As you all know, I am not a professional cook or a professional baker. However, I enjoy baking and making my own breads allows me to have a wide variety of healthy, nutritious, whole grain breads whenever I want.
Undoubtedly, studying under a real bread maker is the ideal – such as your mother or father if you were so lucky as to have a baking parent — or studying in a good school barring that early experience. But, if you think you’d like to try baking, you don’t really need anything more than a will to try, a good baking book (or two or three or…), and, of course, you already know that there are great Blog sites to help you learn techniques and encourage you – just Google baking or whole grain flours, etc. Remember humans have been baking for a LONG time; at its heart baking is a very simple process. Have fun with it. Follow intriguing recipes, making them a part of your everyday life. And when you have different needs or desires, play around with the recipes you already like. Experiment. What’s the worst that could happen?
So that is what I am doing here – puttering along and experimenting – looking for tasty, healthy breads that a serious bread eater, who also happens to be diabetic, would enjoy. I am always hoping to learn new and better techniques through books, blogs, classes (when I can get to some), but I will also learn by mixing and matching various techniques and various ingredients.
I hope you join me on this journey – and add your own experiments to those I post weekly.
And, now for this week’s “experiment.”
Whole Grain Bread Using Spelt & Mesquite
The loaf of bread I made today was a variation of Grant Loaves from The Bread Bible, page131, which I had blogged about in April. We really liked this nutritious bread and it was amazingly simple to make, so it was the perfect recipe to play with this week.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 ¾ cups spelt flour
¼ cup mesquite flour
1 ½ tsp salt
1 Tbl yeast
1 ¾ cups + 1 Tbl warm water
1 Tbl sugar
Grease a 5×7 loaf pan. Preheat over to 400 degrees.
Mix whole wheat, spelt, and mesquite flours with the salt in a large bowl.
Combine the warm water and sugar in another bowl, gradually sprinkle the yeast into the bowl and let sit for about 10 minutes.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the yeast mixture into it. Using a spatula, gently work the ingredients until they are mixed.
Put into the greased loaf pan. Cover the dough and let rise for 30 minutes.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the loaves are crisp and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Turn out of pan and cool on wire racks before cutting.
Results: This loaf had a crunchy crust with a soft interior. In my mind, it was similar to a French bread texture. We both liked the contrast quite a bit. The loaf had the full bodied taste of a whole grain bread with a slightly sweet flavor, probably due to the mesquite flour. In cutting the loaf, the slice of bread broke in half too easily, but this may be because we cut it too soon. We couldn’t wait to taste it after enjoying its aroma as it baked for 40 minutes! Excellent loaf.
Don’t forget, if you can’t find spelt or mesquite (not likely to find the latter outside of the American Southwest), you can order these flours on-line.