Long Time Away & Chapati Flour Loaves
I've been mostly a lurker here on TFL, but I've had to keep away from my favorite forum for quite awhile - for a couple of reasons. First, my family was going through so much stress I was trying to focus on any possible solution(s). A very small member of our family was kidnapped by his biological (but mostly, during our tiny guy's short years, absent) father, kept out of state - the father lied to the court & it took a whole year to wait for the court dates. While the little boy isn't technically my grandchild (his mom is my son's girlfriend), I consider him to be, and I, along with his young mom & the rest of our family, fought tooth & nail for the little guy.
A whole year & a million prayers later, he's finally back with his mom (and us!). During this ordeal, my health got worse (I have an annoying disability that causes pain & fatigue), and I was wobbling around with a cane (both knees have significant cartilage loss). After all four of my adult kids intervened, worried about my future health (and my possible absence when they have kids), I decided I had to lose weight. Bread, I felt, is way too tempting for me - IMO, whole grains are very healthy - but I'd end up eating a whole loaf in a day, so I kept away from baking.
So far I've lost 43 pounds! (with about 60 more to go) I also discovered that yes, I can & do limit myself with bread - surprisingly (to me!) I ended up eating way too much pasta when I cooked some for my son, (I didn't even realize that it's comfort food to me), so it's more important for me to keep that away. I'm trying for a slow loss (now that I've lost enough so that 90% of my knee pain has vanished), substituting healthy foods, smaller portions & exercise - since that is what leads to more permanent weight loss. In other words - healthy living. :D
Anyway, I'm rambling (typical for me, haha) - I wanted to share that I made a terrific loaf of whole wheat bread with chapati flour I bought at a local Indian grocery store near me. I decided to take a chance and pick up a 10 pound bag to use to make sandwich loaves. After, I did a search here on TFL, and yes, someone wrote that it's just regular ww flour.
The chapati flour I bought is Laxmi brand. I noticed the dough was more yellowish than I usually experience - and it was really easy to handle. I can always tell how the bread is going to turn out by the handling of the dough- I've been baking bread since I was 14 yrs old, I'm now 58, and I usually go by 'feel' rather than science. In fact, most times, I seldom even follow a recipe. I did find a recipe online for a whole wheat sandwich bread (I used instant dry milk since I have lots in the house, and when it comes out of the oven, I spread some butter on the top - while I love crispy crusts, I try to keep the crust soft for my little favorite guy!)
One loaf is already gone - I'll try to get a photo of the crumb when we cut into the second. The loaves look - and taste - wonderful. I'm really happy with the results, especially since I was dog-tired when I (literally) threw it together - it was a very rare time when I really did NOT want to knead, but since I wanted bread right away, I couldn't wait the approx. 18 hrs for a no-knead bread.
At any rate, I'm very glad to be back, even though I'm mostly a lurker. Love this site - and love baking bread. So happy I now can bake without being concerned that I'll stop my (very necessary) weight loss. Can't wait to try a whole wheat baguette with this flour, too!