Simple Bounty

Finding Beauty, Grace and Sanity in a Busy World

My No Knead Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread January 5, 2011

Filed under: Food — katieosborne @ 11:55 pm
Tags: ,

I’ve long been on the hunt for the perfect, healthy homemade sandwich bread, and I’ve come across some good recipes along the way. The Buttermilk and Honey Whole Wheat Bread at The Fresh Loaf has been a favorite.

About a year ago, I discovered Jim Lahey’s recipe for no knead pot bread, which is an amazingly simple way to produce artisan style bread. Try it! It’s great as is, but also very good with whole wheat flour or a combination of both.

The basic concept of no knead bread is that you let time do the work for you. Just stir up the ingredients, cover, and let it rise for 12-24 hours. Letting it sit so long produces complexity of flavor that is often missing in traditionally kneaded breads.

I highly recommend his book My Bread. The recipes I’ve tried are wonderful; though there are actually not as many bread recipes in the book as I had hoped. The middle of the book is devoted to pizza – one dough recipe and lots of recipes for various topped pizzas. And the last third of the book is full of mouthwatering looking sandwich recipes.

Another book devoted to the same topic is Kneadlessly Simple. I borrowed it from the library (for nine weeks), and had an opportunity to try a lot of different recipes. There’s an amazing amount, and a lot of them are very good.100_6675

So, anyway, on to my recipe. Despite these two books, I didn’t find the perfect recipe for a healthy, everyday, multipurpose loaf, so I started with a basic recipe, made a lot of adaptations over the course of a couple weeks, and here is the result.

It looks unremarkable, but I think it is delicious. The crust is slightly chewy, and the interior is moist and soft while still having a lot of substance. It has a nice crumb, not too dense, and a wonderful mild flavor. It also keeps well on the counter.

I’ve updated the recipe with mass measurements. I’ve found that if this dough is too wet, the top will cave a bit while baking. Measuring flour by volume varies so much from person to person, so here’s more accurate measuerments:

Ingredients:

4 cups whole wheat flour (540 grams)

1 3/4 t salt

3/4 t instant yeast

3 T butter (melted)

3 T honey

2 cups  ice water (475 grams)

Directions:

1. Mix the flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl

2. Melt the butter. Once melted, stir the honey into the butter.

3. Add the butter, honey and water to the dry ingredients and mix well. The dough should be fairly stiff.

4. Cover and let rise for 12-18 hours.

5. Stir the dough and let rise for about 2 hours in a large, greased bread pan.

6. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for about 70 minutes. You will probably want to cover it with foil for the last 15-20 minutes to prevent the top from getting to dark.

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A Post For August August 30, 2010

Filed under: Family Life,Food,Sewing and Crafts — katieosborne @ 3:53 pm
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I’ve never been one to mourn the end of summer. I always welcomed the beginning of a new school year and eagerly awaited the feel, smell and activities of autumn, but I have to ask: how is it that this month is already at its end? And the summer nearly too? And how is it I haven’t blogged in about two months?

Seeing a missing month in the archives bothers me, so I am finally forced to post. I don’t know why I haven’t felt like it this summer. I have almost blogged many times. Almost. And, I don’t know, I guess I just don’t exactly have heaps of time, and by the time I sit down in the evening, writing doesn’t sound all that appealing.

So, what have we been up to this summer? Not nearly as much outdoor fun as I had dreamed. We have been terrorized by mosquitoes the last couple months, and only recently have they begun to be tolerable. My garden and flowerbeds are overgrown with weeds and the tomato plants are completely out of control from lack of care. They’re growing like crazy. We’ve been getting daily handfuls of pear tomatoes for the last few weeks, but large tomatoes only here and there thanks to our resident chipmunk who has developed a keen appetite for them. I think for every one we’ve eaten, he’s filled his tiny tummy with five or six. The cucumbers have been abundant, so I’ve been doing a lot of this:

pickles

We’ve already devoured a couple quarts of our pickles and still have seven jars in the fridge. I’m not sure they’ll see winter, though.

And I’ve been doing some other lacto-fermented goodness with the bounty from our garden and the farmers market:

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(Salsa and Sauerkraut)

This weekend I did some more of this:

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I made most of our jam when I picked strawberries in June, but I couldn’t resist buying a big box of deliciously pinkish-red raspberries at the farmers market on Saturday. The result was Triple Berry Jam to add to our pantry stash. I thawed a bag of strawberries I had frozen and added a pint of blueberries from the store.

And all summer I have been doing a whole lot of this:

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This is cinnamon raisin bread from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and our everyday whole wheat bread for toast and sandwiches. I have tried many all whole wheat recipes and this one consistently produces the best loaf. I will have to devote an entire post to bread sometime soon. I don’t know what it is exactly about bread, but I could go on and on.

And lest you think my life is totally consumed with food and its preparation (which sometimes I do feel is nearly the truth), we also did quite a bit of this:

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But unfortunately, I haven’t done any of this since June:

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Though I was able to make myself three tank tops from this tutorial before the neglection (can that be a word?) of my sewing machine began thanks to a too-adventurous little girl whom I can barely take my eyes off:

So, that’s a bit of my summer. Maybe I’ll get around to posting more about my garden at some point. Remember my trepidation in the early spring? I have learned a lot, had some failures, but overall am pleased with my first year at managing a larger garden.