Tuesday, February 17, 2015
This morning's temperature outside: -7 degrees. Tomorrow's alleged high for the day? A whopping five degrees. Nothing is happening yet as far as showing any signs of spring.... temperature-wise anyway.
All we can do is keep making hot soup and baking good bread, and try to keep ourselves (and our bellies) content until change is in the air and we have something to look forward to again. Right? Bake away, my friends....Bread, that is.
3 Cups of Flour
1/2 Cup of Rye Flour
1 Tablespoon of Yeast
1 1/3 Cups of lukewarm water (who was "Luke" anyway?)
2 Tablespoons of Olive oil
1 Tablespoon of Fine-ground Sea Salt
3 Tablespoons of Caraway Seeds
1 beaten egg white
Fill a small bowl with the water, sprinkle your yeast on top and let sit for ten minutes.
Add your salt and olive oil to the water and whisk it all together.
In a large mixing bowl combine both white and rye flours. Add only 2 tablespoons of the caraway seed, reserving the last tablespoon. At this point, I chuck everything into my KitchenAid mixer, fitted with the dough hook, and mix it all up on medium speed until the dough pulls from the sides of the bowl (about five minutes) Once this happens, cover your bowl with plastic and throw a dishtowel over it. Let it sit for 2 hours, or until you are ready to bake it. You could also mix everything by hand, if you're in need of some exercise.
Preheat your over to 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Take your bowl of dough and gather it into a loaf-shape. No need to let it rise again. Brush the loaf with beaten egg white and sprinkle on the remaining caraway seed. Put your loaf directly onto your baking stone that has been heating in the oven, or onto a greased baking sheet, and bake at 425 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Let it cool before slicing if you can help yourself...it makes for better sandwich slicing.
Oh by the way...apparently, the word "lukewarm" turned up around the 14th century as a description for "slightly warm." Within a couple of centuries, it also took on a figurative meaning, to describe "lacking enthusiasm." "Luke" was derived from "lew," "lewk" or "leuk," of which meant "tepid" or slightly warm, in Middle English. So now you know.
Please be a farmstead/homestead/farmer friend and share your favorite homemade bread recipes with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comment section below, or just to say hello and tell me about your farm and what you raise on it. I love hearing from new people and sharing good recipes! ~A
Saturday, January 17, 2015
A site that I frequent recently posted a recipe for French Bread. I found it very similar to my everyday recipe, with only slight differences. Bread is so easy to make, everyone should be doing it.
Anyway, I posted The Prairie Hometead's recipe, and then my recipe alongside, just for fun. And then I baked a loaf using my recipe. Because I find it hard to make a change when something works great every time. And because, "If it ain't broke..."
Ingredients (Prairie Recipe) (Mon Abri Farm Recipe)
1 1/4 cup warm water (80-90 degrees) 1 1/3 Cup3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 teaspoons sugar 1 Tablespoon
1 teaspoon sea salt Same
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour 3 1/4 Cups (or more if needed)
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast 1 1/2 Tablespoons (but I never really measure it)
Instructions (same for both recipes, but add the olive oil to the liquids)
1.Place yeast and sugar in large bowl2.Stir in warm water until everything dissolves
3.Add salt, and stir in as much flour as you can to create a soft, pliable dough that isn't too sticky
4.Knead on a lightly floured surface 6-8 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic
5.Return dough to bowl and cover with kitchen towel
6.Allow to rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size
7.Plop risen dough back on counter top and divide in half
8.Roll each half into a rectangular shape of about 10" by 8"
9.Roll up rectangle starting with a long side
10.Pinch ends to seal and shape into a "log"
11.If seam doesn't stick, use wet fingers to moisten dough until it adheres
12.Grease pizza stone or stoneware baking sheet and place loaves on it to rise another 30 minutes
13.Preheat oven to 375 degrees,
14.Optional: to give loaves a shiny brown finish prepare an egg wash by beating one egg with one tablespoon of water
15.Right before you pop loaves in oven, brush tops with egg wash and make 4 diagonal slashes across top using sharp, serrated knife
16.Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown
17.Allow to cool on wire racks before serving
18.Serve warm with lots of butter