Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bricks or Bread??

Today was cold and blustery.  There is a cold storm coming in from Alaska and being outside in drifting fog and icy wind for more than a few minutes just wasn't on my agenda.  I decided to tackle wheat bread...again.  I've tried to make it before and I've made enough bricks to build a shed.  I came across a recipe that swore it would deliver bread with a high wheat flour content, that would rise, wouldn't be bitter and would have a hint of sweetness.

Last night I started the process by making a biga which is flour, water and a little yeast mixed together and then left to rest overnight.  In the morning you have a nice bubbly bowl of starter.
Biga in the morning.

I also mixed the wheat flour with milk in a separate bowl and let it soak overnight.  This is supposed to make the wheat taste sweeter and help with developing gluten in the dough so it will rise.

This morning, I pulled the wheat flour soaked in milk from the refrigerator and tore it into pieces and put them in the bowl of my mixer.

Next I added the biga, honey, salt, yeast, butter and a little vegetable oil.

Then I let the mixer knead it for 10 minutes.  This was recommended rather than mixing by hand because it makes a very wet dough that is difficult to knead by hand.

After 10 minutes, it was smooth but still very soft.
I scraped it into a bowl and put it near the wood stove to rise.

While it was rising, I read my favorite blogs.

 After 45 minutes, I deflated it and folded the edges into the center 8 times.  Grab the edge of the dough, lift and pull to the center, rotate bowl 90 degrees, repeat, 8 times.  Then I set it out to rise again.
After folding, ready for second rise.

While I was waiting, I took Kersey for a walk.  She didn't mind the cold.  I walked FAST to stay warm.

When we got back, I turned the dough out onto my work table and cut it in two.  Then I patted each half into a rectangle and rolled it up.  After that they were plopped into their pans and set out for their third rise.

While the bread was rising for the last time (an hour), I fed the horses lunch and collected eggs.

Finally, the bread was ready to go into the oven.  I slashed the top so it could expand and slid the pans onto my pizza stone.

While it was baking, I worked on my needlepoint.

  They came out of the oven nice and brown and not at all bick-like!  Success!

 We ate most of one loaf for dinner....  mushroom soup, bread, goat butter, and wine.

 Bon Appetit!


  1. I found you at Farm Friend Friday.... beautiful, beautiful horses, and BEAUTIFUL Bread!

  2. WooHoo, success is sweet! Sounds like you really liked it. The dough looked good in the mixer but I haven't made bread in so many years what would I know. LOL

  3. Your bread makes my mouth water!! It is a weakness of mine. :)

  4. Well done - that bread looks beautiful! Good use of your rising times as well ;)

  5. Oh yum!! Congrats on it coming out just right. That's a lot of work!

    I love the pictures of things you did while waiting on the bread. I especially love the egg picture--such beautiful colors!


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