March found us cutting back a little on our bread baking. But we still wound up with a few interesting breads to show for the month.
First up was this Whole Meal Bread, from Rustic European Breads From Your Bread Machine. This hearty bread had a mix of whole wheat and white flours, seeds and whole grain cereal. Vital wheat gluten helped give it a nice lift and the bread was amazingly light and airy. After the dough went through the dough cycle on the bread machine, I formed it into two baguettes and let it rise in a French bread pan. Before baking I brushed it with an egg white/water mix then added some sesame and poppy seeds on top.
It had a great open texture and a lovely taste. We’ll make this one again for sure. We froze some of the leftovers, and I have been enjoying the slices for a snack, slathered with peanut butter or dipped in some garlic infused olive oil.
Of course, hardly any month goes by without my wife baking some grissini, and March was no exception. You just have to love these crispy breadsticks, especially when someone else bakes them for you!
Next up was this Multigrain Hearth Bread from Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads. Like most of the recipes in this book, it called for for a soaker and a preferment on the first day, which are then mixed together with the rest of the ingredients on day two and left out at room temperature for the second ferment. This bread had 100% whole wheat flour, plus a mix of whole grains and seeds of our own choosing. I used a mix of cracked wheat and rolled cereal grains (oats, barley, wheat and rye).
I made this bread into a boule shape, brushed it with a little water before baking and added some seeds (in this case a King Arthur mix). This bread had a great crunchy hard crust, and a wonderful taste. I’m not sure the two day process was worth the finished product however. I’d like to make this one again with what Reinhart calls a transitional formula, using a mix of whole wheat and white flours. That way we could compare it with the super easy to make Whole Meal Bread.
My wife also made some delightful Cherry Almond Scones, using a recipe from the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book. She shaped these scones by hand, but now we have a fancy scone pan to bake them in. They will no doubt be gracing our table again soon.
Last up was a baguette I made with some of the HBinFive Cracked Wheat dough. In keeping with what turned out to be a monthly theme, I sprinkled on some seeds before baking. And once again, despite slashing the dough before baking, it still managed to crack due to the tremendous oven spring of this no-knead bread. It didn’t hurt the taste though, and once again this refrigerated dough remains one of our favorites. It’s a quick way to get good tasting home baked bread with a minimum of time and effort.
That’s a peek at what was baking here at Happy Acres in March. I’ll be back next month with more photos and the results of our latest baking adventures.