Pat-a cake, pat-a-cake baker's man. Bake me a loaf of bread. Or six.
Today's post is on how I make our fresh-ground whole grain bread. I make six loaves at a time, though the mixer could do 9. Or so I'm told by someone who does it. We leave one or two out and freeze the rest. They freeze really well and still taste fresh. I do this about once a week. The total time spent from grinding the grain to turning it out on the racks to cool is under two hours. Let's begin.
First, you must pretend your kitchen always looks like this (all clean and such) and take photos for your blog so everyone can be envious of how perfect you are.
Back to reality and step two. Get your grain. I use about 14 cups of grain- approximately 11 cups of spelt and 3 cups of hard red wheat.
Then I dump it in my grain mill and grind it into flour.
While it is grinding, I get out the rest of the necessary ingredients and tools.
Bosch mixer, 1 cup scoop, and 1 tablespoon.
Oil, honey, wheat gluten, yeast, lecithin, salt, and dough enhancer.
Next, add your water and all your ingredients to mixer bowl. This includes the first 12 cups of flour.
Turn on and mix/ pulse until the flour and everything is incorporated.
After that, set the timer for 20 minutes to let the yeast start to grow. While you are waiting, get your knife, oil, and bread pans out and ready.
Now your mixture should be ready and growing into a big mucky mess. A word of caution. Do NOT answer the phone at minute 15 or beyond as you will most likely forget your bread-making and end up with this mucky mess bubbling over, running down the sides and onto the counter and floor. Or so I've heard.
Turn on the mixer to deflate the mixture. Add your remaining flour- about 4-6 cups- until the dough scrapes/ cleans the sides of the bowl. Then turn the mixer up to speed 2 and mix/knead dough for 4 minutes. This mixing develops the gluten.
While it is mixing make sure to take off your rings. Then, take the time to look at your hand and ponder how much weight you've gained since first putting on that ring. This is evidenced by the indentation on your finger. (Also, you must run and find out where your thumb has gone.)
By the time you are thoroughly depressed and disgusted with yourself, your timer should ding. Now it is time to pour oil on the counter. Use oil and not flour. Adding more flour will make your dough drier and more crumbly. Oil will help keep it from sticking to your fingers and counter.
This next step is the most fun. Take your huge glob of dough and SLAM it down onto the counter seven times. This is how some professional bakers do it to remove air bubbles. Cut your dough ball into six equal pieces. Then SLAM each piece another 7 times. Unless you have a daughter who enjoys counting for you and insists you do it 8 times or nine .
Now form each ball into a loaf shape. I do NOT roll mine out. I grab the ball and fold under the sides to resemble a loaf and place it in the pan.
Now let them raise until they double in size. You can check if they have doubled by lightly pressing two fingers into the loaf. If the indentations remain, they are ready. For me, this takes about 20 minutes.
Then, turn on your oven to preheat at 350 degrees, stick the pans in the oven, and set your timer for 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the loaves to keep them from getting too brown. Bake another 5-10 minutes. That's it!
Make sure it is still steaming when you cut into it.
Butter it up and eat it with a plate of goulosh or spaghetti or by itself. Yum! Make sure to use your best china.