Monday, October 18, 2010

Bread Kits: Part Three - NT Friendly Soaked-Flour Bread Kits

As a note, refer back to my post from Wednesday, 10/13/10, for more information on soaking the flour in order to neutralize enzyme inhibitors in the whole grain flour.

Here is how to assemble a soaked-flour Bread Kit:
© Cindy W. Dillard
{Time requirement: up to two hours, every 1-2 months}
1. First gather the zip-close bags needed: (2) quart-size, (1) snack-size and (1) gallon size for each kit. I make up (8) kits at a time.
For each kit, label one quart bag as “1st” or “Start Here”, label another quart bag as “2nd”, then label the snack size bag as “3rd” or “Last”.
© Cindy W. Dillard
3. Now start milling the grain, following the instructions for your grain mill. If you are using purchased flour, sift the whole 5-lb. bag. If you do not sift the flour, your measurements will not be accurate for this recipe. Place 6 cups of flour in each of the quart-size “Start Here” bags. Write instructions on the bag to remind you to combine this with ½ cup plus 1/3 cup buttermilk, 1-2/3 cup water, 1/3 cup honey and 1/3 cup olive oil.
Into the “2nd” bags, also quart-sized, measure 1 cup of flour and 1 ½ Tbsp yeast. Write instructions on the outside of this bag to remind you to add ½ cup of warm water (110º-115º F) along with the contents.
© Cindy W. Dillard
5. Finally, measure ½ cup vital wheat gluten, 1 ½ Tbsp dough enhancer, and 2 ½ tsp salt into the snack size bag. This step is important because you do not want your yeast to come into direct contact with the salt as the salt will kill your yeast. [NOTE: vital wheat gluten and dough enhancer are optional, but you will be very pleased with the result if you use them.]
7. Place all three bags into a gallon zip-lock and freeze until needed.

6. Grind at least a gallon of additional flour to keep on hand for stiffening the dough as needed. Keep this in the freezer until it is needed.
© Cindy W. Dillard
Instructions for baking soaked-flour bread using my Bread Kits:
  1. When you are ready to bake bread, take out a Bread Kit, remove the “Start Here” bag and combine all the ingredients listed on the bag with the flour and mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, set it out of the way and leave it for 12-24 hours. The flour will be a little discolored after the soaking period, but don’t be concerned as this is normal and will not affect the taste or appearance of your bread. [Time required: >10 minutes]
  2. At least an hour before it’s time to continue working with the dough set out the additional flour your milled to allow it to come to room temperature. You could do this, for example, before leaving for work if you will be baking the bread in the evening, or as you prepare dinner once you get home. The yeast will work better during the rising stages if the flour you’ve added to the dough is warm. [Time required: minimal]
  3. Then, when the soaking time is over, add the contents of the “2nd” bag to the soaked flour along with the honey and warm water and mix well. Allow this to work for about 15 minutes before proceeding. [Time required: <5 minutes to add ingredients, then set a timer for 15 minutes during which the dough does not need your attention]
  4. After this time, with the mixer equipped with a dough hook, add the contents of the “Last” bag to the dough and mix thoroughly on a slow speed (2 on a Kitchen Aid).  Add additional flour as needed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, bearing in mind that adding too much flour will make your loaves dry. You should not have to add more than about a 1-1 ½ cups of flour in this stage, but this can vary from batch to batch.  [Time required: ~5 minutes]
  5. Continue kneading until the dough starts “climbing out of the bowl.” Be patient; this takes a lot longer than the recipes in the Kitchen Aid book suggests, and in my experience, will depend upon the ambient temperature and humidity. Test the dough to see if the gluten is developed by taking a pinch to see how far you can pull it without the dough tearing. You have kneaded enough when you can just about see through the dough before it tears. If your mixer will not handle this volume of dough, you can always knead by hand until the gluten is developed. [Time required: ~15 minutes]
  6. © Printmaster
  7. If you must knead by hand, spray your kitchen countertop with some non-stick spray before turning your dough onto the counter.  This will prevent the dough from sticking to your countertop without the need for introducing additional flour which might be detrimental to your dough. Also, spray your hands with the non-stick spray as well. Fold the dough in from the sides and push it away from you with the heels of your hands, rotating the dough every few kneads until the gluten develops as described above. [Time required is included in step 5]
  8. Place ¼-½ cup olive oil into a large bowl, and turn the dough out of the mixing bowl into this bowl and flip the dough to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl and set it in a warm spot to allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size, usually about an hour.  I usually place the bowl on my glass cook top under my range lights which put out a lot of heat, but you can also place the bowl in a warmed (~100ºF - 120ºF) oven.  Clean your countertop thoroughly to prepare for rolling the dough in the next step. About 10 minutes before the rise is completed, place HOT water into the baking pans to warm them; remember that the yeast will work the dough better if everything surrounding it is warmed. [Time required: set a timer for 1 hour, reset for additional time if dough needs to rise more, to include ~10 minutes prep time]
  9. After this first rise, punch the dough down into the bowl to remove all the air bubbles. Divide your dough into two equal portions. I usually weigh my splits to make sure I have divided the dough equally. Empty the baking pans and dry completely, then spray them with non-stick spray. Also, spray your countertop with non-stick spray. [Time required: ~10 minutes]
  10. Roll out one portion of the dough into roughly a rectangular shape, with the short side as wide as the bread pan is long, and this side facing you. Starting with the short side of the dough opposite you, roll up the dough tightly towards you into a loaf, as if it were a jelly roll. Pinch the end of the dough to the roll, and tuck the ends and pinch, sealing the whole loaf, and place pinched side down into a bread pan. Cover with a towel and repeat with the other portion of dough.  Place the loaves in a warm area where they can rise. [TIME NOTE: You may warm an oven as in step 7 in which to place the covered loaves, leaving them in the oven to rise overnight. Take them out of the oven in the morning, preheat the oven and bake as directed in step 10. In this case, time required: <50 minutes, depending on oven heating time, and can be done as you prepare for work; otherwise, time required: ~1 ½ hour including step 10.]
  11. Allow loaves to rise until they have doubled in size, usually for about an hour. During this time preheat your oven to 350ºF. When the second rise has completed, bake loaves in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The loaves are done when they are nicely browned and have a hollow sound when you tap them. Once done, place the loaves still in the pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes then turn the loaves out onto the wire rack to cool completely. If the loaf wants to stick in the pan, gently run a butter knife around the perimeter of the pan and the loaf should release. I have always read that the loaf will be better if you allow it to cool completely before you slice it, but who can wait that long?? Cut a piece with a bread knife, spread on some real butter and enjoy. Be sure to save the “butt piece” to place back against the loaf to keep the bread from drying out. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator once completely cooled. [MONEY-SAVING NOTE: I save hot dog and hamburger bun bags and twist ties in which to store my homemade loaves.]
Happy Baking! And please let me know how your loaves turn out!

There is joy on this journey, on my way home to my Father's house,
Cindy <><

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