Sunday, July 11, 2010


I will be doing several posts in this series.   First let me" introduce myself".   I started making bread by hand when I was still single, in the mid-seventies.  It was light, delicious, and held together beautifully.  I had no idea why, I just worked with it until it was right.  I also realized that kneading bread by hand could give you quite a work out, good for the arms, especially the triceps and even for the abs.

Fast forward . . .  got married was broke as a church mouse when my husband changed careers five months later and it had to be good or we were in trouble, since I couldn't go out and buy some.  OK, I still had a little pride intact at that point and had to preserve a little dignity.  I married a really nice guy who had great cooks in his family.  He was the poor old bachelor (30) that everyone liked to take care of, so I had to live up to that.  The point being, please don't ignore this thinking, "I have a good recipe, don't need this".  It is good bread and who doesn't want to stretch their time in each day? 
  • First -- I will post the original recipe
  • Second -- will be the making of the recipe with pictures and results.
  • Third -- will be tweeking and playing with the recipes, because I am me, this is my blog and I can't help myself.   Angela said that it was OK because she did the same thing . . . wish I had gotten to know this kindred spirit earlier than a week before she moved!
  • Fourth -- I have learned a lot this week as I have used different ingredients, some of which I can't use if my grandson is going to be eating it.  I will be learning more as this process takes place and will share the good, the bad and ugly with you.  Left my pride behind me years ago and just want to make this life a growing experience for me and for anyone I can spare you the same "failures" that I may have  . . .  I am a mother and seem to take that old hen approach with any one around me.  Blame this one on my mom, she was that way.
  • So from an "Old Dog" , please don't write this series off if you feel you have nothing to learn.  I am 60 and still learn more every day.  Some of these are so quick it hurts.    Time is a priceless commodity in today's world.  This will help.
Some of the first lessons I learned :

  •  Know Your Machine --- When Angela showed me how to make this bread at her house, it was kneaded for 10 minutes.  When I did it at my house before teaching the bread class, the dough was really weird, lumpy and just wouldn't work up to a nice smooth surface like I am used to when forming loaves.  I finally realized that her machine had a dough hook like this.  It is a large industrial sized Kitchen Aid, just like I thought I wanted to replace mine with.  She said that it has a hard time kneading a four-loaf batch of dough when it is pure whole wheat flour.  So now I am wondering, like I can afford to buy anything right now . . .  

  • I have an old K-TEK machine that I bought about 25 years ago.  I made 6 loaves at a time, often twice a week.  If you notice, there are actually two hooks on this one and the white "flat arms" that stick out are stationary, so the hooks are pulling the dough against them while kneading.  Very efficient, but can murder your gluten in a heart beat if you don't pay attention. Who knew?  This wasn't the first time it has happened, just the first time in years.
  • So the moral of this long winded epistle is, read your owners manual!
Pantry Secrets Bread --  Angela's tweeks in (  ) 

  • 10 ½ cups bread flour or whole-wheat flour (or combination)  -- (we used 8 of whole wheat and 2 white all purpose flour that day)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 3 rounded Tablespoons SAF Instant Yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons (liquid) soy lecithin (or 2 1/2 Tab. dough enhancer or both)
  • 4 cups HOT tap water (or 3 cups hot water and 1 cup applesauce)

***It is important that you measure all ingredients very accurately!!***

    1.   Mix dry ingredients (and dough enhancer if using).  
    2.   Add liquid lecithin directly into 3 tablespoon indentations in the flour and water.


    ***  I tried to make one with a quarter cup, didn't work, so just make Tablespoon holes   Loved this little trick!***

    3.   Mix for one minute and check for consistency.  If dough is too dry or lumps to one side, add more water.  4.   If dough is too moist, add a little flour.  
    5.   Mix for 5 minutes for white bread, 10 minutes for wheat bread.  
    6.   It will eventually clean the sides of the bowl.  Dough will be sticky.  Don’t add any more water or flour after it has finished mixing.
    7.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
    8.   Spray counter and bread pans with cooking spray.  
    9.   Cut dough into 4 equal pieces..  
    10.  Shape loaves and cover with a dish towel.  
    11.  Let rise 20-25 minutes without touching or moving the dough.  
    12.  Bake for 25 minutes.  If using a convection oven, bake 14 minutes.  
    13.  Immediately remove from baking pans and allow to cool on racks.

    Old Dogs Can Always Learn New Tricks!

    I just spent a very long wonderful day with all good things to do and learn,  It was Super Saturday at church for the Relief Society.  If yo are not familiar with that group, it is one of the auxiliary for women, 18 and over in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  All of us who participate find it to be a wonderful support for us and our families.  We have leaders who are called to teach, serve and mentor us, whatever age and stage of life we may be in.  It is a privilege to serve in Relief Society which brings growth to us when we are in that capacity as well.

    Some times we have "Super Saturdays", where we just get together and do things, learn things and enjoy the time to be together as friends, sisters and mothers/daughters.   It got a little long for Mariah and I since our day started with Bountiful Baskets at 5:00 am. Linda, in the middle, was pretty well in charge today since the others presidency members were not able to come.. No one can make a girl feel more welcome and comfortable.

    I did teach a quick class about making bread and learned so much.  It 's kind of funny, I have been making bread since the mid 70's and just learn/relearned many bread making principles.  After all those years making it by hand, I still have to remember that machines can actually over develop your gluten.  I absolutely destroyed one batch one batch  and then wiped out the yeast trying to keep some attack dough live and workable so that everyone could knead it and get the "feel" of good bread dough texture.  It was so funny/weird watching it sit there and just go belly up . . . . . .   will share all of this tomorrow with pictures as I make it all over again and do it right!!!  The little gal on the right with the dark ponytail was my partner in crime at Girls Camp.  she laughed when I told her that we were making dutch oven bread.  I was't kidding.  The Artisan bread can and would  bake beautifully in a dutch oven.  Yum!!  I'll have to do that on Monday.

    ARTISAN BREAD  --  I just had to try these recipes.  I can not tell you how good this was!  It takes a little preplanning, but it was gone is 10 minutes.  If you ever go to restaurants and wish you could take home tones of that lovely bread with the light crunchy crust and wonderful melt in your mouth soft chewy insides, you want to try this bread!!  It's easy and will make any simple meal gourmet!  Wish I had taken pictures of it.  I will tomorrow!