Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bread By Naomi

Dear Daughter has started her own business at the age of 10. How did this happen? Several months ago, two ladies from our church asked me if I could begin making bread for them and they would gladly pay for it. At that time, I didn't think I had the time so I told them so. A few months later, these same two ladies approached my husband and he decided that it would be good for dear daughter to begin her own business. I have made the time as this is such a valuable experience for both her and I. Her products are whole wheat, cinnamon and raisin, and rolls from frozen. She has learned how to serve her customers by even making some 'custom' orders like only cinnamon for one lady who doesn't like raisins and whole wheat cheese to another cheese lover. She is learning how to set aside for her business, half of her earning go to the purchase of more products and the other half she keeps. Of that she keeps, she is learning about saving and giving to the church. She is learning the value of hard work and a good reputation. She is learning how to work in the kitchen with her mother (or maybe it is the other way around). So far, it has been a really great experience.

I decided to post the recipe for anyone wanting to try it. This recipe makes 4-1.5# loaves.
It is a modified version of Sue Gregg's recipe from her Whole Grain Baking Book. If you are a whole grain baker, you must visit her web site. She has one of the most healthful whole grain recipe books I have ever seen.

Whole Grain Bread

4 cups warm filtered water
4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
8 cups fresh ground whole wheat flour
(we use golden wheat but you can use red wheat if you want a more sturdy bread)

Blend these ingredients together and let sit overnight or 12-24 hours
then mix in 2 cup measure:
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup applesauce
4 teaspoons sea salt
Microwave this for about 1 minute til warm but not hot (to activate yeast)

then in 1 cup measure place
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons yeast

This is done to proof your yeast. You don't want to go to all the work to make bread and then find out you had bad yeast. Your yeast mixture should begin to bubble and grow. It should also smell 'yeasty'.

Next mix all the wet ingredients in the mixing bowl with your original mixture in it. To this add more flour (between 4-6 cups more) so that it does not stick to the sides of the bowl when mixing and it can be handled easily with buttered hands. Turn into large buttered bowl and knead a few times. Cover with warm moist dishtowel and put in a warm place to rise. When it has doubled, punch it down and let it rise a second time. Punch it down and turn onto countertop to knead. I do not use a floured surface, only buttered hands to knead. If you use flour, it makes your bread dry. With buttered hands divide your dough in 4 parts. Knead and shape into loaves. Place in buttered loaf pans. Let rise a third time. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes until tops are brown. Remove from oven. Butter tops. Remove from pans after 15 minutes and place on cooling racks.

Variations include:
Rolls-same dough just shape into rolls and let rise just like bread loaves. They can be flash frozen then thawed for 8 hours then baked.
Cinnamon and raisin bread-simply knead in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 cup raisins to dough before placing in pans to rise the 3rd time.

All this talk of bread reminds me of the most important bread, the Word of God

But He answered and said, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God"
Matthew 4:4

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