Saturday, April 10, 2010

utterly domestic

Is there anything more satisfying than baking bread? I feel so quaint when I make anything with yeast, and I'm always a little surprised when the dough rises. It just seems like such a culinary miracle to me, that you can mix flour and yeast and water and actually make bread. I know it's basic chemistry, but I'm as good at chemistry as I am good at math.

Last night I made Whole Wheat Flax Bread, from Simply in Season, a lovely little cookbook my sister-in-law gave me. Chocked full of "recipes that celebrate fresh, local foods in the spirit of More-with-Less," it's never lead me astray.

I've had my eye on this recipe for a while now, but I couldn't find whole wheat bread flour in Murphy. Our Ingles carries whole wheat flour and regular bread flour, but not whole wheat bread flour. I found what I needed in the bulk section at Poppies last weekend, and set to making this bread as my Friday night's entertainment.

It's not the easiest yeast bread ever. You combine whole wheat bread flour, regular bread flour, oil, honey, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seed meal with water and yeast, and stir until it's a "stiff, smooth dough." Then you're supposed to knead for 10 minutes. 10 minutes felt excessive, and I'm going to try it with my food processor's dough hook next time. (Real Simple says I can knead my dough in the food processor. Does anyone know if that's true?) I couldn't even make it past 8 minutes-- kneading is no fun-- so I gave up and hoped for the best.

8 minutes was fine.

The dough rose beautifully (it's a miracle! Look how big it got!) and I formed it into two round loaves. 30 minutes in the oven, and out came homemade bread. Amazing.
I like a crusty bread, and this really isn't one. It is, however, soft and surprisingly light and yummy. It tastes wholesome but not overly healthy, and I love that it's fiber-full.
I had some sliced and toasted as part of my lunch, and I covered it with Laughing Cow Spreadable Cheese. Next to my spinach salad with homemade blue cheese dressing (I used the dipping sauce from my buffalo chicken strips and thinned it down with a little more buttermilk), it made a tasty lunch.
I should note, this salad and cheese toast is way fancier than I normally eat when Edwin is out of town. He's covering the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival on his blog, and this meal on an actual plate is a far cry from my old gypsy meals eaten over the sink in solitude. I'm proud to report that I've been plating my meals and eating at the table.

Make some bread this weekend. You'll feel domesticly accomplished.

I hope you like it. I made it.

Lind, Mary Beth and Cathleen Hockman-Wert. Simply in Season. "Whole Wheat Flax Bread." p.288.

No comments:

Post a Comment