Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Baking Bread

There is nothing like the smell of bread baking in the oven, and it is hard to beat the taste of a warm slice of freshly baked bread smothered with melted butter! Thanks to my hungry growing boys, I've had a lot of practice at making bread. In this post I'll share with you how I make my yeast bread. Later, I'll post on my favorite bread to make-sourdough!

The first step in baking bread is grinding the wheat berries. The reason I grind my own wheat is because grains quickly go rancid after grinding, and you get more nutrition from freshly ground flour. Freezing your flour will help maintain it's freshness too. There are many different varieties of wheat berries. Hard wheat, as opposed to soft, is the wheat of choice when baking bread. Currently I am using a combination of hard red and hard white. I think most people prefer bread made with hard white wheat. I just happened to come across some hard red wheat berries at an unbeatable price!
Once I have put my wheat berries through my grain mill and have my freshly ground flour, I start adding the ingredients to my Bosch bowl. For those of you who are not familiar with a Bosch, it is a wonderful machine that simplifies all sorts of tedious kitchen jobs. Named after a German inventor, Robert Bosch, this machine has all the quality and performance you'd expect from something made in Germany. With it you can knead enough dough to make up to six loaves of bread. You can also get all kinds of accessories for it: a blender, slicer shredder, and food processor-just to name a few!
In my Bosch bowl I put my warm water, salt, olive oil, honey, and flour. I mix these together and then add my yeast. At this point, I leave my Bosch running while I add one cup of flour at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Then I let the Bosch knead the dough for about ten minutes. (Of course, this could be done by hand too.)

Here you can see that the dough is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl.

After the kneading, I divide my dough into five portions. I weigh each one (a habit I started do to wanting my loaves exactly the same size for market).

Then I shape my loaves, put them in my bread pans, and set them in a warm place until they are about doubled in size.

In this picture you see my dough ready for the oven. It will bake for 30-35 minutes.

Voila! Homemade bread!
At this point, the entire house is filled with the aroma of fresh baked bread, and all the vultures, I mean children, come running into the kitchen declaring how hungry they are! :>}

Send me an email if you would like my bread recipe in detail.

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