Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bread on a Rainy Day

From the back of the bag of King Aurthur 100% Whole Wheat flour comes what might be the tastiest bread I've ever made. Seriously. Well, except maybe kowatch. But unlike that epic Polish bread that no one really knows how to spell, this bread is easy and requires no kneading, punching, slapping, or other forms of beating. It also does not consume an entire day.

So last Thursday when the rain poured for a soggy twelve hours and everyone was sick and we were all forced inside staring woefully at the drops on the window panes...I decided to peel myself from the floor...and bake. I needed a diversion that would require only a few ingredients and a relatively simple process, so I tried this recipe that I first saw acclaimed on the faith and family website. It looked awful in the mixing bowl. It was sticky and grey and it seemed very un bread-like. So we added a little more flour and a few extra stirs, and amazingly it came out looking bakery fresh and smelling...and tasting...delicious. Also, I say "we" because the kids, though sick, never pass up an opportunity to "help." They weren't allowed anywhere near the actual food, but they did stir their own bowls of some kind of floury goop on the other side of the kitchen.

Here's the recipe:

1 cup warm water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
3 tablespoons molasses, honey, or maple syrup
2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/8 cup nonfat dry milk
3 cups whole wheat flour, white
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Beat with mixer, on high, for 3 minutes. Place in well greased 8 1/2” x 4 1/2” pan. Let rise 90 minutes.

Bake 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees or to desired brownness. After about the first 15 minutes tent the bread with foil so the crust doesn't brown and harden too soon. Cool 5 minutes and then turn out of pan and cool completely before slicing. We brushed the top of the loaf with butter both before and after baking. Butter, after all, is very good.

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