August 12, 2013

YOU DON'T NEED TO BUY THAT: WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

For almost a year I've been feeling pretty passionate about the whole concept of frugal living. Not only because it saves my family a lot of money, but also because of the sense of purpose that comes with it. There's no doubt that I'm a creative at heart, but I don't often find the time to make something with my hands. Frugal living calls for hand-making simply because it's often cheaper to make than to buy. All in all, it is a very empowering change in my life.

Old habits die hard. When I'm feeling excited about something I want to share. I want to tell everyone. Teach everyone. And I think the people in my life might be tired of hearing about it. So I thought blog. Why not, right? Share some of this new experience and maybe someone else out there will get something from it. No, this is not a worldwide revolution - this has been going on forever. But this is a revolution in our home.

The first thing I'd like to share is a mini-series called You Don't Need to Buy That. I'll mostly be sharing easy recipes for pantry staples that have been saving us big time. Key word easy. Let's do this.



I'd mentioned in my previous post that I had taken on baking all of the bread for our family. I had tried this many moons ago and failed miserably. But I am persistent if nothing else and that's what lead me on a search for the perfect 'no knead' recipe search. I found this recipe and gave it a go. Very nice. I added a few extra bits and pieces to make it our own and we've got a brand new carb addiction.

Gather your army of supplies:

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1 1/2 tbsp raw sunflower seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey

1 1/2 - 2 cups water




Combine your dry ingredients and mix. I like to use a whisk because it gives your a really thorough mix when working with dry materials.



Add oil, honey and water. I like to pour the oil first because it makes the measuring spoon a slippery. When I measure out the honey afterward it all slides out of the spoon. When I add the water I typically pour about a cup and a half and then mix. If I need more moisture then I add more water.



Your dough should look something like this. Wet, but not soaked. It ain't pretty but it will be eventually.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside. You'll want to let your dough sit for 12 - 18 hours. What you want is for the dough to double in size. I typically prepare the dough after I get the kids in bed and then I can bake it first thing the next day.

I would advise against making this recipe on really humid days. It will fall flat and the end result will be a very short loaf. There may be a way around this but I ain't no bread scientist.



So, it seems my camera person (me) forgot to take photos after this bit so you'll have to imagine the rest.

Once your dough has doubled you will want to dust a flat surface with flour. Dump out your dough and dust it with flour as well. Now you're going to knead it. I know I said no knead before but I was lying. You have about 10 seconds of light work ahead of you. You want to get rid of the stickiness and have the dough spring back just a little.

Prepare your loaf pan by lightly greasing it and then plop the dough in there. You'll want to push out the sides and try to make your dough form a loaf shape. Then cover the pan with the plastic wrap from the bowl and let it sit for about a half an hour. This will allow your bread to rise for a second time.

When you have about five minutes left you'll want to preheat your oven to 350. Once the oven is ready you will bake your little masterpiece for 30 - 40 minutes. You can check the readiness of your bread with a thermometer. If it's 180 or more you are good to go!



Let it cool for a few hours so that it will retain it's shape when being cut. Or eat the whole damn thing within 20 minutes. It's whatever you like.
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