From Scratch, Part Two

And thus begins my second installation of From Scratch. Drool.

The SO and I don’t eat a lot of bread. Although I do love my carbs, I grew up not being a big bread eater. I did enjoy toast, but I didn’t really care for sandwiches. Despite my mom’s best efforts, we were a Wonder Bread family. You couldn’t pay me to eat wheat bread under any circumstances. But tastes change, and I embrace the multigrain breads with gusto. We try to get the least processed bread possible, and the Archer Farms Honey Whole Wheat bread from Target seems to suit our needs. It’s got a smooth texture, it’s pretty sturdy, and makes awesome toast. We’ve been out of bread since Monday, so I was inspired to make some bread from scratch. I found this recipe from Martha Stewart and halved it since I didn’t need two loaves, but kept the amount of honey the same and used Pam spray to grease the bowl and the loaf pan.

Pretty simple ingredients (that I all had on hand, interestingly enough): unbleached flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, salt, honey, yeast, and water.

Sift dry ingredients together.

Combine warm water (around 100-110°), honey, and yeast. Set in a warm spot for 10 minutes until it becomes foamy. If you’re using that packet of yeast that’s been sitting in your pantry for who-knows-how-long, it won’t foam and you’ll have to get a new one.

Once your water mixture is nice and foamy, make a well in your dry ingredients and pour in the water. I used a butter knife to incorporate everything together, then turned out the dough onto a heavily floured counter top. I kneaded by hand for about 10 minutes, adding flour whenever the dough became sticky. Follow the recipe’s instructions for rising and baking, and your bread will come out looking like this!

The crust was thick but chewy, and the insides were soft and had a nutty flavor. You really need a good serrated knife to cut it, but it made excellent toast with some Nutella on top. I can’t really slice it thin enough for a sandwich, but it’s good for breakfast. I joked with the SO that if I could make bread every week if I didn’t have to work, and it reminded me of a little poem I learned from a Laura Ingalls Wilder book about doing weekly chores.

“Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Churn on Thursday, Clean on Friday, Bake on Saturday, Rest on Sunday.”

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