Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Homemade BREAD - you can DO IT!

Growing up, we ALWAYS had homemade bread. thanks to our mom who is the greatest baker, but unfortunately did not pass on those genes to me. I am still hoping to discover them in the near future though!

And since I am living in dry and high altitude Colorado,
(and since I am a mom who doesn't feed her kids bread with refined sugar, food coloring, preservatives and other ingredients that should not be found in bread)
I have tried to bake bread, and tried and tried. Some of it was eatable, some just not. Some I liked, but I always knew it had to be better. And then I found THE RECIPE (well, my friend A. posted a recipe on her fb, THANK YOU! you made my day) and I tried it out - switched some ingredients out to make it my own and here we go!

This is the link to the original recipe but if you want my version, just follow this blog post.

Did you know that baking bread is fun? and even super fun to do with your kids? and it is easy, and really not that messy... most of the time... (-:
I think it is very important to have kids involved in your kitchen activities such as cooking, baking, even the cleaning up. It gives them more of an understanding and appreciation for food. They might even be willing to try some different foods because they were involved in the process of preparing them. Let them be proud and have fun in the kitchen!

so here we go, that is what you need for your bread (or how I made it)

3 cups of whole grain spelt flour
1/2 package of dry yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon of xantham gum
(you only need this if you are using spelt or gluten free flour)
1 1/2 cups water

mix all the dry ingredients, then add the water

with a wooden spatula (hold on to the front, stir with the handle - works much better) stir/mix it all together until all the dry flour is wet
don't make it look pretty, it just needs to be mixed, the less the dough is manipulated the better
completely cover bowl with clear wrap and let it sit on your counter for 12-20 hours
(if the top of the bowl is not completely covered the dough will dry out and can not rise properly)

that wasn't so bad yet, right?

after it sat for 12-20 hours;
grab a clean kitchen towel, put some flour on it and dump the dough on it
with wet hands fold the ends of the dough under to shape it into a nice oval-shaped-bread-loaf
fold the towel over the bread, all goes back into the bowl, wrap over it, wait another 2 hours

in the meantime, choose an oven safe pan with lid and preheat it in the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit

when the oven and the pan are preheated and the dough rested those 2 additional hours, dump the dough into the pan, cover with the lid and put it back into the oven for 20 minutes,
then an additional 20 minutes without the lid (these times may vary)

don't know if you baked it long enough? 'knock' on the bottom of the bread - if it sounds hollow - your bread is good!
after it cooled down a little... ENJOY!

tell your friends, make one for the family get together, bring one to your neighbour

However, everybody should at least once in their lifetime, eat a bread they crafted with their own hands!

love, n.