Thursday, December 8, 2011

Baking Bread

Working on my bread making skills, I tried two different bread  recipes this week, Bob's Whole Wheat Honey Bread  and Bob's Red Mill Sourdough Bread. Both are from Bob's Red Mill Baking Book  which I got off of for dirt cheap. I paid more in shipping than I did for the book itself. (I absolutely love used books.) This one is filled with yummy, wholesome bread recipes. You can visit their website and print some of the recipes from there.

The first recipe I tried was Bob's Whole Wheat Honey Bread. It turned out fantastic. I shouldn't mention that I originally planned on making the Rosemary Whole Wheat Baguettes, but the page accidentally flipped while I was preparing the ingredients. I am very tired and preoccupied (that seems to be a common theme for many of my mistakes these days. Guess it comes with being pregnant. . .and having 5 other children) that I didn't even realize my mistake until after I had already started mixing the ingredients! There was no turning back. What a klutz I am lately! Anyways, when life gives you lemons you make lemonade, right? So I thought what the heck, since I'm making the Whole Wheat Honey Bread, some honey butter would go really well with it.

Honey butter is very easy to make. You simply whip a softened stick of butter and 1/4 cup of honey together. It tasted so delicious on the Wheat Honey Bread. They compliment each other well (then again that honey butter would make just about anything taste good!)

The second recipe was Bob's Red Mill Sourdough Bread. I am still tending my sourdough starter and you have to either use or discard a portion of the starter every seven days. So I am back for a second try. Only this time I switched recipes to see if I had any better luck. I also let the starter sit out to room temperature before using it. I had much greater success this time around. Also this recipe requires only half the rise time than the last recipe I tried, which was pretty near an all day event. This recipe calls for 1 teaspoon active dry yeast, which helped with my 'rise' issue I had last time. With the Whole Wheat Honey Bread I made I sprinkled the baking sheet with cornmeal to help keep my loaves from sticking. It worked. I tried it for my sourdough bread thinking I was on to something. Alas, no luck. My sourdough still stuck to the pan like the first time--not quite so bad though, there was a little improvement. I guess when the directions call for parchment paper, there is no way around it. I'll have to get some, I don't currently have any on hand. I'll keep that in mind for the next sourdough loaf. Third times a charm! I did atleast achieve that sourdough taste my first attempt was lacking. That's a step in the right direction.