Monday, October 20, 2014

Multi-Grain Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I love to make whole wheat bread.  I'm a 'grind the wheat to make her bread' kind of gal.
For years, I've relied on my trusty "Fool Proof Whole Wheat Bread" recipe, and haven't been let down.  
As I was making it today though, I thought I'd add a few more ingredients, to make it more of a multi-grain whole wheat bread, and I substituted coconut oil for the olive oil.  I was surprised at how much lighter and softer this came out, and my family might have even loved it a bit more than my standard recipe.  

  This recipe takes 2 hours from start to finish, with 30 active minutes 

5 ½ cups warm water
2 1/4 T. dry yeast
2 T. salt
1 cup oil (olive or coconut)
2/3 cup honey
8 cups whole kernel wheat
3 Tablespoons chia
2 Tablespoons flax seed
3/4 cup oats

Combine 5 ½ cups warm water, yeast, salt, oil, and honey in Bosch or large mixer bowl. Let stand 5 -10 minutes to activate yeast.
While yeast proofs, using a wheat grinder, mill 8 cups whole kernel wheat to yield 12 cups of whole-wheat flour.  (The wheat will be warm, and perfect for the yeast if ground at this point). 

Add 8 cups of whole-wheat flour to mixing bowl. If using a Bosch, use the ‘spring-loaded’ position (turning to the left instead of the right) button the switch first to blend the ingredients, or mix on low speed until well blended.
Add 3 – 4 cups more flour, 1 cup at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. (The amount of flour required will vary according to the moisture and protein content of the wheat and your atmosphere/altitude etc. The stickier the dough, the moister the bread, but it should clean the sides of the mixing bowl).   Knead dough on low speed for 10 minutes.
Add flax seeds, chia seeds, and oatmeal, and mix thoroughly.

Oil hands and working surface. Remove dough from mixing bowl and with oiled hands, spread into a large rectangle.  Divide into 6 equal portions.  Starting at one end, begin rolling each section, one at a time, into an oblong shape.  Pinch the ends together and turn underneath.  Place in oiled, metal 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 5/8" bread pans (this size seems to work the best, and metal works better than glass).  If desired, oil the top of the loaves for a soft crust.  Cover with a damp cloth, away from drafts, and let rise 1/3 in bulk, or approx. 35 minutes.  

Bake at 425* for 8 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350* for the remainder of the baking period (27 to 32 minutes). Remove from pans when done, and allow to cool on baking racks. Brush tops with butter or oil immediately.  

*Notes:  I specifically use a Bosch mixer with this recipe.  I've tried it with a Kitchenaid mixer, without the same results.  My guess is that it relates to the Bosch's cover retaining the heat perhaps?  

White Bean, Chicken, and Kale Soup

This is a simple white bean and chicken soup with lots of fresh herbs, and kale.  
Perfect for fall.  
Except that I live in Florida and fall doesn't really exist here.  
We compensate though, we still eat soup, and then swim in the pool. 
It's a tough life. 

Did I mention that this soup is picky teenager approved? 

1/2 large onion (chopped)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or white)
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
Chicken bouillon to taste if desired
1-2 teaspoons salt
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
4 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 sprigs parsley, chopped
1 small bunch (8 leaves) oregano, chopped
1 medium jalapeno diced (optional)
Black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cans Great Northern Beans (white) (undrained)
1 can Garbanzo Beans/Chick peas (undrained)
12 stalks curly kale leaves, washed and leaves torn away from stalks (discard stalks)
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced

Heat coconut oil in saucepan. Once hot, add onions and garlic, (and jalapeno if you feel daring).  Sautee until tender.  Add flour and stir to coat.
Allow to cook for 30 seconds to make a roux, then slowly add broth and stir until roux is dissolved.
Add water, salt, and beans.  Use the bottom of a cup, or potato masher to smash beans slightly - not all of them, perhaps a third.  This will also help to thicken the soup.
Add spices, and diced chicken.
If using a pressure cooker, cook for 15-20 minutes.  If using a regular soup pan, cook for 30-40 minutes until chicken is tender, and everything is well combined.

Add kale, and allow to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes prior to serving.
Salt and pepper to taste.