Monday, January 14, 2013

The Long Winter

It's crazy cold outside.  Translation: I am craving hot cocoa, marshmallows, hot soups and fresh baked bread.  Cold = Comfort Foods & me curled up on the couch with a good book.

The subzero temps outside remind me of Laura Ingles Wilder the year it snowed and snowed and snowed.  It  was so cold the train with supplies couldn't get through and the family was forced to live off very meagre rations for months.  Remember when Laura ground wheat grains in a coffee grinder and braided straw into fire logs.  I remember reading with horror about Laura's Bean Soup Lunches (pour off the water from the cooking dinner beans and voila you have lunch).  I feel so privileged to eat delicious foods, daily, almost hourly.

I felt so lucky and grateful for my blessings I started grinding wheat (in my electric grinder- Praise the Lord).   OHHHM the glory of fresh baked whole wheat bread.  I'm in heaven.

Here is a classic wheat bread recipe I use for my bread base.

Bob's Wheat Bread (makes 4 loafs)

Mix together and let the yeast bloom for 3 minutes:

4 1/3 cup warm water
1 cup honey
1/4 cup yeast

Add in and mix for 7 minutes:
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 cup oil
6 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons gluten

Add 5-6 more cups of wheat flour.  Knead 7 minutes more.

Let rise 20 minutes.  Punch Down.  Shape bread.  Let rise again for 20 minutes.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

The health benefits of Whole Wheat will have to wait for another day.  I'm busy eating.

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