Tuesday, May 3, 2011

i did it.

welp, i did it. i faced my arch-enemy last night. after a year and a half of "not having enough space in the kitchen", i finally broke out my kitchenaid electric mixer and made bread. last night was meatless monday, and i did a repeat of this for dinner. except this time i made the crusty bread. that's right, grandma. i-made-bread. believe it.
i didn't take any pictures throughout the process because i was nervous the entire time. weird, i know.
so, drum roll puhleeeeassseeeeeee:

ta-da!...magic i tell ya.

here's the recipe i used (adapted from the kitchenaid book of recipes)

whole grain wheat bread
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp brown sugar, divided
2 cups warm water, 105-115 degrees F (you want it warm when you touch it, not burning or boiling)
2 packages active dry yeast
5 to 6 cups whole wheat flour (do not add more than 6 cups)
3/4 cup powdered milk
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil 

in small bowl, dissolve 1 tbsp brown sugar in warm water. add yeast and let mixture stand.
place 4 cups flour, powdered milk, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and salt in mixer bowl. attach bowl and dough hook to mixer.
turn to speed 2 and mix about 15 seconds. continuing on speed 2, gradually add yeast mixture and oil to flour mixture and mix about 90 seconds longer. stop and scrape bowl if necessary.
continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time and mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes (dough may not form a ball on hook, but as long as hook comes in contact with dough, kneading will be accomplished). knead on speed 2 about 2 minutes longer. 
place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. cover and let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk (i placed two towels on top of the bowl and put in the corner of the kitchen).
punch dough down and divide in half. shape each half into a loaf (see below). place in greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pans (i only had one loaf pan, so for fear of wasting the second loaf, used a small glass baking dish and put both loaves next to each other). cover. let rise in warm place, free from draft for about an hour or until doubled in size. 
bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. reduce oven temp to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes longer. remove from pan immediately and place on wire rack to cool.

to form dough into loaf:
divide dough in half. lightly flour a clean, dry surface and roll each half into a rectangle, around 9x14 inches. using a rolling pin will help remove gas bubbles and smooth out the dough.
starting at one of the short ends, roll the dough tightly and pinch the seam to seal it. pinch and fold ends under. place dough, seam side down, in a loaf pan. 

this recipe made two pretty large loaves. we ate half of one with our soup and wrapped the other one up, put it into a freezer bag to freeze it so we could eat it later. before you bake the dough, you could try brushing the top of one loaf with olive oil and sprinkling it with some italian seasonings to make it a bit more interesting...would be perfect for, in my mother's words, "sopping", or dipping, in an olive oil and herb mixture.

yay for carbs!

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