Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bread Baking Day!

Bread baking started early this morning with grinding the wheat berries.  I keep several large 5 gallon bins that hold approx. 25 lbs of wheat berries.   I have a Marathon Uni-mill that I bought new about 34 years ago - amazing how time flies - and I have been making bread with this beauty all these years without a blip!

My wheat mill sits inside a cabinet on a roll out shelf/drawer.  See the door to the left that covers the mill up when not in use. 
I was up early so I could get all the bread baked and to get them packaged up for the next few months.  I ground enough wheat berries to produce 26 cups of flour which makes 8 loaves of bread.   Sorry I didn't start taking photos of the ground flour but I was not planning on putting up this post today....ho hum, but then I got a call from a friend for my recipe on my "No Knead Bread" which is listed below so I figured why not post all the recipes and photos at the same time.

You will need the largest Kitchen Aid mixer or a 12 quart Viking or Cuisinart mixer to make four loaves of bread at one time without having the machine struggle, burn out or stall!  You also could cut this recipe in half and use a smaller mixer and it should work fine.
Seven loaves of whole wheat bread and the other loaf is across the room on the kitchen table being munched on by my husband!

A lot of people complain that 100% whole wheat flour will not produce a nice high loaf so these photos dispute that fact.  Here is the recipe and what helps the loaves to get nice and big.

No Fail Whole Wheat Bread
Makes 4 loaves

3 T. yeast
5-1/2 cups warm water
13 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cups honey
2/3 cups cooking oil (I use olive or canola)
2 T. salt

1.  Sprinkle yeast in 1 cup warm water and leave to proof while you continue with step #2.
2.  Combine in bowl 4-1/2 c. warm water, 2/3 c. oil, 2/3 c. honey and 2 T. salt.  Add 7 cups w/w flour.  Beat at low speed until thoroughly mixed.  Increase speed to 2 or 3 on your mixer for 2-3 minutes.  Stop mixer and....
3.  Insert dough hook.  Add yeast mixture and 3 cups flour and knead until blended, then add 3 more cups flour slowly until mixed.  Let machine knead at #2 speed 6-7 minutes.

Place entire dough amount in large lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, set in warm location and let rise until double in size.   I have a Cuisinart toaster oven that I can set at 120 degrees.  I place a towel on top of the oven and then I place my s/s bowl on top, set the timer for about an hour and I start checking the rise of the dough towards the end of that hour.  It usually takes about an hour to get the dough doubled.  Remove dough from the large bowl and turn out on a lightly floured surface.  Oil your hands well which will make it a lot easier to get the dough out of the bowl.  Punch dough down,  divide into four loaves, roll and shape into loaves and place in 4 oiled loaf pans.  Let dough rise again until they are peaking well above the top of the pans.  Preheat oven and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
*Letting bread rise twice makes for a bigger and much lighter loaf.

This is the basic recipe but after you made this once or several times, you can then start to experiment with the ingredients.  I have made this using half rye flour, white flour and a host of added sweet or spicy additions.  You are only limited by your imagination.

Now on to the recipe for

"No Knead Bread"

 I use 6 quart plastic containers with lids (you can buy these on to mix everything in and to let the dough rise.

This container is the mix for a cinnamon/nut loaf

 This bucket is 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 white flour plus add cinnamon sugar,
 chopped pecans
 1/4 cup chopped dates
 add water and mix lightly with a wooden spoon

I have four loaves sitting in my plastic containers.  I mixed up one loaf each of the following:
1 fennel, all white flour plus Kalamata olives
1 plain white loaf
1 cinnamon/nuts with 1/2 whole wheat
1 pecan, date and white flour

If you decide to use Kalamata olives and they have seeds then use a nice wide knife to give the olive a nice whack.

Seeds almost pop out of the olive.  Then chop roughly and add to the flour mixture.

 Basic Recipe for "No Knead Bread"

3 cups flour
1 3/4 cups warm water
1/4-1/2 tsp. yeast
1 1/4 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients except the water with a wire whisk.  Add water and pull together with one hand or use a wooden spoon.  You just want the flour to be slightly moist but not overly wet.  Place some place to rise.  I have found that whole wheat flour sucks up a lot more water so you will probably have to add another 1/4 to 1/2 water to those mixtures.

Bake at 500 degrees for 30 minutes.

Dough will need a minimum of 12 hours to rise and will hold up to 19 hours outside of refrigeration.  If you make it in the morning and don't want to bake it that night then just place in the refrigerator until the next morning.  Turn dough out onto a flour dusted board and divide into two loaves.  Let rise on a cookie sheet or something that the dough won't stick to.  I've tried towels but sometimes that can be tricky getting it off the towel - sort of depends on how damp the dough is.  Let dough rise about double.  Preheat your oven to approx. 500 degrees.  Insert two cast iron pans with lids into your oven to preheat so they will get super hot!  This can take 15 minutes or longer to get your pans hot enough.  Keep in mind that the oven is VERY HOT AND SO ARE THESE PANS.  You probably should have long mitts, some place to sit the lids down on where you won't damage something.  Pull the shelf out of the oven before you try to remove the lids so you don't run a risk of burning yourself on the sides of the oven.  I drop the loaves into the pans (sometimes they will flip upside down but don't worry about that, they will be fine) and I put the lids back on as quickly as I can manage these two  loaves and pans.  HOT HOT HOT pans and oven so be very careful and think through this process before you start.  

  This is what I use - 5 qt. Lodge cast iron.

Since these loaves are in the process of rising I won't bake these until tomorrow morning but here they are sitting on my back splash working away!

I will post the finished baked loaves tomorrow!

That's it for today, have w/w loaves to package up for freezing.

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