TWD: Whole Wheat Bread

I’ve really been looking forward to this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie! I love everything about making bread and was eager to try out a new recipe. This week’s hosts are Michele and Teresa.

The recipe calls for malt extract, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find it at the store. Though some of the comments at the TWD site said you could just leave it out, I was intrigued by the ones who said they used molasses instead.

I decided to give that a shot and I don’t know how much better using the malt would have been because the molasses, as light as the taste is, is incredible! I also love that honey is used instead of sugar.

As you can see, one loaf was a little more enthusiastic in its rising than the other, but they both turned out great. It was torture waiting for them to cool enough for a taste test, but it was worth it.

I made these Saturday night and one loaf gave us toast for dinner (breakfast for dinner), eggs in a basket for Sunday breakfast, and sandwiches for Sunday lunch. We only started in on the second loaf this morning!

eggs in a basket

The bread is just dense enough without being doughy, and it’s perfect for slicing sandwich-thin. My biggest issue with homemade breads has been that they don’t slice thin enough for sandwiches, especially for kids (I’m a fan of the protein portion being bigger than the carb portion).

The ten minutes of kneading nearly did my mixer in, but she’s recovering, which is good since I need to make another batch.


TWD: Oasis Naan

This week’s Tuesdays With Dorie assignment was Oasis Naan and is hosted by Maggie and Phyl.

I’ve made naan on my own before and really enjoyed the process, so I was looking forward to this one. The directions said to pretty much do the whole thing by hand but let’s be honest, I’m too lazy for that. My faithful mixer did the bulk of the work for me and I got a really beautiful dough out of it.

It was also supposed to take about two hours to double in size while rising, but mine went nuts and within an hour it was ready to go. In fact, I had set a timer for two hours to give myself some kind of timeline, and by the time the timer went off (I forgot to unset it), the naan was all out of the oven and cooling already.

As you can see, I didn’t add any chopped green onions to the tops of mine, though I would have really liked to. I actually bought the onions to split between this recipe and my Korean short ribs, but when I made the short ribs I completely spaced and used the whole bunch, forgetting that I was going to have it pull double duty. Oh well.

I used the tines of a fork to do the docking, but they still got a good bit of rise in the oven. The tops are sprinkled with kosher salt and cumin, which is a really amazing combination that I would have never thought to sprinkle over bread like this. I like any project that allows me to use my pizza stone, and the girls got a kick out being the dough droppers (carefully supervised, of course).

I served these with dinner last night, which was ham and white beans, and you would not believe the reception it got. Dinner got a gold star from everyone.


Adventures in Sourdough

Sourdough Bread

Once every couple of years I decide I’m going to give sourdough bread a shot. I’ll find a recipe and method online that’s worked for somebody that lives somewhere other than the desert, and give it a try. And it always fails.

Sourdough Bread

So with that in mind, last month I got the sourdough itch. I found this series of blog posts and really liked the idea of using pineapple juice to get the starter kicked off. Las Vegas is not known for its wild yeasty air, so I figured the little bit of help from the fruit could only help, right?

Sourdough Bread

Cats and can openers. It never gets old.

Sourdough Bread

The starter went off without a hitch. I used a rubberband to mark the height of the starter to see if it was growing at all.

Sourdough Bread

It grew beautifully. I kept it fed and warm for days.

Sourdough Bread

It finally came time to make the actual bread. I measured out what I needed and made sure to replace it with more flour and water. I used this bread recipe from the King Arthur Flour site.

Sourdough Bread

The dough looked great.

Sourdough Bread

And the crust looked great after baking but I could already tell the rest of it didn’t look right.

Sourdough Bread

Dense as can be. It actually tasted okay – not as sour as I like my sourdough to be, but you could tell it was there.

I’ve still got the jar of starter in the fridge, and I need to find another bread recipe to try. I’m tempted to add yeast to the next batch. Is that cheating?