Healthy Whole Wheat Challah, Page 111, November 20, 2017

Time for the final loaf before Thanksgiving, this one is a gift for my sister and her co-workers.  This loaf has an extra step I’ve not tried before and I am curious and hopeful about how it will turn out.

The cookbook notes that Challah is usually made with all white flour and this will be slightly more dense with the addition of whole wheat flour.

I added ingredients to the bread machine pan in the following order:

1 cup water

3 large eggs

1/4 cup pistachio oil (recipe calls for vegetable oil. After getting started, I realized I was out and went for the more flavorful pistachio.)

2 1/2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons salt

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups bread flour

2 tablespoons gluten

1 1/4 tablespoons instant potato flakes

2 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast

There are options in the cookbook to use medium or dark crust setting (I chose medium) and Basic or Whole Wheat bread settings (I opted for Basic.)

This is not a loaf to “set it and forget it”, however. At the end of Rise 2, I needed to stop the machine and remove the warm dough from the pan.  The instructions are then to divide the dough into 2 equal portions, a roll each portion into a “fat oblong sausage” about 10 inches long. Next, Ms. Hensperger writes:

“Place the two pieces side by side.  Holding each end, wrap one around the other, twisting each one at the same time, to create a fat twist effect.  Tuck under the ends and replace in the pan in the machine.  The twist shape will bake in the machine.”

I am not sure if I did that correctly, I ended up with a twisty-looking circle.  We shall see how it turns out.  Once the loaf was back in the pan, I let it rise for 55 minutes and then bake for 60.  The loaf was then removed from the bread pan and placed on a rack to cool completely.

After it cooled, I wrapped the loaf tightly in cellophane and put it into the freezer.

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Because it spent time in the freezer, I knew I wanted to send some kind of topping to offset any dryness.   I included some whipped honey with the loaf.

I heard back from my sister today, she took the loaf in to be shared at Steamboat Animal Hospital in Olympia, Washington.  Here are the comments we received:

“Soo good! It tastes perfect”

“Very tasty”

“Soft, not dry, Tried with honey. Very good “cold weather” loaf.”

“Delicious! Yum – love the taste, what’s the recipe?”

“This is too good!  Had with some honey!  Need more.”

“Very very good!  If I have to give constructive criticism I would say a TINY bit dry – but mmm!”

Sounds like this recipe was a winner.  I think serving it without having frozen it might have helped avoid dryness.

Thanks again to the gang at Steamboat!

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Cornmeal Honey Bread, page 148, July 19, 2015 (Happy Birthday, Dad)

Mom will be leaving and headed back home later today, so I am making this loaf for her to take when she goes.  I went through the cookbook and gave her several options, but this is the one she chose. It can also be done using the Delay timer and we have plans to do some running around today, so that is a bonus.

Into the bread machine pan go:  1 1/8 cups water, 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter; cut into pieces, 3 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 2/3 cups bread flour, 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal (the author recommends using stone-ground cornmeal.  I used what I had on hand.), 1/3 cup buttermilk powder, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon gluten and 1 3/4 teaspoons SAF yeast.  I am using the basic and dark crust settings on the machine, in addition to the delay timer.

When we were out and about, I did something wacky to my back and am finding it difficult to move, so we decided to come back home and relax.  I cancelled the delay timer and set the machine to start immediately.

As it is baking, it smells lovely.

IMG_4341 This loaf baked up to a beautiful golden brown, studded with dots of cornmeal.  When I removed it from the pan, there was a bit of the bread stuck behind on the bread machine paddle, so I tried a tiny taste and the sweetness of the honey blended so nicely with with tang of the buttermilk.  I will ask mom for more detail when she tries a while slice or two at home.

This isn’t the first time I have had bread stuck to the paddle,  or the paddle stuck inside my loaf.  This isn’t a huge problem, just a slight annoyance.  I went online and did some research.  I found a few suggestions if this is bothersome.  First, you can use a paper towel to smear a small amount of shortening onto the blade before baking each loaf.  The other recommendation was to wait until the final rise begins and take the dough ball out of the machine.  Remove the paddle from the machine and replace the dough ball.  Let the final rising and baking continue.  I will try the shortening trick with the next loaf I bake.

20150721_115757I heard from mom, she sent me this picture for sharing.  She said, “Very nice!  Good texture.  Just enough corn meal to make it slightly chewy.  Toasted with honey.”

I spoke to her again, later this afternoon and she had made a toasted cheese sandwich for lunch on some of the bread and really liked that, too.