Tag Archives: flour

Daily Bread Baking

Daily Bread Baking – how hard can it be?  With the right flour, it’s easy!  Tracking down non-hybridized wheat or ancient wheat varieties grown and processed in the United States without the use of unnecessary chemicals and not sprayed with glyphosate (think Roundup) at harvest is much harder than it should be.  But i found a couple sources.

The most recent and i’m very excited about this one is from Sunrise Flour Mill in North Branch, Minnesota.  Mrs. Glanville pointed out in her quick response to my question via their website that she and her husband are the millers, not growers.  Yet, her husband takes the time to visit and vet the growers from whom they purchase the Red Turkey variety of wheat they use.

Easy Heritage Yeast Bread

So, when my flour arrived, i found the above recipe and set about making the bread.  I made a loaf and it did not rise as i thought it should.  I had weighed my ingredients and had the water just right.  I broke the rules by using my Kitchenaid Mixer with dough hook for kneading.   However, the loaf was excellent taste and disappeared quickly.

Another stab at it, but i increased the yeast to 1 tsp vs 1/2 tsp like before, but this time i kneaded by hand.  Same result as before.

The third time was a charm and resulted in a stunningly attractive and delicious loaf.  I got this now.  What did i do differently?  Below is my recipe.

HERITAGE YEAST BREAD

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ cups (1lb  or 450 g) Heritage White or Bread Blend Flour Weighing ingredients is the most accurate way to bake.
  • 1-2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 1/3 cup lukewarm tap water (10- 12 oz (300 G)Chlorine-Free Water 75-80 degrees F
  • 1 tbsp Active Dry Yeast

Instructions:

Mixing and Kneading

Using a large spoon or fork, stir the liquid into the flour. When all the water has been added it will be a rather sticky lump. With wet hands, knead the dough by pushing, pulling and stretching it. After kneading for a few minutes, the dough will become less sticky and wet, beginning to look like a bread dough. Go ahead and grab a bit more flour to alleviate stickiness if needed.

Proofing

Cover and let sit on the counter for 1- 2 hours. This is proofing time (the dough is rising). It will rise more quickly if the kitchen temperature is 70+F. if it is less than 70 F it will take longer which is the reason for the 1-2 hour range.

Final Proofing

Now the dough needs to be handled gently so as to not deflate it. Round it up and shape it into an oblong loaf.  Place in a bread pan that has been oiled with both butter and olive oil. Use this combination for best release. Cover the dough to keep it from drying out. Leave it on the counter and let it proof while the oven heats, about 30-45 minutes.

Baking

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Place dough in the preheated oven and bake for about 35-45 minutes.

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Baking Powder Biscuits

My go to recipe for quick biscuits and beef (or lamb) sausage gravy.

Baking Powder Biscuits

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk

DIRECTIONS
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut butter into flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with pastry blender (or by hand) until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in milk (don’t add in all at once) until dough leaves sides of bowl (dough will be soft and sticky). Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 10 times. Roll or pat ½ inch thick. Cut with floured 2 ½ inch round cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart for crusty sides, touching for soft sides. Bake until golden brown for 10-12 minutes. One dozen biscuits. If using self-rising flour, omit baking powder and salt.

Exciting discovery!!

Today, i tried my 10.25 inch cast iron skillet (Lodge – made in the USA).  Place skillet in oven whilst it is preheating to 450°F.  Roll out and cut 7 biscuits and place in skillet.  Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.

So easy!

Baking Powder Biscuits
Baking Powder Biscuits baked in iron skillet.

Five Minute Nacho Cheese Sauce

5 MINUTE NACHO CHEESE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 2 ⅔ cup whole milk
  • 16 oz medium cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Add the butter and flour to a small sauce pot.  Heat and whisk the butter and flour together until they become bubbly and foamy.  Continue to cook and whisk the bubbly mixture for about 60 seconds.

Whisk the milk into the flour and butter mixture.  Turn the heat up slightly and allow the milk to come to a simmer whilst whisking.  When it reaches a simmer, the mixture will thicken.  Once it’s thick enough to coat a spoon, turn off the heat.

Stir in the shredded cheddar, one handful at a time, until melted into the sauce.  If needed, lace the pan over a low flame to help the cheese melt.  Do not overheat the cheese sauce.

Once all the cheese is melted into the sauce, stir in the salt and chili powder.  Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.  If the sauce becomes too thick, simply whisk in an additional splash of milk.

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Enjoy this nacho cheese plain…..
nachos
or add a bit of red pepper, garlic, or whatever your fancy!

Toad-In-A-Hole

I hadn’t made this favorite of my children in several years, but since there was an opened package of beef hot dogs which needed using, i decided on a trial to see if they would be acceptable substitute for sausages. It worked out great and was a hit with my 93 year old father-in-law and husband’s 100 year old aunt this past Sunday lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb beef or lamb sausage links (or beef hot dogs)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Drizzle olive oil in an 11 x 7 x 1 1/2 inch baking dish and place sausages/hot dogs in baking dish and bake at 400ºF  for 10 minutes.  Whilst those are baking, mix the remaining ingredients until smooth.  Remove baking dish from oven and pour batter over links/dogs.  Pop dish back into the 400ºF oven uncovered for about 30 minutes until golden.  Cut into squares.

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Here’s a photo of the traditional appearance of Toad-In-A-Hole.  The links are left intact.  
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Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil into an 11 x 7 x 1 ½ inch baking dish.

 

 

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Feel free to leave the sausages (or hot dogs in this case) whole.  I sliced mine since i felt they’d be easier for my guests of advanced age to eat.
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Place in oiled pan.
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Bake in 400ºF oven for 10 minutes.

 

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While the sausage/hot dogs are cooking, mix up the batter until smooth.
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Remove the baking dish from oven and pour batter over top of sausages/hot dogs.

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Bake at 400ºF uncovered for about 30 minutes.

 

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Cut into pieces and serve.  Enjoy!

 

 

Mixed Grain Bread – Scottish

I have discovered my favourite bread to make!

MIXED GRAIN BREAD – SCOTLAND

Modified from Scottish Cookery Cookbook, 2010

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 oz (about 3 cups) strong white flour
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz (about 2 cups) whole wheat flour
  • 8 oz (about 2 cups) Einkorn flour
  • 1 oz butter, diced
  • 2 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 oz (1/3 cup) rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • ¾ pint warm water
  • 1 medium egg

DIRECTIONS:

Sift white flour and salt into a large bowl.  Stir in the wheat and Einkorn flours then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Stir in the yeast, oats, and seeds then make a well in the centre.

Stir the molasses into the warm water until dissolved.  Add the molasses water to the dry ingredients.  Mix to a soft dough. (I used paddle hook on KitchenAid mixer)

Using a dough hook, knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.  Put in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 ½ hours, or until double in size.

Preheat the oven to 425°F, 15 minutes before baking.  (I start the oven now, then do the below and leave the loaf and pan on top the stove – the warmth from the oven helps with rising, especially in winter.)

Using dough hook, knead again for a minute or two to knock out the air.  Shape into an oval loaf about 12 inches long and place on a well-oiled baking sheet.  Cover with oiled (important) plastic wrap and leave to rise for 40 minutes or until doubled in size.

Brush the loaf with beaten egg and bake in the preheated oven 35-45 minutes (mine was 35 minutes) or until the bread is well risen, browned, and sounds hollow when the base is tapped.  Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe - Mixed Grain Bread

Flour Tortilla – Mexican Style

Oi!  Finally found a flat tortilla recipe that works for me!  I use freshly ground red wheat berries.  Granted, the experts recommend white wheat, but i just grabbed the red and proceeded.  Figured if it would work with that, it’ll work with any.

Recipe – Mexican Flour Tortillas

Flour Tortillas – Mexican Style

Takes about 25 minutes to mix all together and allow dough to rest.  Cooking is about 20 minutes.  This recipe yields 15 tortillas rolled to about 10 inch diameter, but I halved it and it worked great.

Ingredients:

3 cups flour (white wheat is better for tortillas, but this even works pretty good using red)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 to 6 tablespoons butter

1 ¼ cups warm water (approximately but you may need more if using whole wheat flours)

Directions:

Mix the dry ingredients; then drop in the butter.  I squish it round in the dry ingredients with my fingers until the mix resembles coarse crumbles.  Add the warm water and mix.  I prefer using my Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer with the dough hook and let it do the work.  Cover the dough and let rest for about 10 minutes.  Knead a time or two, then tear off about 15 pieces of dough and roll into balls.  I throw the balls back into the mixer bowl, but just put them somewhere and cover – let rest for 10 minutes more.  Now they are ready to roll out.  Dust a bit of flour on your surface.

Cook in a dry heavy flat bottom skillet like a cast iron one for about 30 seconds each side on medium heat or less.

Keep warm or use them immediately for enchiladas or another favorite Mexican dish.

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Grinding Fresh Berries

As i grind pound after pound of hard red winter and white winter wheat, i wanted to know the best use for the various varieties.  I also have some Einkorn berries, an ancient grain with original DNA, which i’m finding difficult succeed with using it by itself.  But i keep trying.  It’s a lovely nutty flavour.

What a fabulously helpful article written by Julia Debes and provided by the Kansas Wheat Cooperative

Posted December 2, 2014

Six classes of U.S. wheat

You stuffed yourself with Thanksgiving pie and warm rolls in November. And the smell of Christmas cookies baking fills the air in December. You know you can count on your family’s special baked good, shared year after year, during the holiday season. But, you might not realize that each product may require a different type of flour, maybe even a different class of wheat.

Image: U.S. map of the 6 classes of wheat.

American wheat farmers grow six classes of wheat. Each wheat variety fits into one of these six categories based on the growing season (winter or spring), hardness (hard or soft) and color (red or white). While munching on holiday treats this year, stump your relatives with these class differences.

Hard Red Winter (HRW)

Ninety five percent of the wheat grown in Kansas is hard red winter (HRW). In fact, Kansas farmers grow more HRW wheat than any other state.

With high protein and strong gluten, HRW wheat is ideal for yeast bread and rolls. But, this versatile class is also used in flat breads, tortillas, cereal, general purpose flour and Asian-style noodles.

Hard White (HW)

About three percent of wheat grown by Kansas farmers is hard white (HW) wheat. This class is grown primarily under contract.

HW wheat is used for whole wheat white flour, due to its naturally milder, sweeter flavor. Bakers also use HW wheat in pan breads, tortillas, flat breads and Asian-style noodles.

Soft Red Winter (SRW)

Less than 1 percent of the wheat planted by Kansas wheat farmers is soft red winter (SRW). Farmers east of the Mississippi River often double crop SRW wheat with soybeans.

Soft wheats have lower protein and less gluten strength. This makes SRW ideally suited for cookies, crackers, pastries, flat breads and pretzels. SRW wheat is even used in Maker’s Mark and Twizzlers.

Soft White (SW)

Pacific Northwest farmers grow primarily soft white (SW) wheat – both winter and spring varieties. SW wheat has two sub-classes. Club wheat has very weak gluten and western white is a blend of club and SW.

SW wheat has low moisture, but high extraction rates. With a naturally whiter color, SW wheat is used for Asian-style bakery products, cakes and pastries. Fun fact, Triscuits refer to SW as the “cashmere” of wheats.

Hard Red Spring (HRS)

Northern plains farmers require a shorter season crop wheat crop. Hard red spring (HRS) wheat is planted in early spring, rather than the fall, and does not vernalize or go dormant over the winter.

HRS wheat has high protein and strong gluten, perfect for artisan breads and rolls, croissants, bagels and pizza crust. Internationally, HRS is often blended with domestic wheats supplies to improve the strength of a flour blend.

Durum

Durum is the hardest of all six wheat classes, produced in two areas of the United States. The northern plains grows hard amber durum, while the desert southwest (Arizona, California) grows Desert Durum® under irrigation.

With a rich amber color and high gluten content, durum wheat is used primarily for pasta, couscous and some Mediterranean breads.

By Julia Debes

Wheat classes