Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lent and bread

Clean week kicks my butt in so many different ways. It says, "Ok, Anna, we're starting Lent, so lets throw as much as possible (but only as much as you can handle) your way and see how you juggle and handle it all."

This week has been crazy to say the least. I won't go into detail because there's WAY too much. It's been a Days Of Our Lives sort of week but in a churchy, country, homeschoolish way. That should not, however, lead you to believe that any was pure or good.

One thing I do like about clean week is that whether I have been on the bread bandwagon or not I start again in clean week. The fasting rule for clean week is NO FOOD from Sunday night to Wednesday after liturgy. Of course we don't even try for that level, but I do tell my kids that that's the rule and I try to teach the kids they're lucky to get any food and it will help them get through Lent if they have a much stricter clean week. This goes for me and hubby as well, there is really a lot of good fasting food out there, so the first week is boring food at our house.

I like eating bread but I hate how it doesn't stick to my ribs, so I'm always looking for more ways to sneak in some protein. In some of my grain and bean research I've basically discovered the more variety you can pack into food the better it will fill you up and be good for you. Don't go overboard! Once I ground up 1/4 c of lentils to add to some cookies and the dough was HORRIBLE, my husband about fell over after taking a huge spoon. The baked cookies tasted much better, but after more research many un-cooked beans have a very strong flavor.

Tuesday I made what in my mind I called "Health Nut Bread" here's what I did...

Start with the basic recipe:
4c warm water + 4tsp yeast + ~1/2 c. sugar + 4tsp salt ....proof
Collect goodies to add...normally I add whole oats about 1/2-1 cup, but that day there was about 2cups of cooked oatmeal that wasn't going to be eaten so I added that. I also had 1 cup of cooked chick peas on hand so I blended them and added those too.
Keep in mind the chemistry that works in bread. I'm not an expert but I know you need extra gluten to get the non gluten ingredients to rise.
Spelt and Kamut are high in gluten and so I grabbed those and milled 1 cup of each and a 1/4 cup of millet. I even milled a 1/4 cup of brown rice.

I added a bunch of "Prairie Gold" wheat berries flour I'd ground on Monday.
I ground 1/4 c of flax seed in my coffee grinder and added that instead of oil which I would normally add in a "regular" recipe.
I ground more spelt and kamut to add later. I think I used about 1/2 wheat and 1/2 spelt/kamut. With the other flours thrown in. For some reason I always use these two grains together. They are very light in color and can substitute white flour, but cost more (at least in Alaska where we pay for shipping)...but are not refined white flour which I'm sure is not "good" for us but the way I figure it it's still better than buying only store bought bread.

Let it rise, keep an eye on it, it only took 20 minutes to get to here, but I think I added a touch extra yeast as I wanted a quick rise.

You can even skip the first rise if you're in a hurry, but I always let it rise just for a bit.
Cut up and put in pans, these loaves only rose another 20 minutes in the pan and I put them in the oven.

I didn't get a picture of them when they were done. Tastes just wonderful and the kids (and hubby) don't have a clue that there was left over oatmeal and beans it it. :)

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