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Breadmaking is an art…

February 23, 2011

and sadly, I am not an artist 😦

Everytime I walk down the baking aisle at the store, yeast and I engage in a stare-down. I can cook things and create dishes without a recipe, but when it comes to baking with yeast, my record is far from good. I will stare at the starred taunting package, smelling the delicious homemade bread made from wholesome ingredients and then reality hits. Flour everywhere, dough that didn’t rise, a loaf as hard as a brick, pure mush, etc. I cower and keep walking.

Well, being on a very tight budget (usually I’m a hard core Dave Killer’s Bread eater), and having the rare opportunity of being able to use my mom’s spiffy mixer and wonderful convection oven, I took a chance and tried again. I read up on some useful techniques in the latest issue of Cooks Illustrated, read over a ton of recipes online, and finally decided on one off the King Arthur’s Flour site.

Per usual, I didn’t follow the recipe to a tee (hmm…think this might be my problem?) I didn’t have everything the original recipe called for and I really didn’t want to use any white flour.  I had also traveled to my parents house and already brought most of my ingredients and my blender-yes, I don’t pack lightly :p  The budget also hasn’t allowed me to recreate my stock of different flours since the move.


Now, I know good bread is very dependent on gluten and all flours are different, protein levels, ya-di-ya-di-ya-da, but my small brain hasn’t captured all that glory yet, and the Taurus inside me just barreled ahead. Thus I adapted the recipe to what I had on hand using a combination of whole wheat pastry flour, coconut flour, and I even gave in to 1/2c ap flour, used the fancy dough hooks, let the bowl sit out overnight because I’m like a grandma and go to bed at six but am up before dawn, and prayed.

Well, the final result wasn’t terrible. The dough did actually have some rising action, I did the fancy criss-cross, it baked in a nice ball loaf, and is very hearty. I also used the tip of putting a small pan of water at the bottom of the oven to get a nice crust with a moist middle, and that worked great.

Original recipe from King Arthur: (my adaptations noted in blue)

Here’s our favorite flax bread recipe to make by bread machine (or by hand).

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 tablespoon honey or molasses (i used molasses)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 cup milled flax
1/2 cup pumpernickel—–>1/2c coconut flour
2 cups King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt—->1t salt
1/2 cup King Arthur Unbleached Special Bread Flour—->1/2c AP flour

I sprinkled the top with oatmeal before baking.

Prepare a supple dough, either by hand, or by machine. Cover the dough and allow it to rise. When the dough has doubled in bulk, shape it into a nice round ball, place it on a pumpernickel-sprinkled baking sheet, cover and let rise until almost doubled. Slash the top artfully and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Yield: 1 wholesome loaf.

HINT: For optimum freshness/crustiness, store bread, uncovered, cut-side down on your counter.

Taste wise-my step-dad would say, “well, it’s definitely bird-food that will keep you pooping for a week.” It is very dense, but has a great chew to it. I found it somewhat salty and would definitely not put an entire teaspoon in again.  I like it, one piece definitely fills you up, so it certainly qualifies as a very wholesome, dense, bread, and once again, love the chew factor.  I wanted a sandwich loaf though, so I guess I should have read ahead 🙂 Okay let’s be honest, I just want a bread machine or a life time supply of Dave’s Killer Bread.  And so far, my mom did finish her entire piece at breakfast so that means it’s edible by others, right?


I love you DKB!

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