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When all else fails, bake bread

Posted Jan 22 2012 5:40pm
Today started out bad, but instead of having a pity party, I decided to develop a new bread recipe. It was actually born out of necessity, we were just about out of wheat bread and I didn't feel like making 100% whole wheat. We're out of regular flour, so I decided to see what I could do with semolina flour added to whole wheat with some wheat berries thrown in for yumminess. I've used semolina flour before, but never in large quantities in bread. It's the best for pasta, and a couple tablespoons thrown into a bread recipe enhance the texture nicely. 

I baked the bread in a pan that Heidi (Greg's daughter-in-law, a sculptor) made for me in which I usually bake my Italians and sourdoughs. When it finished baking, it was beautiful, and we all had a difficult time waiting the requisite hour before it was ready for the taste test. The general consensus was "this is the best bread yet." As I'm sitting here writing, people are wandering in and out of the kitchen slicing off pieces of bread ("just one more..."). I was going to take another picture, I don't like this one much, but by the time I finished the blog post the bread was half gone!

I use a bread machine for kneading, but you could adapt this to your preferred mode of bread baking.

I Ran Out of Regular Flour Bread (I could use some suggestions for a recipe title)

¾ C wheat berries
3 C water

☞Combine water and wheat berries in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer at least one hour. Drain wheat berries into a colander over a bowl, reserving the liquid. Let liquid cool to about 100˚F-110˚F.

Start with about 1¼ C of the cooking liquid poured into the bread machine pan, then follow with the remaining ingredients
1½ tsp salt
2 T honey
2 T oil (I used canola)
2 T buttermilk powder
1 C whole wheat flour
2 C semolina flour
3 T vital wheat gluten
2¼ tsp yeast

If the dough seems too dry, add additional liquid one tablespoon at a time.

It only needs about a 30-40 minute rise, then split the top and pour melted butter into the split, brushing the top with some of the butter.

Since I used a clay baking pan, I put it into a cold oven then baked at 425˚F for 20 minutes. Then I reduced the heat to 375˚F and baked for another 30 minutes.

This makes a huge loaf, so either split it, free-form shape it, or use a very large bread pan.

Success in bread baking equals definite decrease in depression

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