Monday, May 25, 2009

Our Family's Daily Bread

.... well, so it will be our daily bread.
Hubby's mom has been making homemade bread for over 20 years. She makes hers in the Kitchen-Aid and I have her recipe which I have made hundreds of times. In fact, I cried when I got my Kitchen-Aid for Christmas the second year Hubby and I were married because I was so happy - I wanted to make bread just like her (yes, my mother-in-law is more like a best friend to me - I realize how Blessed I am). Her little loaves are beautiful and so, so yummy! I did make bread for awhile... before our business, before computers, before children... you get the picture.

Another recipe for bread that I have is for a much, much larger batch. (There is a limit to those Kitchen-Aid bowls.) It came from Hubby's childhood friend's mother... we call her Grandma Shirley. While both recipes I have are 'potato' breads, and the ingredients are nearly identical, the flavor of the hand-worked bread is different. I don't know quite what it is, but I would venture to hope that heavenly bread would taste just like Grandma Shirley's bread.
Believe me, we are farrrrrrrrr from being on the 'crunchy' side, but we've been intrigued with the idea of grinding our own flour. However, bread made with all whole wheat flour is usually very, very heavy - too heavy and likened to a door stop. So, when Hubby's mom makes hers with whole wheat, it's just a mixture of regular white flour with a few cups of whole wheat added in... but for a true whole wheat bread, that mixture doesn't count.

Having already had the experience of baking bread gave me more confidence, but being clueless to gluten and wheat proteins and the actual science of bread-baking necessities left me intimidated. That is until yesterday when Hubby found these very, very helpful sites - here and here.

While Hubby would really like to figure out a smaller recipe so we could mix a batch more easily in the Kitchen-Aid, part of me really enjoys the process of mixing a large batch in my Great-Grandmother's antique Bauer bowl. The same one she used to make bread, the bowl I grew up with, too. My mom made biscuits, cinnamon rolls and caramel popcorn in the "big, yellow bowl".

The kneading (the workout!), the joy-filled satisfaction of doing something that has been done since the beginning of time. I never knew her, but my Great-Grandmother kneaded her bread in the air - I wish I could have seen that! I know she and my grandma and my mom are very proud of me knowing that their heritage continues.

Behold, our first batch of moist (I know, I was shocked, too! But, it really is super moist!!!), whole wheat and heavenly-tasting bread.
I need to check with Grandma Shirley first (yes, we love you too, Grandpa Art, and fully acknowledge your bread making skills - can you teach your pseudo-son to knead, please?), but I don't think she'll mind if I share the recipe and then with our addition of whole wheat. Be sure to check back!

Oh, I need to add that the bread-making process takes about 6 hours. I knew this. I again know this and might I suggest that starting bread at about 9pm isn't a good idea... that is unless you want a 3am snack of hot buttered bread.


Goosegirl said...

OH YUM!!! I love making bread and need (or is that knead....) to get back to it.

However, today is dedicated to making over 100 scones for our MOPS end of year tea party. Do you want to come? It would be fun!

Karen said...

Wow April, your bread loaves look so completely amazing! I seriously have bread envy. I'm still experimenting with tons of gluten free bread recipes to find one that everyone likes. You mentioned these were "potato" breads? Can I trouble you for the recipe? I'm hoping with my mixes of GF flours, etc. maybe I can adapt it to something yummy?

Barbara said...

How did I miss this??? I was cracking up at all the loaves laying around in the background... Man I hope you had at least a little help.

They do look delicious though! One more thing - do you have a slicer (guide), or are you one of those people who can get a perfect slice by eye?

April said...

Barbara - that's why I prefer the little loafing pans because it is easier to eyeball. hehe!