April 28, 2010

Man cannot live by bread alone...

...but my kids sure are trying. For the past month or so I've made all our bread and bread products. I even grind my own grains for it and feel just like the Little Red Hen. My kids don't want to eat sandwiches now - just bread and butter with a little honey or jam.

I bake once a week, 5 or so loaves at a time. Well, sometimes I have to bake twice a week because I have growing boys who eat a whole loaf for a 'snack'.

I love to mix and match flours. I regularly use white wheat, kamut, spelt, barley, amaranth, millet, brown rice and quinoa for bread. It's a tricky balance since some of those are non-gluten flours. Sometimes you can use them as an "extra", like yesterday I made bread using the normal amount of flour but added a cup of amaranth (not ground into flour) to give it a "crunch". I have found that I can add about 2 cups of non-gluten flour and have the bread turn out just fine.

So, here's the recipe (from The Urban Homemaker) and how I make it.

Add 6 cups warm water to my Bosch mixer (which I love, love, love)
Melt coconut oil to make 2/3 c. - add to water
Add 2/3 c. honey to water
then 3 tbsp. yeast (I recommend SAF)

Then I start grinding. You'll need between 16 and 18 cups of flour, depending on which flours you use and the humidity. I measure it in as I go. You can use all wheat, you don't have to mix it up like I do.

Add 2 tbsp. sea salt
1/3 to 1/2 c. gluten (I'm trying to figure out how to make a good loaf without using gluten)

Jog it on "M" for a few seconds to get it slightly mixed, then go to Speed 2 for 6 to 10 minutes.

At this point you can bake it, but I like to let it rise once, then punch it down, put it in pans and let it rise again.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. This makes 4 to 6 loaves, depending on the size of pans you use.

To grind I follow this crazy method: I add in a bunch of white wheat. Once it's ground I measure 6 cups into the Bosch. Whatever is left over I put in a gallon size baggie to freeze. Then I grind some kamut (I just throw a bunch in). I measure out a few cups into the Bosch and throw the rest in the SAME baggie as the wheat. I grind something else, use some for the bread then put the rest in the SAME baggie as the wheat and kamut. I use this "mystery flour" for making pancakes, muffins, waffles, whatever. Or bread. Sometimes I have no idea what kind of flour is in my baked goods, but I know it's whole grain and I know it's fresh. (If you don't use the flour right away, it should be stored in the fridge or freezer).

I really want to learn to make bread without adding extra gluten. I'll need to research natural dough conditioners. I'd also like to learn to soak my flours overnight before making the bread, but thus far it's resulted in a big, gloppy mess. For more about soaking you can read here or here or here.

I grind the quinoa, millet, and amaranth in my Blendtec. They are too small to grind in my Whisper Mill (which I love, love, love).

Here's the recipe without all my commentary.
6 cups warm water
2/3 c. oil (I prefer coconut)
2/3 c. honey
3 tbsp. yeast
16-18 cups flour
2 tbsp. sea salt
1/3 to 1/2 c. gluten


  1. I'm with your kids!! There is nothing better to me than fresh homemade bread!! Its a meal in itself! =0)

  2. I want to try some of your bread!