Wednesday, January 7, 2009
This bread post has taken me weeks. Life has been stressful. Without going into much detail, that's what has kept me from writing the post that I really wanted. Until today. Finally. Good news and a bit of relief.
Now I can wax poetic about bread. God knows I love it. Or even better. I can let some others do it for me. I found some great quotes about bread on this website and have shared just a few.
“Blues is to jazz what yeast is to bread. Without it, it's flat.”
“Good bread is the great need in poor homes, and oftentimes the best appreciated luxury in the homes of the very rich.”
A Book for A Cook, The Pillsbury Co.
“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”
"[Breadbaking is] one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world's sweetest smells...there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel. that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread."
M. F. K. Fisher
"Bread deals with living things, with giving life, with growth, with the seed, the grain that nurtures. Its not coincidence that we say bread is the staff of life."
I made this recipe twice. Once, I used a bit of rice flour and honey. The second time, I used molasses instead of honey. These are the two best loaves of bread I've ever made. I'll let the recipe tell you the rest.
Whole-Wheat Walnut Bread
Adapted from Cooking Light's Whole-Wheat Walnut Bread
1 package dry yeast
1 3/4 cups very warm water
1/4 cup honey or molasses
2 T nonfat vanilla yogurt
2 T vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup walnuts (finely chopped)
In a medium bowl add warm water, molasses, oil, and yogurt. Whisk until combined. Add yeast and whisk until dissolved. Let sit for about five minutes or until it starts to bubble.
In a very large bowl, add both flours, salt, and baking powder. Chop walnuts finely in a food processor. Add walnuts to flour mixture and stir until combined. Pour yeast mixture over flour and stir until it becomes a dough. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead it until it becomes very smooth. About ten minutes.
Oil the inside of a large bowl. Put dough in oiled bowl and cover with a dish towel. There are so many pretty ones. I have a very cold drafty apartment, so I've been using a new method for letting the dough rise. I turn on the oven for a couple of minutes. Just enough to warm it up. Then turn it off. Put covered bowl with dough into warm oven. Let dough rise for about an hour.
Remove bowl with dough from oven. With your hands, form the dough into a loaf. Place loaf in oiled loaf pan. Cover loaf pan with the same towel and put back in warm oven. Let rise for about half an hour. Remove towel. Bake bread at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. This bread rises high and browns beautifully. Let cool before slicing. Enjoy!
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