Greek Bread, page 55, February 22, 2016

I’ve been on a bread-baking hiatus for the past several months, so I am coming back with what sounds like a simple, tasty bread from the “Daily Breads” chapter of Ms. Hensperger’s book.  The dairy element in this recipe is evaporated goat’s milk.  It is mentioned that evaporated cow’s milk can be substituted, but that this is more “authentically” Greek.  The author also warns against substituting regular milk for evaporated because you will miss out on the sweetness.  This recipe uses a little bit of whole wheat flour, but I doubt it is enough to cause me difficulties, so I will be keeping this one for myself.

First into the bread machine pan goes 1 cup of evaporated goat’s milk.  (This didn’t use the whole can, so anyone out there how a suggestion for using a small amount of EGM, I am all ears.)  Next comes 1/3 cup water, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.  Flour for this loaf is 2 1/2 cups of bread flour and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour.  (According to the recipe, you can substitute 1/4 cup whole grain spelt flour for the whole wheat flour.) Then I add 1 1/4 tablespoons of sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon of gluten, 2 teaspoons sugar and 2 teaspoons SAF yeast.  This loaf uses the “Basic” and “Medium” settings on my machine.

I forgot how great baking makes my house smell; this loaf is rising beautifully and shows no signs of the dreaded “crater loaf.”

My plan for dinner tonight is homemade chicken noodle soup, and I think this bread ought to be great served alongside it.

The machine finished its cycle and I put the bread on a rack to cool while making my soup. It is a really pretty loaf of bread. It has perfect air pockets and the taste reminds me a little of a sourdough, owing to the goat’s milk, I’m sure.



All in all, a very tasty bread to restart my baking.

The soup’s pretty good, too. I used a recipe titled “The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup” by Gina Nistico from the February/March 2016 issue of Taste of Home Magazine.  It makes a huge pot of soup, so my freezer will be full for a good long while.

Not a loaf, just a lesson to be shared

I was thinking about how many times I have ended up with “crater loaves.”  True, I can sometimes find some error to attribute it to, but to have it continue just seems wrong.  In the cookbook, Ms. Hensperger states that you need to follow the instructions for your bread machine as to the order of ingredients that go into the pan.  The instruction manual for my machine reads:

—FIRST, liquid ingredients
—SECOND, dry ingredients
—LAST, yeast

That is what I have been doing, but I really wanted to see if there was something the manual DOESN’T say.  Sure enough, I found it.  Thank goodness for Google and the King Arthur Flour websites.

Salt is a natural yeast inhibitor and if it mixes too soon with the yeast in your bread, it can negatively affect your rise. I also read that creating a “well” for the yeast in the top of the flour will keep it better separated from the salt.

I will be making a loaf of Beer Cheese bread later today and shall see if I have any better results by adding the salt before the flour and the yeast into a well, after.