Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Frugal Tips for the Tirelessly Bored

Since I decided to become the miserly matron of the arts, I decided I would save myself some grocery cash by baking my own bread. I have a Bosch thanks to Missus Mrs. Olsen (mom of The Mister of the House) and I also received a wheat grinder from this same wonderful source. Here is a candid shot when Vanilla Wafer stole the camera at his sissy's Christmas Program.

Thank you Missus Mrs. Olsen. You don't have to buy my love with all your pleasantries...but it sure helps solidify your status as patron saint of preparedness, traditions, families, babies, Christmas, and crazy shoes.

So I have hundreds of pounds of wheat and the recipe from the Bread Diva next door. Now all I need is a gullible and naive suspect....

Enter Sara.

Mrs. Olsen (on the phone): Hey Sara, let's have our kids play together and we can make some homemade bread! I have wheat and a grinder....come over!

Sara: Wow, sounds great! I'll be right over!

If Sara was the patron saint of anything, it would be the patron saint of chill. She is peaceful, accommodating, and thoughtful. She is also a fabulous cook. All that stuff makes her the perfect target for carb-inducing shenanigans. We take turns cranking ten cups of wheat kernels for over three hours, and she makes me lunch.

I'm a genius.

I am sooo very delighted to have a hand grinder for those emergencies that are sure to come at some time or the other. But I promise I had noo idea that it would take so long to turn this wheat into flour. No wonder the Little Red Hen asked for help...and no wonder she ate all the stinkin' bread herself when those ingrates blew her off! Thank you Sara.

Six hours later....


p.s. my arm still hurts...

Here's the recipe...

Foolproof Wheat Bread

Regular Batch 5-6 loaves (small batch of 3 loaves in parentheses)

6 C. Warm Water (4 C)

1 1/2 TBL salt (1 TBL)

1/2 C. Oil (1/3 C)

1/2 C. Honey or Brown Sugar (1/3 C)

2 TBL dough enhancer (1 1/2 TBL)

3 TBL Saf Yeast (2 TBL)

10 C. Wheat Kernels (7 C.)

Freshly grind wheat into flour. Add water and several cups of freshly ground whole wheat flour to Bosch mixing bowl with dough hook in place. Mix using a few short bursts of the spring-loaded jogging switch (M'). Add the salt, honey, oild dough enhancer and instant yeast and jog briefly. (If the quality of your wheat is suspect try adding 3-4 TBL gluten also).

NOTE from Mrs. Olsen: My Bread Diva neighbor asked me where I got my wheat "Uh, some lady in the classifieds". Since I didn't buy it from the Bosch store like she does, she said to throw the gluten in. You probably should too.

While the Bosch is kneading at speed one, slowly add whole-wheat flour until dough pulls away from the side of the mixing bowl. This normally will take most of the whole-wheat flour you have ground. It is better to add too little flour than too much flour. Allow the Bosch to knead the dough until the gluten in the whole-wheat flour is properly developed. This takes 8 minutes on speed two, OR 12 minutes on speed one. Turn oven to preheat to 150 degrees (Mrs. Olsen again: mine only goes as low as 170 - that's okay so says the Diva because you turn it OFF when the bread goes in to rise).

Shape into loaves and place in pans already greased with an oil spray - Vegalene is recommended.

Sheesh these bread makers are picky. I've never even heard of this stuff. I just used PAM spray but will be on the lookout for this stuff. My last interjection...promise.

Turn the oven OFF. Put the loaves in the warm oven to rise until double in size (this takes approximately 25 minutes). When the loaves are double in size, set oven to 350 degrees and turn it on (leave the loaves in the oven). Bake f0r 25-30 minutes. When loaves are done, immediately remove from pans and let cool on wire rack. (Hint: So pans won't stick, wipe out while hot and don't wash them).


Kristen said...

3 hours? That's insane. I heard a coffee grinder can double as an electric wheat grinder and it's way cheaper. Wanna call your neighbor again and give it a try?
Also, can you post the recipe to that amazing-looking bread recipe? Marshall experimented for a while with ground wheat bread, but it never ended up looking that yummy.

Tami said...

Looks great! You are a trooper. I don't think I would have made the bread after 3 hours of grinding that dang wheat! But I'm sure it was all worth it once you ate a slice of bread. Good thing you made lots of bread...probably won't be doing that again for a little bit (unless you have a quicker grinder!)

Mrs. Olsen said...

Kristen, just edited the post to include the recipe. Come over and "make bread" with me (*slave labor*). I think Norma has a real grinder, so I might just take some kernels over and grind them up.

Cresta said...

just think of all the calories you burned...you deserve an extra loaf tonight!!

khepworth said...

Thanks for posting the recipe. I have been on the hunt for a good one. If you can get your bread to look like that on your first try, then I'd say it's full proof.

Seriously, 3 hours of grinding! I have a goal to make it from scratch, grind it and all. I guess I better pencil in an entire afternoon, and a massage after I'm done.

Lee Family said...

Wow, Amber! You are a domestic diva. Next thing we know you'll be calling me about the latest and greatest cleaning solution/discovery and then I'll really worry where Bamber went. Look out Moka, here comes Amma-Louise. If only your Discovery/Expedition comrades could see you now, lil' red hen. You know what is kind of sad? I am the least betty Crocker/Martha Stewart of all the sissies - except for Scrapbooking - which is the lamest of all Betty Crocker/Martha Stewart categories. Ah, i am really rambling now. I haven't scrapbooked for I swear 2 years. Marilyn would hate my grammatical errors. Love ya!! I wish we could be together for Christmas. That would be a Christmas dream come true.

Mrs. Olsen said...

Niki, thanks for the total ramble. I made bread once, and am hoping to find a new friend with a wheat grinder. But I am not domestic by any means. Less so as the years go by.

Monica is the pageant winner and you are first runner up. I was so impressed with your digs in Boston, I wouldn't have taken the time to beautify my house like you and Moka do. Wow, now I am rambling too.