The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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curvesarein

Well I decided to do something good for our health. Something I did 25 years ago and before when my young family was growing. I used to grind my own wheat and make my own bread from whole wheat grain. Everything we ate was fresh and full of nutrition and fiber. Then I married the Italian (half Irish too) and he wanted white bread or Irish soda bread etc. Not gonna touch the brown stuff. So I sold all my equipment to buy a stove! Big mistake. But seemed the thing to do at the time. Make the hubby happy! I wanted a new stove too! So now 25 years later I made a new investment in our health and bought a new model Bosch Universal Plus mixer with 800 watts of power and the ability to knead 4 loaves of bread in 10 minutes. Then I was on the search for the recipe from 30 years ago! Happy I found the website The Fresh Loaf and Old Wooden Spoon gave me the recipe I used back then ( that gave away our age right away!) My first day in the kitchen was like  the I Love Lucy show. Now I don't like to be on camera but this would have won me enough money to pay for my equipment for sure! Did I say it was an investment, not just a purchase.   Here is what I purchased after much research and past experience.     Nutrimill Grain Mill Nutri Mill Grainmill Flour Grinder   Now the first day was quite interesting, all seemed easy enough so I skimmed the directions on the equipment. I set up the Nutrimill to grind my wheat. Obviously I didn't have it quite locked in right as flour started shooting out the side, but one quick stop and we got that under control. Not too much mess to clean up. Then on to proofing the yeast. A little honey, warm water and yeast. It starts to bubble so I know it's working. Yay! Next is to start filling the mixer with water, flour, salt and honey, then I turn to find the yeast. It is starting to bubble forth like champagne out of the cup ! So I add that and proceed to add more flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. (that's how you tell it's ready)    Now my first mixer had 2 speeds, this has 4. I think I must have put it on speed 3. Somewhere someone said I should remove the outer rim of the bowl at this stage.     Now I never did that with the old one. But I figured why not, so removed it.    Then turned my back on the machine and went to the sink. I turned around and dough was breaking off and flying around my kitchen, I kid you not! Splat in the dining room, splat on the counter, splat on the kitchen floor. I put that rim on as fast as I could blink an eye. All went well after that and we got some beautiful tasty bread. Next baking day went smoothly with great results, (cinnamon bread) everyone wants to buy it. Not happening, that executive decision was made the first day. I'm not 25 anymore! I used to make 15 loaves a day, babysit and deliver the bread. $1.50 a loaf in the 80's. Now today was my 3rd day baking. I had to grind 20 lbs of wheat into flour that I sold for $4.00 for each 5 lbs. That took a while. Then I had some left over and decided to start a second batch of four loaves of bread. Needed to grind more flour.    Rule # 2 , don't overfill the hopper or turn your back on it. I'm always trying to multi-task. I turned around and the stove side of my kitchen looked like the first snow of winter!    I'm having to learn lots of patience with this new process, but the rewards are warm soft whole wheat loaves of bread. Guess what the Italian is eating willingly now? At lunch he waited for me to slice bread to make his sandwich. The little white rolls nearby were crying! The pictures tell the rest! I hear there really is an episode of I love Lucy baking bread! Gotta get that one from Netflix. Linda McErlean http://picasaweb.google.com/curvesarein/BreadBaking?authkey=Gv1sRgCMK-v5atusP07gE&feat=directlink   "Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains un-awakened."    

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