Wedding days are full of promise…and we had fun watching the promises being exchanged between the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge this morning. In honour of the intertwining of two lives, our bread this week is braided whole wheat (wholesome, with some fibre for the tough times, but a little sweetness, too). And what better than a bottle of something (cheap or expensive, no matter, but sourced by walking to our local liquor store).
A loaf of bread, a jug of wine…and thou.
Wishing a lifetime of happiness to the Cambridges.
When I posted the recipe for whole wheat bread, I mentioned that you can dress it up, or dress it down. You can also turn it into a completely different kind of bread…and suddenly it’s not just whole wheat any more.
This one’s multi-grain. (Don’t worry…those dark brown spots are a couple of stowaway raisins that got into the recipe!)
Instead of the six cups of whole wheat flour, for this batch I used two of whole wheat, two of rolled oats, and two of cornmeal. I also tossed in half a cup of flax seeds that needed to get used up. The recipe takes the same amount of white flour as in the original recipe, and all the other instructions are exactly the same.
My bread obsession knows no bounds. This batch, just getting ready for the second rising, is whole wheat. When I was a kid, my grandmother would make most of our bread – sometimes every day. I would have preferred the squishy white bread that some of the other kids had in their lunches. I didn’t know how good I had it!
On the left is my “fancy loaf”. Most of the recipes I make yield four loaves, allowing a more energy-efficient use of the oven (and the bread-making hands). So I always do something special with at least one. In this case, when shaping the loaf, I sprinkled in oregano and snippets of sundried tomato. Then I also sprinkled a little oregano on top. Perfect for a savory accompaniment to some cold-day food.
Sure, the bread-making tends to fall off a little in the summer when it gets too hot. But as much as possible, I prefer to make my own rather than buy it in a store. I guess my grandmother was a pretty smart cookie after all! (And speaking of cookies…naw, let’s save that for another time).
Every time I tell someone I’m making bread, they answer, “Oh, do you have a breadmaker?”
“Yes”, I answer, “This is it”.
I make bread the same way your grandmother made bread. (Assuming your grandma made bread). Two hands, some flour, and the best therapy money can buy. Old recipes are best – unlike the breadmaker, most of these are designed to make four loaves at a time. Of course they need some adaptations for today’s modern diet. Shortening or lard can be replaced by a more heart-friendly oil – olive if you’re making a savoury bread, or something with a milder flavour, like canola. Salt (which used to be vital when yeast was more volatile) can now be cut down dramatically, or eliminated from the recipe entirely.
This is a batch I made earlier this week.
I know, I hear you…who has time?! Well, while this bread was on the go I did some cleaning. Worked on my French homework. Watched some television. Not to mention that other than the oven to bake it, the only energy used was mine.
It’s full of delicious, tasty things. (I substituted some rolled spelt flakes and whole wheat flour). The last loaf has some dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds in it. Those things, plus white flour, yeast, and some brown sugar, came from Better Bulk.
So get your breadmakers working – it’s faster than a breadmaker. You get more bread. And the kneading is the best therapy money can buy.