Adventures of a "Real Food' virgin 8/16/07
Okay, the say confession is good for the soul. I confess there are two foods that for some reason confound me. One is Jello. For love or money I can't make Jello. It's either unset, runny, hard as a rock, separating, or won't come out of the mold. Mom soon learned not to ask me ever to make it.
The other is yeast bread. Boy am I embarassed to write that on a forum like this. I have truly tried, at my mother's elbow, to learn. She made the best Slovak egg bread and nut rolls at the drop of the hat. And when I was working with her, I could too, but on my own, watch out! Hard as a rock, layered, collapsed, or ovepuffed and empty in the middle, you name it and I've produced it.
Of course I am letting myself in for a big project, trying to learn the right way to do it, with the additional variable of freshly milled flour. Me, who thinks most whole wheat bread I have ever tasted is bitter and dry. Well, ya gotta jump into the middle, I say. I got my new Nutrimill
It was an adventure researching and buying it. However, there doesn't seem to be a lot out there on baking with it. One site says to allow extra time after mixing to let the bran absorb the liquid, but my main source doesn't. Also many recipes seem to be for a "Zo" breadmaking machine, whici is out of the budget right now. I did inherit a bread machine which my mother never used that can do 100% whole wheat bread, so I tried that.
I used the recipe in the machine book for 100% whole wheat and put it through its paces. this is my first loaf:
My first loaf
It came out pretty well. Nice even crumb, was fairly moist and didn't taste bitter. On the other hand, it was pretty dense, and much browner than i anticipated. My husband thought it was okay, and he is the bread muncher of the family. The half piece I had sat on my gut like a piece of cement. Am I not drinking enough water? Do I have to give in to conventional wisdom and use half unbleached white flour to lighten it up? We'll have to experiment.
Right now I mixed up a batch of focaccia dough in the machine and am letting it rise. This was an interesting recipe as it had a lot of flavorings in the dough. Will provide a picture of it if it turns out well in the next post.
Today, got an interesing post in the Mercola newsletter (http://www.mercola.com ). He pulls in all kinds of health (mainly anti-mainstream) articles then comments on them. I am not ready to buy everything he says, but there are some things you can find that are worth exploring. The one article I found striking was on Genetically Modified Food. It seems that when fed GM food, test animals are developing reproductive and digestive problems. It is a long URL so follow this tiny one: http://tinyurl.com/ysop35  He also provides a link to the Institute of Responsible Technology. That is an interesting site to look around: (http://www.responsibletechnology.org/ )
Well, gotta go play with my focaccia. Will let you all know how things turn out!