Buttermilk Whole Wheat Bread, page 108, September 2, 2015

It has been a while since I made a whole wheat loaf and I will be giving this to a local artist, Karen Brownlee as a thank you.  During this year’s Peninsula Clay Artists Show and Sale she lead a ceramics workshop I participated in.  Unfortunately, the totem I made in class didn’t turn out and she graciously offered to have me come into her studio and try again.

In looking at the ingredients for this loaf, I noted the combination of buttermilk and maple syrup. I think that sounds delightful, so I hope she and her family enjoy the bread.

I added my ingredients in the following order:  1 1/8 cups water, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups bread flour, 4 1/2 tablespoons dry buttermilk powder, 1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon gluten and 2 teaspoons SAF yeast.  The recipe calls for use of the medium crust cycle and allows the baker to choose between the basic and whole wheat settings, I used whole wheat.

This smelled great as it was baking, the tang of the buttermilk was certainly evident.  It rose to a nice height and baked up without a crater, I call that a win.  I didn’t think to get a photo of this one though.

It was still warm when I was ready to deliver it, so I did a little research online and learned that the best way to transport bread that is still warm is in an open paper bag.  Wrapping a warm loaf in plastic or foil will trap too much moisture.

I hope Karen and her family enjoy it.

I spoke with Karen today. She and her husband enjoyed it; but it was “too healthy” for her kids. 

Cracked Wheat Bread, page 129, July 26, 2015

Time to bake yet another high-fiber loaf to give away this next week.

This recipe uses molasses as the sweetening agent, so that will add an entirely different flavor profile to this grainy loaf.

An hour before I was to begin, I poured 3/4 cup boiling water over 1/2 cup cracked wheat in a bowl.  To that, I added 3 tablespoons molasses, 2 tablespoons butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.  That was then left to stand for 1 hour at room temperature to soften the grain.

After the hour was up, ingredients went into the bread machine pan in the following order:  The cracked wheat mixture, 3/4 cup water, 2 2/3 cups bread flour, 1/3 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon gluten and 2 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast. (Depending on the instructions for your machine, just be sure to include the cracked wheat mixture as a liquid.)

The cookbook calls for this to be baked using the medium crust and basic bread cycle.  I really wavered about using the whole wheat cycle instead, but decided to follow the instructions.  Ms. Hensperger is the expert here.

I noticed as this was mixing and then kneading, that the dough ball looked really wet, so I sprinkled it with another tablespoon or so of flour and that seemed to help.  We shall see if that helped or hindered this loaf later on.

With just over an hour to go, the loaf looked beautiful through the window on the top of my bread machine.  Then, it cratered.  What a disappointment.  This could have been due to any number of things, the extra flour, the cycle I used, not adding enough extra flour, even my machine itself.  I will still use this as a loaf for someone else, just for someone who loves me enough to ignore a crater loaf.

No photos, you’ve seen one crater, you’ve seen them all.

Here are the results of the taste test:

“Good, I like the grains in it.  Needs butter.”

“Very good I put some mozz cheese on it and popped it in the toaster – I’m in love.”

“Chewy, I liked it with butter!”

Flax Seed Whole Wheat Bread, page 118, July 25, 2015

According to webmd.com, the following is believed about Flax Seed:

“Some call it one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet. There’s some evidence it may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. That’s quite a tall order for a tiny seed that’s been around for centuries.”

With those kinds of benefits, I feel like I should bake loaves and loaves of this bread for all my loved ones.  This loaf will be shared with family later this week, so I will write this post solely about the baking of it for now.

According to the author, this is a great bread for sandwiches, or for serving with soups and stews.

Ingredients went into the bread machine pan in the following order:  1 1/8 cups water, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 3 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 cups bread flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk, 2 tablespoons flax seed, 1 tablespoon gluten and 2 teaspoons SAF yeast.  This recipe recommends the medium crust and whole wheat cycle settings on my machine.

I just finished baking my last loaf with starting this one, so after washing out the pan, and adding the ingredients, the machine was still not quite cool enough to start again.  I didn’t realize that it neIMG_4364eded to cool, but when I tried to start this loaf, it beeped and gave me an error code.  I waited a total of 10 minutes and tried again, this time the cycle started, but now I know to let the machine cool a bit between loaves.

This loaf baked up nice and high with a lovely brown crust; it smells delightful.  It smells so good, I wish it was something I could try for myself.  I will come back to this post and add my taste testers’ thoughts later.

Thanks to the staff at Steamboat Animal Hospital, for taste-testing for me.

“Very good, would make great sandwiches.”

“a little plain but healthy good for a sandwich or with honey and butter.”

Banana Oatmeal Bread with Walnuts*, page 444, July 25, 2015

* This recipe actually calls for macadamia nuts, but I am using what I have on hand.  Waste not want not.

I am on a mission, I am trying to get 6 loaves of bread baked this weekend.  I will be going to see family next week and need more guinea pigs taste testers for the loaves I cannot eat myself.  So this will be a largely high fiber baking weekend.

The first loaf is in the Sweet Loaves chapter of the cookbook. I had some bananas that needed to be used up, so this sounded like a good loaf.  The directions state that this is definitely a loaf for toasting, so I will be sure to share that with the recipient.

The ingredients I used went into the bread machine in the following order: 1 cup milk, 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces, 7/8 cup sliced banana, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 2 cups bread flour, 1 cut whole wheat flour, 2/3 cup rolled oats, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon gluten and 2 1/4 teaspoons SAF yeast.  I set the machine for a medium crust and sweet bread and let it start.  When the machine beeped between Kneads 1 and 2, I added 1/3 cup chopped walnuts.

As the baking began, the smell of banana was quite intense.  As time went on, it either lessened, or I became used to it.  It still smells lovely, but it smells more like a whole wheat bread than a banana bread.  I know most banana breads I have eaten were quick breads which are usually far sweeter, denser and moister than yeast breadsIMG_4357 so I am very curious to see what my taste tester thinks of this.

The loaf didn’t bake up very high, it has a nicely browned, and nubby exterior, a result of the nuts and oats, to be sure.  It feels rather heavy for its size, so that will be something to bear in mind when the tasting results come back.

My sister shared the bread with her co-workers and this is what they had to say;

“Good!  A little dry but I love how dense it is.”

“Good – Would like to taste a bit more banana & is a bit dry.”

“Yummy! Though it’s a little dry, it’s delicious!  Would be great with yogurt.”

So tasty, but dry. All in all, a good result though.

Sourdough Sunflower Seed Honey Bread, page 286, June 22, 2015

This is another loaf for my sister.  I am making myself a loaf of sourdough French and decided to keep the starter active and bake a loaf for Becky as  well.

First thing I have to mention is that the title is misleading here.  I am sure it must be an editing error; but there is no honey in this bread.  The sweetener called for here is dark brown sugar.  I considered substituting honey, but decided to follow the recipe as printed.

Into the pan on my bread machine, I added 1/2 cup fat free milk, 1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces, 1 cup sourdough starter, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup bread flour, 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1/3 cup sunflower seeds and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts.  After making a small well in the top of the dry ingredients, I added 1 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast.

The loaf requires a dark crust setting and the use of the Whole Wheat cycle on my machine.  

IMG_4246I didn’t hover  much on this one.  Once or twice I checked on it and scraped down the edge of the pan with my rubber spatula, but I didn’t stress myself out adding sprinkles of flour and water, trying to “perfect” the dough.  This was probably a wise decision on my part as the loaf is lovely.
It rose nice and high, with tasty sunflower seeds dotting the exterior, I am sure the inside is just as lovely.  I will ask Becky to take a picture of the loaf for me after it is sliced.

Well, I forgot to ask for pictures of the sliced loaf.  Here are the opinions, though:

“Good, needed butter, though.”

On a side note, Becky had provided butter, this person just didn’t know.

“Really awesome flavor!! Soft texture.”
“Awesome for rustic French Toast.”
“Love this!”
“Soooo yummy!”
“Would be good for anything.”
“Very moist”