December 20, 2014

Recipe Corner

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Bread Recipes I Can’t Live Without

By Ginger Isham

As someone who leads an active life and enjoys being with people, what was I going to do housebound for three days during our recent snowstorms? Well, I missed some swim sessions, shoveled the back walk and porch more than three times one day as the blowing, drifting snow kept promising to barricade us in so we couldn’t open the door to the outside world. The contrast inside the house was completely opposite the outside – warm and cozy, just the right environment for making bread. I made three batches of bread. This recipe is quick, easy, and healthy for the body and soul.

Hilary’s 100 Percent Whole Wheat Bread

3 cups warm milk, water or potato water

1/2 tablespoon yeast

1 tablespoon honey or sugar (I use 2-3 tablespoon honey)

1/2 tablespoon salt (I use a generous 1/2 teaspoon sea salt)

6+ cups whole wheat flour (I use white whole wheat and/or mix them)

Dissolve yeast in warm milk and honey and let stand for 8 to 10 minutes. Add oil and salt. Stir in 2 cups flour, add 1 cup at a time to make 4 more cups until dough forms a ball on the spoon. Turn out on to lightly floured counter top. Use as little flour as possible, so it doesn’t stick to counter and knead about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in bowl and cover, and let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours (until double in size). Punch down and let rise again for about 1 hour. Turn on to lightly floured counter and knead just enough to get any air bubbles out. Cut dough in half and shape into 2 loaves of bread. Place in oiled pans and let rise about 30 minutes. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

During the depression years time and money-saving recipes were basic but tasty. This recipe comes out more like thick, flat bread that can challenge the imagination.

Busy Day Bread

1 package of yeast

1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)

2 tablespoons molasses (I use dark maple syrup)

1 tablespoon melted shortening or vegetable oil (I use olive oil)

pinch of salt

1/2 cup rye or whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups white flour

In a mixing bowl dissolve yeast in warm water, add molasses and let stand 4 to 5 minutes until foamy. Stir in melted shortening, salt, rye flour, and white flour with a wooden spoon. Beat 50 times. Spread dough to a 6-by-8-inch circle on an oiled baking sheet. Let rise 30 minutes. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and brush top with melted butter.

Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road.

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