Hello 2018! I am excited about this year. Why? Have you read our family’s new year resolution? If not you can here. I am most excited about what that resolution means for this blog which I have neglected ever since our family no longer needed to eat around 25 food allergies (the original niche of this blog).
I thought, what better way to kick off a year of sharing our family’s real food resolution then sharing our day-to-day (at least when I am on top of things) bread. Having this bread on hand makes me feel like a superwomen in the kitchen because nourishing meals are just a slice, a spread, and a veg away.
Course, I didn’t realize at the time of scheduling my recipes that this would be The Comedy of Errors Bread Edition. Wowzers. I’ve made hundreds of loaves of this bread…. but hadn’t written it down yet. So, I anticipated making if a few times to get the method and measurements down. Little did I know.
First I accidentally ground Kamut into a drum that was half full of rye flour. We got a lovely rye loaf, but definitely not this. Then I forgot to keep track of the rising times, then my husband turned on a burner under a pot of rising bread by accident, then I put a starter on the burner over the stove exhaust and killed part of my starter, then when triple checking the rising times I forgot the salt. Oi. Thankfully I got 8 loaves out of the ordeal and we’ve been enjoying the bread.
It would appear competence in the kitchen generally and competence in the kitchen when you are spending 10+ hours on the computer and behind the camera preparing to relaunch a blog are two different things.
Lastly, today my laptop kept sending random instructions to photoshop while I was trying to edit the photos and I was having an unusual amount of trouble editing in general. I was challenged by one friend if I was refusing to except I was human who couldn’t do things “perfectly” and another friend told me she’d pray for me before I realized I was taking it all way too seriously and not giving it to God.
Why are the “easiest” lessons always the hardest?
Ok, I will get back to the bread but I have to share one more thing. After the humbling, if good “letting go” scenario I was able to help drive home a point with my oldest, Christopher. He had wasted 1 1/2 hours goofing off today when he should have been working and then lost out on some reading and playing time. He was in tears upset at himself, and we discussed that all was forgiven and he should move on and learn from his lesson not dwell on it and lose more time. Not 30 minutes later I found out I needed to do the same thing. I wasted hours on one diptych (not pictured) and was upset about that and needed to pick up and move on.We sympathetically fist bumped and will probably think back to today when we re-learn that lesson 1,000 times.
As promised, the post comes back to bread, how about a cute Val and dough photo to segue?
What is this Kamut?
Shortly after we started being able to eat wheat again I fell in love with Kamut. It is an ancient wheat with a buttery flavor, that kneads up well, and has a beautiful light color and texture. In addition to preferring it culinarily ancient wheat is said to be much easier to digest and nutritious, and so that is what I choose. I buy mine in bulk from Bread Beckers Coop and grind it myself (affiliate link) to keep the cost down and for maximum nutrition.
While the jury is still out on how important I think it is to ferment grains (or even if I believe it is tradition beyond yeast bread and a few other examples) I do choose to bake all my yeast bread with sourdough. I haven’t decided what I think about rapid yeast yet, and I know I handle sourdough better than commercial yeast bread anyway. Probably the best part though is the flavor. Rapid rise just can’t compete.
Sourdough is capable of so much more then what people realize. While I love me a good rustic sourdough with plenty of tang, sourdough can make just about any yeast bread out there. This recipe is mild, slightly sweet, and fluffy – perfect for sandwiches.
Note: Affiliate links to products I recommend are used in this recipe. Purchases through said links cost nothing extra, but I do earn a percentage. Despite this cold-hearted attempt to make money rest assured no unicorns were harmed in the making of this post so I will still hold my head high.
- 1 cup (stir down before measuring) active starter
- 2½ cups warm water
- ¼ cup honey
- 5 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground Kamut)
- 3½ tsp salt (I like pink himilayan salt)
- 1-2 cups more flour (I use freshly ground Kamut)
- Start this dough early in the morning as it takes from 6-9 hours depending on how ready the starter is and the temperature of your house.
- Mix together the starter, the water (making sure it is not more than about 105 degrees), honey, and the 5 cups of flour.
- Let sit 30 minutes.
- Stir in the salt and add a little more flour to get a still slightly sticky, but kneadable dough. For the pictured loaf I did 1.5 extra flour then kneading in about ¼ cup more flour, but it will change based on your starter, the day, how settled the flour is etc.
- Knead for about 8 minutes, or until the dough passes the windowpane test where you can see light through the dough without it breaking.
- Put the dough in a large bowl (it will need to double to ~3.5 quarts) and cover with a little oil to keep it from drying. Cover either with plastic wrap, stick it in the oven, or drape a towel over the bowl and set a plate or lid over the bowl to keep it from drying out. Let rise until doubled. This usually takes me 4 hours but can take longer or shorter depending on several variables. If I am in a hurry I will rise it (very well covered) in my box style dehydrator set to 90 degrees. That takes about 2 hours.
- Generously butter two standard sized loaf pans. Divide the dough into two and shape into two loaves.
- Let rise on a center rack in the oven until roughly doubled again in standard bread pans this is the sides risen to the edges of the pan. It usually an additional takes 1 - 1½ hours. Once again you can speed it up in a dehydrator (to about 30-45 minutes), but it is a bit harder to cover bread pans enough to keep them from not drying out.
- Turn the oven to 350 and bake for 50-55 minutes, until the loaves sound hollow (assuming you know what hollow bread sounds like). Or, if like me you can't distinguish hollow sounding bread from non-hollow-sounding bread until a probe thermometer reads 205-210 degrees.