Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Raising Homemakers ~ Lesson 2 ~ Baking Bread

In this lesson we learned about baking bread. This is familiar territory for our girls because all their mamas love to bake bread. We used some freshly ground wheat in our bread, but this recipe will work well with all white flour too.

Items to cover in this lesson:

  • Yeast~ Yeast is a tiny living plant. Cool! It's even mentioned in the Bible. Check out the verses at Bible Gateway.
  • Types of yeast~ dry, active, rapid rise. What makes them different?
  • What makes yeast grow?
  • Different types of flour, white, wheat, freshly ground wheat
  • How to measure flour ~ scoop the flour into your measuring cup and gently run a the straight edge of a knife across the rim to level the flour.
  • How do you knead bread. This is the fun part! We used a three step method, fold-push-turn   
  • Fold~ flatten the dough and fold it in half toward you.                                                               
  • Push~ using the heels of your hands, push the dough down and away from you.         
  • Turn~ turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat.

hard white wheat before grinding

freshly ground hard white wheat

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread
1 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups freshly ground whole wheat
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons yeast

Combine water, oil, and honey. Sprinkle yeast on top and let sit a couple of minutes then stir to combine. Mix in flour and salt. Knead for 5-10 min. Let dough rest for 30 min. Knead again for 5 min. Let rest again for 30 min. Knead for 1 min. and shape into loaf. Let dough rise in loaf pan in warm place for 30-45 min. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min. When done, let cool in pan a couple of minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

I use this recipe almost daily. I place all ingredients in my bread maker and run the dough cycle then I let it rise and bake in a loaf pan. I have recently starting using less unbleached flour and more whole wheat and it has worked well. I find that using an electric knife works best for slicing bread.

The girls showing off their loaf shaping skills
You can find lesson 1 here.

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