March 17, 2011

~ BAKING IT OUT ~





I've been cooking by rote the last weeks. Today was the first day in a long time that I cooked happy (at least a little). Guess that's progress. Steps, steps.

I went outside between rains and clipped some crabapple branches that are about to burst into bloom, added some white heather sprigs and placed the vase on the table. I played some fado music and some Vivaldi and when I was feeling a bit better, I hit the kitchen.

Experimenting with alternate flours, I came up with a bread recipe today, which turned out really well. Nice crumb, dense and chewy. Great for toast or sandwiches. I included spelt, for its high gluten content and nutty flavor, as well as a little sorghum flour for extra nutrition. The rest was the usual all purpose white flour. Sorghum is a common crop in arid areas and comes from the seed head of a type of grass. The grains can be popped, like popcorn. It contains high amounts of B-vitamins, potassium and calcium. Spelt is high in protein (up to 25% more than in wheat) and B-vitamins. I cheated and used the bread machine to mix, knead and let the bread rise the first time. Then I shaped it and let it rise in a warm place for the second rise.


Spelt White Bread

1 1/4 c. warm water
1 T. dry yeast
2 T. brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 c. spelt flour
1/3 c. sorghum flour
3 c. all purpose flour
2 T. butter, softened
2 t. salt

In bread machine container, add ingredients in order given. Set machine to "dough" setting. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down gently and shape dough into a tight rounded ball, tucking edges under. Set on a lightly floured baking sheet, cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for another hour. Slash top a few times, 1/4 inch deep. Heat oven to 400ºF. and bake for 30 minutes, or until browned and it sounds hollow when tapped. Cool completely before slicing (yeah, right).
Makes one loaf.

1 comment:

Rowena... said...

Whatever difficulty that you are going through right now, I send you some sunny alpine skies from Italy. You couldn't have chosen any better way to relieve life's kinks....I find myself baking especially after the pups have been getting on my nerves all day! Take care :)

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