Monday, February 11, 2008
This is the third batch of bread I've baked in as many weeks and, I have to tell you, I'm hooked. I started buying freshly ground wheat from our local co-op, Back to the Basics, and it is amazing. To bake a batch of bread takes no more than twenty minutes of hands-on time (including getting out the ingredients and tossing the bowls and utensils into the dishwasher). My KitchenAid mixer kneads the bread for me and my oven proofs it (meaning: it stays at a warm temp with the fan running to help the bread rise). For me, the proofing function of our oven is what makes the whole thing possible. Anyone who's been at my house during the winter knows our heater isn't allowed to come on often and, as a result, our house is a bit chilly. Not a good environment for bread that needs to rise.
This batch of bread is a basic whole wheat recipe with a few other whole grains thrown in haphazardly. I realize that this is not the best way to bake (baking is a science, not an art) but it seems to be working out thus far. Fresh bread is unbeatable, especially when made with freshly ground wheat which is full of vitamins and minerals that are lost when wheat sits around in a paper bag on the grocery store shelf. I have one friend who grinds all of her wheat at home in a Nutrimill, but I'm not ready for that. At least, not yet.