Friday, September 3, 2010

Baking Day and My Own Personal Bread Challenge

LAWKI Day 14
September 2, 2010

It was baking day again. I made 4 loaves of bread, not 100% wheat, but close. I have been making bread regularly for about 3-4 years. I had toyed with making bread before that, doing it as a novelty when I thought about it. It was more a skill I wanted to have vs. a need I was filling. That went on until I had a teenage boy in my house.

When the day came that James would eat 6-8 slices of white bread toast as a snack, I threatened to make whole wheat bread and stop buying the other. He pretty much dared me too, saying it would not last more than a few months. He stopped eating bread at home for a good year or so. About the only time he would is if he had scrambled eggs---then he needed toast. After the first year, he started eating slices when it was still warm from the oven. With butter and jam, that is good stuff. Finally, about a year ago, he completely gave in and now eats sandwiches, toast, and even just as a snack. I am not sure if it is a badge of honor to prove a 12-year-old wrong, but I won. Neener, neener.

Most of the time making bread, I use 1-3 cups of white flour and the other 10-12 cups fresh ground wheat. Katie has loved making bread and will often volunteer to make it, sometimes even without me knowing. It is a real treat to come home and smell fresh baked bread when I’m not expecting it. She does tend to add significantly more white flour, but that is chef’s prerogative.

There are still times that I miss fluffy white bread. Some things just do not seem as good to me with homemade bread…French toast, BLTs, egg salad sandwiches, and I have never wanted to try stuffing made from homemade bread. I usually buy bread when I have a craving or need for one of those dishes. Otherwise, we do the homemade thing.

Yesterday I also made more tabouli, so I had to make more pita bread. This time I made it 1/3 wheat to give it a more hearty flavor. I still can’t figure out what the secret is to getting it to puff so there is the pita “pocket.” It only happened on one of the 16. In the end, it was still tasty and the kids enjoyed it plain and with peanut butter and chocolate syrup. So much for healthy.

I also tried making tortillas. I made one batch that seemed okay, but cooked up really hard. I was using my griddle so I could cook 2 at a time. They were not very good. My kids would have tolerated them crunchy but they did not like the garlic flavor or the bit of sugar that was in them, especially when eating them plain. I tried another recipe and the flavor was more acceptable to everyone. The real difference came when I cooked them in a pan on the stove. It is the one we use to cook the Costco yummy ones. They were much better cooked this way. I think it is the higher, constant heat that cooks them faster and keeps them tender after cooking. In the end, the second batch passed the plain tortilla, the tortilla and cheese and the quesadilla test. I have no worries about them working for tacos or fajitas. I will have to try it with enchiladas sometime soon.

Because some have asked for it, here is the link to the pita recipe I used. It is a simple recipe, but has a lot of great advice and pictures so I think it is easier to link to the site than copy it.

The tortilla recipe that I liked was a fake up of a few I found online and in a book. It was pretty much 4 cups of flour, 2 t. of salt, ½ cup of shortening and 1 ¼ cups of hot water. Google is the best advice I have for a real recipe and how to make them. I will pay closer attention and write a recipe the next time I make it. Sorry.

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs
Lunch: Kids- school, Michael-leftover potatoes and stuff, Shannon-left over salad, tabouli, pita, tortillas
Dinner: Tortillas with peanutbutter, butter, cheese, quesadilla style, or plain; with fruit and other scavengable things

BTW, in my fresh food inventory, I did not include grated cheese. We always have one of the big Costco 5 lb ones around and I decided that we are going to keep using it this month. It is something that will make everything easier.


Jeremy said...

I totally agree on French toast. As much as I love fresh made bread, I still prefer white store bread for French toast. The texture and flavor just seems right

Jess said...

Yum, I love homemade bread. I will have to try to make it sometime. I still remember having fresh bread out of my mom's oven with honeybutter on it. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.