There are few virtues a man can possess more erotic than culinary skill.
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses
by Isabel Allende

Starting in November of 2009 Michelle at the Big Black Dog formed a group to bake its way through Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg. I loved Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, so I signed up with the group. Michelle first had us do a couple of warm-up assignments, which were my first attempt at blogging. The first "Official" post was on January 15, 2010, and it was followed by 41 more, on the 1st and 15th of each month. When I signed on I said I would bake the whole book, and like Horton (the elephant) I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I finished baking the book on October 1, 2011. Having completed that challenge, now I am just going to do some stuff, and post about it. As part of that stuff Michelle is posing a new, and different, challenge for us each month.

I am still baking bread, mostly the Five Minutes a Day kind, and if you would like to try the Five Minutes a Day bread method there are some links, with recipes, in the right hand column to get you started. Please give it a try.

But first, a word from my sponsor . . .
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This day be bread and peace my lot.
Alexander Pope

How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?

Julia Child

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.
Yiddish proverb
(And some are only half baked.)

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw, via Sharon

Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt.
George Herbert

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Miller's Tale 1.1

 According to Archers, alchemists, and 98 other medieval jobs you might have loved or loathed, millers historically had a bad reputation.  Not only did they charge you for milling your OWN grain into flour, they were likely to cheat you by keeping some of YOUR flour for themselves.  That alone seems like a good enough reason, to me, to grind your own flour.  In addition, according to Marleeta Basey in Flour Power: A Guide to Modern Home Grain Milling the nutrients in wheat berries begin to degrade the moment the protective shell is broken, by milling.  Do you know how old you flour is?  I do! 

I decided to mix up a batch of 100% Whole Wheat Bread, Plain and Simple from HB in 5, and I milled the flour right before I mixed the dough.  My Nutrimill can be adjusted for the coarseness of the grind, but I have not played with that too much yet.  I turn it on and set it sort of in the middle.  The flour seems to turn out just fine that way

I measure the ingredients by weight, and have not had any problems with the dough being too wet or too dry.   Jeff wrote about using freshly milled flour at Using Fresh-Ground Whole Wheat Flour, and he reached the same conclusion, though he did note that his dough seemed just a bit wetter.  He attributed this to the coarseness of the grind, and observed that you might need to adjust the water based on your particular flour.  I have noted before that when first made my dough seems a bit wetter, but after rising and sitting it seems to end up about the same. I am wondering if it just takes a bit longer to hydrate, though it is equally possible that I am imagining things.  Jeff also noted at How’d That Fresh-Ground Whole Wheat Store? Report at 15 Days  that dough made from freshly milled flour stored as well as dough made from store-bought flour, which would make sense since it is so much more fresh. 

After rising and refrigerating, I baked a regular loaf, and a baguette, and they were great.  Back in the day, as they say, I avoided wheat bread like the plague.  I have noticed that the more I eat things that are "healthy"--things that I would previously not have eaten except under duress or to be polite--the more I like them.  It appears that familiarity, at least in this case, breeds fondness rather than contempt.  It also suggests that those of you who have family members who are not as fond of whole grains should keep at it,  they may come around. 

I next baked some pizzas, but they disappeared before I could take a picture.  I rolled one of the crusts out using flour and the other using cornmeal.  The cornmeal gets worked into the crust as you roll, and makes for a nice chewy/crunchy texture.  Try it next time.  Finally, I took the last of the dough, worked some Grill Mates® Roasted Garlic & Herb Seasoning into it,  rolled it out, and cooked it on the grill.  It was great!
 Grilling bread is one of my favorite ways to bake when weather permits.  I usually throw it on the grill as soon as I roll it out, but I let this batch sit for 15-20 minutes while the grill heated and I got a nice extra rise.  We ate some with our dinner, grilled halibut, and I used the rest the next day in a panzanella.

I diced up some grape tomatoes, Vidalia onion, and cucumber; added some of my defrosted homemade pesto, some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, mixed in the bread, and let everything sit to melge for about an hour. Pretty and tasty too. 

So, in sum, so far I am really enjoying my mill and the bread I make from my flour.

This post is Yeastspotted.

1 comment:

  1. The grilled bread looks really great! I've never had grilled bread in panzanella, but I think that would be wonderful too. Thanks for joining YeastSpotting!