Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

National Bread Baking Day

Today is National Bread Baking Day. I used to bake bread..........but I guess work, kids, life just got in the way. In an effort to become more self sufficient and as a believer in taking small steps at a time to change our behaviors, bread baking is back on my list of things to do. No bread baking machine for me. I love kneading and working the bread. Punching it down again to allow it to rise. If you bake your own bread, you can control what goes in it. Organic flour, and yeast are readily available at your local green store. It will always be fresh, so it doesn't need any added preservatives. This afternoon I will have my granddaughters, and I think they need to learn how to bake bread. Here's our recipe for whole wheat bread. Check back later to see our "tutorial" on bread baking.

Whole Wheat Bread
3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey (be sure to buy local)
5 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

You can add dried herbs to the bread to make a great herbal bread for soups and stews, or butter the bread with an herbed butter. You can purchase both of these mixes at my website You can be assured of the quality of the dried herbs. They are purchased at Mountain Rose Herbs, and hand mixed.


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