Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Whole Wheat Bread
My brother is vegan. I find this sometimes difficult to understand. How could a person limit themselves so severely? How could anyone have so much self-control?! But I also find it fascinating- another way that people relate to food. It also presents a challenge. How do you cook or bake when so many ingredients are not allowed? When I do make something that happens to be vegan, I get so excited. Gary could eat this!! I must tell him! I must share this new vegan knowledge. So this post is for my brother- I made vegan bread! You must try it. This bread is not only for the vegan in your life. It actually just happens to not have any animal products in it. This recipe calls for honey, but I've used molasses instead. Now I'm wondering if molasses are one of those no-no ingredients. I don't think so. So this is great bread for anyone. It is the perfect peanut butter and jelly whole wheat sandwich bread, or for toast in the morning. It's easy to prepare, so I bake a couple of loaves every week and a half or so. Eat one now, and freeze the other for when you run out. When you get the hang of this, you can bang out a couple of loaves in the morning and have it for sandwiches at noon. The original recipe is from the Cheeseboard Collective Works.
Whole Wheat Bread
1 tbs. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
6 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbs. kosher salt
1 1/2 cups warmish water
1/2 cup molasses (honey or maple syrup)
In a measuring cup, whisk the yeast into the cup of warm water until dissolved. Let stand 5 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture, warmish water, and molasses. Mix on low speed until the ingredients are combined, about 2 minutes. Switch to the dough hook, increase the speed to medium, and knead for 10 minutes. While the dough is kneading, brush vegetable oil in a large bowl, and on a piece of plastic wrap. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and knead by hand for a few minutes. Form the dough into a ball, and turn it in the bowl until it is coated with oil. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place 1 hour.
Brush vegetable oil on 2 loaf pans. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 pieces. (If you don't mind the mess, leave the flour from the first kneading on your board, and use it again.) Don't throw away your plastic wrap! Gently form each piece into a loose round, and cover with your oiled plastic wrap. Let rest 10 minutes. Gently press each round into a rectangle 9 inches (the width of your loaf pan) by 11 or 12 inches. Roll it up like a jelly roll, pinching the seam closed. Place the dough into the oiled pan seam side down, and gently press it into the pan to fill the gaps on the ends and sides. Repeat with the remaining round. Put the oiled plastic wrap over both loaves, and let rise again 45 minutes to an hour. Slash the loaves 15 minutes before the rise is finished, and preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Place the loaves in the oven for 5 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees, and bake 20 minutes. Turn the loaf pans around front to back, and left to right. Bake another 20 minutes, for a total of 45 minutes. Take the bread out of the pans, and let cool completely on a rack.