This year (or was it last year?) Beth and I started making our own bread at home. We don’t exclusively, but when we feel we have the time and are actually in the apartment long enough to let it rise and then bake. We own a bread maker, but it’s set on a 30 minute delay and we don’t know how to fix it. Rather than spend the time figuring it out, we decided to take the blessing in disguise – make homemade bread by hand!
This idea fell flat on it’s face on the first attempt. I ended staying up far too late into the night without having achieved anything except a dense flat crumbly loaf of bread. I was quite frustrated until I actually ate the bread. It was one of the most flavorful breads I have ever eaten! Very very dense. The farthest thing from Wonder bread you could get and still be used to make a sandwich (and even that was tricky). And it was wonderful.
After several similar attempts on my part, Beth took it into her own hands. She made the King Arthur No-Knead Bread on the back of the 100% Whole Wheat King Arthur flour bag.
AMAAAAAZING bread! It rose! (A little, but it rose!) And tasted fantastic and toasted beautifully and made wonderful sandwiches.
As I didn’t make the bread, and I don’t magically know everything Beth does, I’m not sure how closely she followed the recipe. I know that I have made the bread henceforth and have changed the recipe drastically. For instance, I make it half rye flour/half whole wheat flour, and I use honey rather than molasses. I rarely use as much oil as recipes call for, but I might use a little extra honey : D. I don’t actually measure the honey, anyway.
Actually, I rarely measure anything correctly. Maybe if I did, more baked goods would come out the way they’re supposed to.
Well, in the past week and half, I have made this bread twice. I also haven’t been exercising (though I ride my bike to campus everyday). This is relevant, because they say marathon runners should eat a huge plate of carbs the night before a race to give them lots of energy. I definitely believe it. I have been eating quite a bit of this bread. And although my slices are small, the bread is pretty dense, so even though it doesn’t look like a lot of food, it acts like a lot of food. I’m usually hungry after eating my usual packed lunches. With this bread, I’m full before I even get to my apple! I’m still full hours later. It’s unbelievable! So everyday I’ve been eating this bread and it has thrown my eating schedule completely out of whack. Not only that, but lately I’ve been in a weird libbo-hunger state where I honestly can’t tell if I’m starving or not hungry at all. And today I was about to go to Meijer but on my way out I pulled a Jim Carrey in the beginning of Eternal Sunshine and just got on my bike and rode. But it wasn’t enough, so I came home, changed into workout clothes and ran on the treadmill to just release this energy.
The other day I wanted the bread for lunch, and was actually about to cut myself a piece when I stopped and wrapped the bread back up. I think my body was telling me that I’d had enough carbohydrates and simply didn’t need anymore that day.
So, if that doesn’t make you at least a little curious about this bread, then… okay, I actually have nothing to say here. That probably should be reworded…
Anyway, the recipe:
1 1/4 cup milk or water
1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons honey (the recipe calls for molasses, but the bread did not come out nearly as tasty, so I will probably use honey from now on)
2 teaspoons yeast (it calls for instant, but I have none. So I let my yeast sit in lukewarm water for a couple minutes before combining it)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups King Arthur whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups Rye flour
Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. (CORRECTION BY BETH –> So apparently Kim doesn’t do this, but you’re supposed to let the yeast curdle [is that the right word?] in warm water before combining it with the other ingredients. This is what helps the bread rise.) Combine all the wet ingredients (including the yeast if not using instant). Pour the wet ingredients slowing into the dry and stir. Let rise in an oiled bowl for at least 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 35.
It’s a thick bread, but it’s so delicious. It’s not moist, but it’s somehow so tender. I want to eat it all the time, but it’s quite heavy and makes me feel strange if I eat too much at one time.