Sunday, October 29, 2006

baking day

I did indeed make sourdough bread today. But instead of making anything from the The Bread Bible I chose to use the recipe from The Joy of Cooking. I have an old copy from 1974 which is just about falling apart but this is truly one of my favorite cookbooks.

However for some reason I was not content to follow the recipe. Using fresh ground flour was enough of a change that I should have stopped there to see what effect this would have on the bread. Instead I chose to use part barley flour. Then, not having any molasses, I chose to use barley malt for my sweetener. The bread rose well overnight but was colder than I would have liked in the morning. I punched it down, added the egg, butter and the rest of the flour and set it to proof over the wood burning stove to make use of the extra heat. It rose well but didn't continue to rise once I put it in the oven to bake. As a result although it is tasty it doesn't have the crumb that I wanted and is a little too dense and not fluffy enough. Well, I learned something and it's not feeding the birds so I guess that counts as a success.

I was in a baking mood so I also made another bread varying a recipe I have for something called Cuban Bread. I used Hard Red Wheat, Spelt, Buckwheat and Kidney Beans for the flours approximately 2:2:1:1. When I ground it I changed the grind to coarse about half way through the milling so that this would have more substance to it.

Cuban-sort-of Bread

2 C. warm water
1 T. salt
2 T. sucanat
1/4 C. ground flaxseed
5-6 C. flour

Mix together water, salt, sucanat, flax and 2 C. flour. Let rest for 10 minutes. Add yeast and remaining flour until dough is formed. Let rest another 10 minutes. Shape and let rise until double. Bake 350 degrees approximately 35 minutes or till done. This bread came out looking great. It's for tomorrow for dinner so I can't tell how it tastes yet.

While baking I guess I felt like I was on a roll so I made two batches of cookies. One was almond barley biscotti. The other was oatmeal raisin coconut pecan cookies. We haven't had cookies in the house in a very long time (mostly because yours truly eats them all and we didn't want to go there) but I guess it was overdue. Both batches were pronounced a success by the guinea pigs official tasters.

Then came cleaning the kitchen....aaaaaaaauuuuuugh!

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