This is another monthly update about our adventures in baking all our own bread products.
It’s hard to believe 2011 is over. I baked a lot of breads last year, but there are still so many recipes I want to try! One thing happened in 2011 that will definitely improve our bread baking going forward. In November we got a Nutrimill grain mill, and since then I’ve been busy grinding grains for baking (and other uses).
In December I made sourdough pitas using my brand new Whole Wheat Sourdough Pita Bread recipe. I made one batch with hard red winter wheat, and another with hard white wheat. Both made great pita bread. And then (surprise, surprise) we made pizza with some of them!
Early in the month I baked a batch of Chef Brad’s Sour Dough Black Quinoa Bread, which features cooked black quinoa in the dough. I used my whole wheat sourdough starter in this one, and replaced some of the white flour in the recipe with fresh ground white whole wheat flour. We were pleased with the results. I love quinoa, and I love using whole grains in bread, so what’s not to like about this bread?
I also tried the Dark & Soft Restaurant Dinner Rolls from the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking cookbook. They have another version of this recipe on their website that uses caramel color to make the rolls dark, but the version in the book (click here for recipe) uses a couple of tablespoons of cocoa for color and flavor, while honey makes them ever so slightly sweet.
These were so good I could (and did) eat them by themselves for a snack! At least it was a reasonably healthy snack, with half the flour in them being whole wheat. The leftovers froze well too, though I predict they won’t last long in the freezer before we eat them.
I also baked a loaf of Whole Grain bread or two last month. For the loaf in the photo below, I put the dough in a 9×5 inch loaf pan, split it down the middle with a serrated knife, then brushed the top with a little melted butter before baking. The bread was great with soup, plus we made French Toast with it as well.
The last baking effort of the month was some Whole Wheat Sourdough Focaccia. For this bread I adapted Peter Reinhart’s Whole Wheat Focaccia recipe from his Whole Grain Bread book. I used my sourdough starter to replace some of the wheat and water in the recipe, and omitted the yeast. The result was a crispy, full flavored flat bread made from 100% whole wheat.
I hope you have enjoyed our 2011 bread baking adventures here at Happy Acres. I’m sure we will have more baking fun in 2012 to share!