Recently, in a well-equipped kitchen in Olivenhain, I had the opportunity to learn some tips for making delicious bread.
From not one, but two, experienced bakers.
We made the healthy kind.
And except for the fact that we did not actually harvest the grain, we started from the very beginning.
Grinding the wheat into flour (yes, we GROUND the wheat).
We used a heavy-duty Bosch bread mixer to combine the ingredients (yeast and oil and oats and honey and ground wheat).
Tip #1 -- Determine the right amount of flour…just enough so that the dough pulls away from the side of the mixer. You will have the elasticity but not the stickiness.
After the dough was dumped onto the counter, we kneaded a bit more.
Tip #2 -- Squeeze out all the air bubbles (use all ten fingers to push down while simultaneously rolling like a tootsie roll).
Tip #3 -- Flip the dough upside down into the pan to get that nice smooth top.
The dough sat on the counter until it doubled in size.
And how is this for an odd step.
Tip #4 -- Place the bread pans into a cold oven. Turn the temperature to 350 degrees. After 40 minutes you will have perfectly baked bread.
Tip #5 -- Slip baked bread into a brown paper bag for transporting. This allows the steam to escape.
There is nothing better than starting from scratch.
With experienced bakers.
Simple, healthy ingredients.
And all the advantages of modern appliances!
Recipe for Wheat Bread
Place in Glass Measuring cup:
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup honey
2 Tablespoons salt
Place in another Measuring cup:
½ cup warm water (baby bath water warm)
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons yeast
MIX in Bosch bowl w/lid:
5 cups hot tap water (not scorching hot)
7 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup powdered milk
Oil, honey and salt mixture; mix well.
Yeast mixture (yeast should be nice & bubbly & rising in cup)
5-6 more cups flour (wheat if you want whole wheat or white if you want half wheat/half white). Knead for 3 minutes, then check to see if the mixture is pulling away from the bowl. If not, add ½ cup more flour at a time until it is pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
For 10 more minutes.
Dump out onto lightly oiled surface and let dough rest for 5-10 minutes.
Oil hands and form into 5 loaves (or 10 small). Let rise in pans until doubled in size. Put in cold oven. Then turn oven onto 350 and bake for 35-40 minutes. Immediately turn out on rack to cool.
NOTE: This dough can also be used for dinner rolls, pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, scones and bagels.