. If I use all whole wheat, it's extremely dense bread and not so good for using it for sandwiches and such.
 If you notice, I don't use full cups of the whole wheat. Whole Wheat flour sucks up the moisture. Honestly, this is kind of a guessing game as to how much you should reduce. A good rule of thumb is to reduce by a quarter cup, but sometimes the dough is too dry anyway. If it is too dry add a couple tablespoons of water during while the machine is kneading the dough. Sometimes I have to add flour because the dough is too wet. A lot of it depends on how dry or humid it is outside.
 Now add your 1 teaspoon of salt.
 and lastly, the vital wheat gluten. Bake it on the whole wheat setting if you are using more than 50% whole wheat flour. My particular machine kneads and bakes it for 3:40 minutes.
Finished!! :)

No comments: