Good For You.......

Happy New Year....Sorry for not keeping up as well as I should on the blog, you see our entire family joined us at the Holidays! Needless to say, I did a lot of cooking but none of it made it to the blog.
One of our New Year's Resolutions for 2009 was to start baking all of our own bread each week. This is not new to me, having baked bread on a daily basis for many years.
But with the price of our favorite bread at over $4.00 per loaf in the grocery store, I decided to pull out and dust off some tried and true favorite bread recipes.

This recipe combines good for you ingredients into what I call a "daily loaf". This bread can be used everyday for sandwiches, toast, etc. It has perfect flavor and texture to compliment almost any sandwich filling!

Lisa's Wheat Bread

2 tblsp & 1 tsp active dry yeast (about 1 & 1/2 pkg's)
1 & 3/4 cups warm water (not over 110 degrees F)
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
6 tblsp butter - melted & cooled
1/3 cup honey

In a 4 cup glass measuring cup, combine warm water, evap. milk, and honey. Whisk in yeast and let sit for 5 minutes. Add cooled butter and set aside. This mixture should never get above 110 degrees F, or you will kill the yeast and your bread will not rise.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the following:
3 cups unbleached Bread flour (King Arthur Flour is the best)
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup high gluten flour
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 & 1/2 tsp salt
(keep an additional 1 cup Bread flour in reserve to add to bread dough as needed)
Turn mixer on briefly to combine. With mixer on low speed, add liquid ingredients all at once to dry ingredients. In a few minutes the dough will come together, it should be barely sticking to the sides of the bowl and pull away easily. If the dough is too wet, it will be very sticky, add additional Bread flour in 1/4 cup increments, until the dough pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. Once you have achieved a balanced dough (not too sticky) let the mixer knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Check carefully for additional flour as needed.
When 10 minutes have passed, your dough should be smooth and form a ball easily when pulled from the bowl. Rub a little bit of olive oil onto the surface of the mixer bowl, turn your dough ball in bowl to coat.
Let dough rise to double (about 1 & 1/2 hours) in a warm, draft free area. Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel if your kitchen is cool or drafty. You can also raise your dough in the oven with the light on for heat.

After dough has risen to double, give it a good punch to release the gasses. Fold the dough into itself and form into a ball. Let dough rest while you butter 3 standard size (Length 8 1/2", Width 4 1/2", Height 2 3/4") loaf pans. Cut dough into 3 equal pieces, each piece should weigh approx 23 oz) Form each piece into a ball and let rest for 5 minutes. Take each dough piece and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it measures approx. 8" X 8". Roll dough up as you would for a cinnamon or jelly roll. pinching the seam tightly to form your loaf. Place dough seam side down into your prepared pan. Repeat with the two remaining dough pieces.
Cut shallow slashes into the top of each loaf and let rise until double (about 1 hour).

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped. You can also test them by inserting an instant read thermometer into the loaf, it should read 190 degrees F.
Remove loaves from pans, and cool on a rack on their sides for at least two hours before wrapping. Of course, you don't have to wait that long for a slice!

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Cincinnati, OH, United States
A dedicated foodie, with a passion for the best food. Favorite food crushes include; Cheese, Wine, Breads, Seafood, anything made with eggs, ...there's actually no point in a list, there isn't much out there I don't have a crush on. Transplanted from the Northeast at age 18, a whole new frontier of food was opened up to me. I have fished for Salmon, hunted for mushrooms, cracked open fresh oysters from the sea and devoured them on the spot. Figs, pears, peaches, so many indigenous jewels! I dedicate this BLOG to the endless variety this region provides. My hope is to live here for a very long time & continue to discover and experience it's unique bounty! Alas, my life has now taken me to Cincinnati, OH where the food culture is like none I have ever experienced.


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