Know that this post is being written on little-no sleep (for some reason the babe was up almost every hour last night, uggg)… but I wanted to write this while the experience was fresh.
I made a buttermilk bread recipe yesterday from Laurel’s Kitchen. Laurel’s Kitchen was one of those cookbooks (along with many Moosewood cookbooks) that was always on my mother’s shelf. In retrospect, I’m not sure what she made from it, but because I remember seeing it there forever, I made sure to have it in our collection. However, it is a challenging cookbook, largely because it involves lots of reading. She does not just write recipes, she is trying to teach you how to really KNOW how to make bread, not just follow a recipe. In theory, I love this idea, but I also find it incredibly frustrating at times. Enter last night’s bread making.
So most of her recipes call for whole wheat BREAD flour, which I can never (or am too lazy) to find. So I end up working with regular whole wheat flour. This recipe looked promising (I made bread from there before and it was a little dry, to say the least). 3.5 cups of liquid to 5.5 cups of flour, some honey, some butter, my yeast looked good and foamy. Mix in a bowl and throw onto the counter. All seems promising. But the dough was SO sticky.
See how it is sticking to my hand? So like I do, I started adding flour while kneading. Kneading is exhausting and after 20 minutes it was less sticky and I was feeling done so I left it to rise, figuring it was much to heavy to rise.
While rising, I browse through Laurel’s pages and pages of bread making instructions and see that breads with milk (mine had buttermilk) tend to be more sticky. Thanks for letting me know! Too little too late.
So the first and second rise goes well. The proofing, not so much. I have learned that I need to take more care in forming my loaves or this happens:
Yeah, it kinda looks like two loaves on top of each other. But the results were not bad, if you like whole wheat bread, which I am now not sure I do.
We had it as a pre-bed snack with jam and butter while watching a banjo documentary. Pretty yummy.
I don’t like to knead as much as I think I do and should always start bread in the mixer
Stop making whole wheat bread, its just not as good (or find a recommended recipe?)
Shape your loaves with care, otherwise they look WEIRD
And last, but not least, if you are going to make something from Laurel’s Kitchen, read all pages involved in any given recipe. Yes, it can be annoying, but you will learn a lot and your recipe will turn out better