Bread, and The Head.

19Jul10_3001003 Have you ever read the ingredients on the bread that you purchase at the supermarket?  I have, and since then, I have rarely purchased manufactured bread.  So, lets take a look at what is in say, Wonder Bread:

Whole wheat flour, water, wheat gluten, high fructose corn syrup, contains 2% of less of: soybean oil, salt, molasses, yeast, mono and diglycerides, exthoxylated mono and diglycerides, dough conditioners (sodium stearoyl lactylate, calcium iodate, calcium dioxide), datem, calcium sulfate, vinegar, yeast nutrient (ammonium sulfate), extracts of malted barley and corn, dicalcium phosphate, diammonium phosphate, calcium propionate (to retain freshness).

Mmmmm. Nothing like lots of artificial yum-yums in your food.  Don’t get me wrong.  I grew up eating and absolutely love Wonder Bread, especially with peanut butter, but seriously, do we really need ingredients in our bread that we have to get a degree in chemistry to understand?  I am sure, because the scientists say so, that these ingredients have no negative side effects on humans, but neither, according to the same scientists, did Thalidomide.  Well, for a while at least.

Anyway, all I really wanted to say is that I now, with some exception, make all of my own bread, and do not understand why everyone does not do the same.  I know that time is precious when both individuals in a household have to work to make ends meet, but just a few minutes away from the TV (or the beer bottle) each week will provide enough time to make all of your baked goods from scratch.

How long does it take to make bread?  Maybe 15 minutes to find and put all the ingredients in a mixer and knead them.  Another 10 minutes to shape the dough put them in pans.  One minute to put them in the oven, with another minute required to take the bread out.  Yea, I know.  I left a few hours out, but you really have to do nothing as the bread rises or bakes, so you can open another beer and take American Idol off pause as the bread can take care of itself, somewhat like your kids are probably doing.

Mixing, In The Bowl, It Has Risen:

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Ready for Baking, Finished Bread:

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The recipe for the bread in the pictures is at:  Multi-Grain Bread Recipe

I generally make oatmeal on the weekends.  I heat 2 1/4 cups of water along with one cup of rolled oats (NOT instant), 1/8 cup wheat bran, 1/8 cup Malto-Meal, and 1/4 Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal.  When the mixture comes to a boil, I reduce the heat to the lowest temperature, and let sit until done.   The left over’s are used for bread.

I have always wanted to grind my own flour.  I thought about using my Vita-Mix, but did not have a dry blade container until Costco had them for a relatively cheap price last year.  There is some discussion concerning nutrient loss using a Vita Mix for grinding grain due to the temperature resulting from the processing, but I am not sure of the validity of this argument, since I bake my bread to an internal temperature of approximately 185 degrees, and the Vita-Mix processed flour does not come close to that temperature.  Someday I will buy a nice manual grain mill.

Since I started processing my own flour, I no longer use unbleached white flour in the bread, just whole wheat and maybe some barley or soy flour.  The taste and texture is quite different than sore purchased whole wheat flour, with a richer taste and a rougher, but very pleasant, mouth feel.   The mouth feel is different because the grind is not as fine as commercial flour.  Oh, I do not make my bread in the Vita-Mix.  I have tried that using this model, and my older metal one that I gave my daughter.  All attempts resulted in massive fail.  I make bread in my KitchenAid.

I really did not intend to go on and on about this subject, but since I did, I did. 

I just tasted one of the little loafs, and it was perfect.  Dense, moist, rich, and a bit sweet from the honey.

Now, about my head.  It hurts!  Went to the gym today and did a few light (135 pound) bench presses.  The pain returned.  Have a doctor appointment for later this week.  I love old age! 

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