Like I said in my last post, I think I've been getting distracted from knitting for a variety of reasons. Whatever the case may be, I decided to bake bread today. The other day, I got my latest issue of "Clean Eating" magazine. They had a big article on whole wheat pizza crusts, fresh homemade sauces, and a variety of healthful pizzas. I made my way to the store to get a new bag of whole wheat flour and vital wheat gluten to make the recipe in the magazine. THEN I asked my husband what he'd like for supper... homemade calazones with whole wheat crust or Italian Stuffed Shells... can you tell... he likes Italian dishes? He said he had NO interest in whole wheat crust, darn it! So now I find myself with five pounds of whole wheat flour and several cups of vital wheat gluten! Apparently vital wheat gluten makes bread dough more elastic. Bread made with exclusively with whole wheat flour can be kind of tough.
Today I looked through my three bread baking books. I selected "Making Bread at Home" by Linda Doeser. This book is a bread machine bread making book. I selected the Harvest Loaf but I got crazy adding extra ingredients including flax seed meal, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds... and of course, some of the vital wheat gluten. In the photos above, my little loaf looks a little sad... but I think I am really happy with this bread. I just tried a little bite and I think it's really good. I am looking forward to this for breakfast tommorow. I plan to toast it and put an egg on top... or maybe I should have it with homemade blackberry jam (my friend Karen in Oregon made it and mailed it all the way to me in Colorado!). This is bread worthy of such great jam!
Since I was pretty excited about the results with my whole wheat bread, I have another loaf of bread in the bread machine right now (recipe from the same book). This book actually got me to try some of the various settings on my bread machine. The recipe in the machine now calls for a "cake" setting... never noticed that before. Cinnamon and Spice Bread calls for ingredients including baking soda (instead of yeast!), cinnamon, grated nutmeg, molasses, butter, eggs, raisins. Of course I did not exactly follow the recipe this time around either. The recipe called for measuring the dry ingredients and then the wet ingredients... and then combining them together like you would make muffins, and THEN you put the ingredients in the bread machine. I wondered then if the cake setting would further mix the ingredients (like bread machines do) or just bake what I had stirred together. Well, my little bread machine is just churning and churning away in the kitchen so it will be interesting to see how this comes out. I'll keep you posted! Three and a half hours is a long time to wait to see if something is going to turn out!