theCOZYgreenCOCOON

Headed towards back to the basics living.

Baking Bread | Week 4

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Finally, I’m blogging on week 4. I’ve been running a bit behind. Actually I’ve been running on hardly any sleep. And when that happens, blogging doesn’t. I made bread, I just didn’t blog. It all started about 4 weeks ago when my little girl started noticing the world around her. And I mean she noticed everything. Which meant eating went down on the list of priorities for her. So…she ate at night. Almost every 2 hours. Sometimes even less. Now if I told you I got 8 hours of sleep everynight you’d think “wow!” but they were broken up into little chunks. Not exactly energy inducing cat naps, let me tell you. I counted on DH letting me catch up on the weekends. But he had to work last weekend. Which meant the days and nights went on and on. Then about 3 nights ago she suddenly started sleeping through the night again. I had only been asleep about 5 hours when my eyes popped open. I sat up automatically. And then realized it was quiete in the room. Too quiete. My feet hit the floor. I rushed over to DD and there she was snoozing away. I tried to lay back down but man after 5 hours I was feeling energetic. (not something I would had said a few months ago after only 5 hours.) It has been blissful sleeping ever since.

So all that to say I finally feel pulled together enough to share my sandwich bread experience with you. This recipe comes from HBin5 again. I know, I know, I need to try out some different recipes but I tell you. This dough is convenient. It works for a mom with a little baby. The basic directions for the dough are the same so it makes it quick and easy to put together.

I’ve made this bread a few times and every time it turns out fantastic, including this one.  I would claim it as my new go to bread but I really want to find a recipe that doesn’t call for 5 eggs. Yeah. I know. Not too bad when you had almost a dozen chickens. But this does mean dipping into the egg selling profits.

Here the goods needed to make this bread:

5 C. whole wheat flour

2 1/2 cupes unbleached  all-purpose flour

1 1/2 T.  granulated yeast, or 2 packets

1 T. Kosher Salet

1/4 c. vital wheat gluten

2 1/2 cups lukewarm water

1/2 cup honey

5 Large Eggs

2/3 C. neutral flavored oil or unsalted butter

And here’s the Grind:

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  2. Mix together the wet ingredients.
  3. Combine using a heavy duty mixer. No kneading is necessary.
  4. Cover (not airtight) and allow to rise for approx. 2 hrs.
  5. Use immed. or regrigerate and use over the next 5 days.
  6. When ready to bake, lightly great a bread pan.
  7. Place a cantaloupe size piece of dough into the bread pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 90 minutes (40 minutes if using unrefrigerated dough).
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 30 minutes prior if you use a baking stone. Otherwise only about 5 min. preheat time is needed.
  9. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

And I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned about bread making so far in my experience:

  • Bread really needs a warm place to rise. Not just on the counter. My kitchen just isn’t warm enough. DH’s aunt told me she puts it on her heated massage table. (She is a massage therapist). Taking a cue from her, I started putting my rising dough about a foot away from the fire. Ever since my bread has started turning out sooo much better. Don’t have a fireplace? Consider a heating pad or maybe in the sun.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. The more I work with bread dough the more I become familiar with what works and what doesn’t for me. It seems that everybody has a different experience with the same bread. See this negative experience the author over at Kitchen Stewardship had with HBin5 with this same bread. Which brings me to my next point.
  • I’m beginning to think that a bread recipe chooses you, not the other way around. Every bread recipe I read has some positive and some negative reviews. So I’m beginning to think its the user that makes the difference in the outcome most of the time.
  • For me the crust has to be much darker than I used to think it did, in order to get the bread completely done all the way. You can also check the internal temperature of the bread using a meat thermometer. At 200 degrees its supposed to be done.
  • And for this particular bread, if you put it in a sealable bag and leave about an inch opening the bread will get a super soft crust without drying out the rest of the bread. A good mix for sandwiches!

I don’t claim to be a bread expert-at all-but I’m having a lot of fun learning as I go. And I just know that somewhere out there is the perfect sandwich staple bread for us so I’m going to keep on searching. Basically, I want it to be whole wheat, only requiring typical bread ingredients, simple directions and not requiring a bread machine. Know of a recipe that sounds like that????? Please email me with the recipe! I’m all ears-or eyes or something like that….

HAPPY SATURDAY Y’ALL!

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2 thoughts on “Baking Bread | Week 4

  1. Yay for sleep! Do u think she was going through a growth spurt, I think one is supposed to happen around 4 months right? Glad u posted this recipie . I have to say though that I am having major problems find vital wheat gluten around these parts. i went to the healthfood store and found wheat gluten flour and bought it cause it was the closest thing to it but now I find it really isnt interchangable at all. frustrated! if u find a recipie without all those eggs please post it! love you!

  2. Hi! I’m a friend of Rachelle Mullins & found your blog mentioned on hers. You may have tried this recipe out already, but heavenlyhomemakers.com has a honey whole wheat recipe my family loves…& it doesn’t require vital gluten! I’m fairly new to yeast bread making, & this recipe has turned out successfully each time I’ve made it. I hope it works well for you!

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