Monday, March 1, 2010

smc has a bun in the oven

no, i am not announcing my hypocrisy and almost certain ex communication. there is literally a bun(actually 2 loaves) in the oven. so glad my mom doesnt read(or even know i write)this blog. they would be calling the emts, and probably her bishop for spiritual guidance and support. my name would be on the prayer roll of every temple in the world before sundown.
back to the bread.
i love to make bread. the whole process just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and pioneer like. i have lots experience baking all different kinds of bread, but right now i have a surplus of whole wheat flour, so i have been focusing on the more rustic and hearty breads. there is nothing like a good loaf of wheat bread, but some dont care for the heft of the whole wheat. i love it, but for those who dont, there is a little something called vital wheat gluten.
i had never heard of it before until i saw it in a recipe over at 11th heavens homemaking haven(love the alliteration of that title). she explains in her recipe how the vital wheat gluten will improve the texture of wheat breads, making it a little lighter. it was a little hard to find in my grocery store. i assumed that it would be in the baking aisle, but i had to hunt for it in the health food section. its a little pricey(i think it was $5 for a 1lb 6oz), but you only have to use a few tablespoons for each recipe, so it will last for quite a few loaves. i was going to start off with one of 11th heavens recipes, but the bobs red mill vital wheat gluten flour bag had a recipe right on it:
honey oatmeal bread.

4 1/2 - 4 3/4 cups whle wheat flour
2 tbs vital wheat gluen
3 pkgs active dry yeast
2 cups mild
1/3 cup honey(i used a little extra)
1/4 cup oil(i used canola)
1 tbs salt
1/2 cup scottish oats(i used the bobs red mill steel cut oats)
In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast. In a sauce pan heat milk, honey, oil and salt just till warm (115 degrees). Add to dry mixture in mixing bowl. Beat at low speed with electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed.

By hand, stir in oats, gluten and enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead till smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes). Shape in a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 45 minutes).

Punch dough down; turn out onto lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Shape into two loaves; place in two greased 8-1/2" x 4-1/2" x 2-1/2" bread pans. Cover and let rise in warm place till double (about 30 minutes).

Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.

Makes 2 loaves (13 slices each).
this bread is AMAZING. it smells wonderful and my taste testers devoured an entire loaf almost immediately. i planned on giving the other loaf to my home teachers, so i had to hide it to save it from the ravenous beasts. try it with butter and honey. TO DIE FOR.

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