Monday, March 25, 2013

Our daily bread

I got a request to share our weekly bread recipe. I don't expect most people to want to make it this way because you need a grain mill and a variety of grains to mill, but none-the-less this is the way we do it...

Multi grain bread (makes 3 large loaves)

Add to grain mill, typically we set it on fine:
1 c Prairie Gold wheat berries (Hard white spring wheat, known for it's light color)
1c Hard Red wheat berries (I use this because a friend gave me hers, she didn't know it was flour, another reason to have a grain mill, you can score free food...)
1 c Spelt berries (ancient type of wheat, nutty flavor, high protein, not gluten free, typically paired with Kamut)
1 c Kamut berries (another type of wheat, high protein, not gluten free, typically paired with Spelt)
-we grind these 4 cups of wheat berries in our NutriMill grain mill-

4 kinds of wheat berries made into flour
Combine flour with 3.5 cups of water and cover with a plate, let sit overnight. (I have done a decent amount of research and have discovered that whole grains have Phytic acid in their hulls. This is not good for you and prohibits your body from absorbing the good nutrients in those same grains. Soaking or sprouting those grains breaks it down making it better for you and easier to digest. Not to mention that it makes a much nicer loaf of bread. The easiest way I have found to soak is after grinding, that way I don't have to soak the grain, then dry it then grind it. Saves many steps for us.)

here is the wheat soaking in the water, getting all soft and good for us
Add to grain mill:
1/2 c lentils (what ever I buy in bulk, I believe they are green or brown lentils)
1/2 c millet (this is a gluten free grain, is a complete protein, high in nutrients and much less expensive than quinoa)
1/2 c brown rice (I personally don't love cooked brown rice...perhaps I even hate it, so I add it to my bread)
-grind, this acts as my "white" flour that I add in later, these grains probably *should* also be soaked, but the recipe only calls for 3.5 cups of water and I'm trying to eliminate extra white flour)

Next day add to the dough:
1 heaping Tablespoon of yeast
1/4 warm water, proof

1 heaping T of salt
1 scoop (maybe 1/4 or 1/2?) of white sugar (this is clearly not the best sugar for us, but it's cheaper than honey or maple syrup so I use it because of cost and ease)
1/2 c ground flax seeds
1/2 c whole or quick oats
2-3 glugs of oil (that might be 1/4-1/3c oil? I use olive oil but any oil will do, I won't get into the trans fats oil thing today...)
(we use a large Kitchen Aid mixer, this recipe fits the normal large size, I have seen larger Kitchen Aid's just recently but this recipe is to the max of my large one, my sister does a large recipe in her Bosch mixer)

Gradually add your lentil/millet/rice flour. When it needs more flour start adding white all purpose or bread flour, you should only need one or two cups of this to make a nice, not sticky dough. Knead the rest of the way if you think it needs it. Let rise for 1.5 hours.

Grease 3 large loaf pans (I should measure mine, but I believe they are "regular" sized loaf pans, not mini size). Divide dough into 3 parts, shape into pretty oval loaves, flour, put into pans and let rise for 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let preheat for another 10 minutes, don't let the bread rise for more than 45 minutes. If you do, pop them out, re-grease pans, reshape loaves and let them rise a third time for only 20-30 min. It will rise much faster this time.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350. Remove loaves and pop them out of pans right away, they should be nice and brown on the bottom. Let cool on their sides. Put in bags when cool and eat within a couple of days or freeze. There are no chemicals so it WILL mold if it sits out for too long in a bag.

As is most bread, it's best enjoyed warm. You can also shape into rolls instead or create cinnamon/raisin bread with it instead of regular bread.

We typically start our bread on Thursdays and bake it on Fridays so we can have a yummy fresh loaf every Friday night.

As you can see it has many grains, thus the "Multi grain" name. I like using different grains in my cooking because they are a great way to get extra protein, minerals and nutrients into our diet. A better balance, if you ask me, than just plain wheat bread. I like knowing that even if my kids only put some butter and cinnamon/sugar on top they are still eating a "healthy" snack and they won't be hungry in 5 minutes.

The grain mill in an investment to be sure, but any whole grains are better for you if you grind them fresh and wheat flour can become rancid if it sits for too long after being ground. I originally split the mill with my sister and we'd share it, but she has since bought a hand crank mill (which I envy) and her little boys enjoy grinding her wheat for their weekly bread.

I have used the mill to make my own gram flour (not to be confused with graham flour). Gram flour is made from garbanzo beans or chickpeas or chana dal. Also called garbanzo flour or besan. Used a lot in Indian cooking and I've seen more in gluten free recipes. It grinds up those large beans no problem. If you are on a gluten free diet I would imagine that a NutriMill or something similar would be a great investment. Those tiny bags of specialty flours in the health food stores are expensive! But beans and rice are not. You just grind up what you need and you have your flour. I have a coffee grinder for the stickier (more oils) nuts and grains and spices. So if I need almond flour or to grind some flax seeds I use my coffee grinder for those.

Like I said before, this recipe will be way out of the league of many people and it certainly was for me a few years ago. But getting a system down really helps. And having a 9-year-old who only wants kitchen jobs (no animal jobs for her) is a great way to get my bread made weekly.

And I forgot to take more pics the day of baking. But here's the finished product.
Soft and extra delicious with homeade fireweed/rhubarb jam on top.


Denise Wilhelm said...

Anna, when you say "large loaf pans," are you just differentiating between small loaf pans and regular size, or do you actually use a larger-than-normal loaf pan?

AKmamaOf6 said...

Denise: They are the "regular" pan size. I have so many different small sized pans that I say this. I don't have an extra large size. Even small loaf pans work great, just bake them for 5-10 minutes less.