Friday, February 13, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread

This is how I bake bread. I don't have a bread machine. I knead my bread the old fashioned way - by hand. And I also don't have a regular oven. Any baking I do is done in my toaster oven.

When we remodelled our kitchen a number of years ago on a very tight budget, it occured to me that I hadn't used my oven in at least a year. To save on space and money (the kitchen is quite small), I decided not to shop for a new stove. I also dislike upper cupboards so we don't have any of those either. Not a conventional kitchen but I can make anything and everything in my kitchen for hubby and myself.

I always thought bread was a very complicated thing to make. Not so. I have not had a failure yet. I have a very simple basic recipe with no oil added whatsover.

Dissolve 1 Tbsp of yeast in one cup of warm water and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Add two cups of whole wheat flour and 1/2 tsp of salt into a bowl. Then mix the yeast and water with the flour and stir until the dough sticks together. I have to help it along with my hands. Then I knead the dough for 10 minutes.

When I'm ready to put the dough into a bowl to rise for 2 hours, I used to have to lightly oil the bowl or otherwise the dough would stick. Well, I found a way around this so that I don't have to use any oil. What I do now is line the bowl with parchment paper and I make sure to coat the ball of dough lightly with flour before setting it into the bowl. I cover the top of the bowl tightly with a tea towel and a large plate.

I leave it to expland/rise for two hours and then I punch down the dough to let the air out. Then I roll it tightly and shape it into a loaf. I sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal on a baking dish and place the loaf on top. Then I let it sit inside the unheated toaster oven for another 30 minutes.

After that, I take out the bread and preheat the toaster oven at 400 F for a few minutes. A toaster oven doesn't take long to heat up. I place the bread in the oven and after 30 minutes, out comes a fresh loaf of bread. The house always smells divine.

Hubby and I are going to have some bread later in the evening as a snack with some orange marmalade spread lightly on top. With a cup of herbal tea.

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