Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Bread Woes/School at the Campground

I was thrilled when I heard I could grind wheat berries and knead dough in my Vitamix.
I ground the wheat berries. You can do 2 cups at a time and it takes a minute. I was happy. I'll have to think ahead and grind a day ahead to have what I need. I can only fit two pans in my oven at a time.
Actually pretty fine flour - couldn't tell the difference from others
The kneading seemed to go well - although it only made one very small loaf. I am thrilled with the almond butter!
Yummy almond butter - I need to make more today
The first try turned out a great tasting loaf, but it was flat. - dare I say brick-like?  AND I need more than one loaf at a time.

The next day (as the bread was gone) I made dough for two loaves and decided to hand knead it. There was no way the Vitamix was going to handle this much dough. After my arms gave out, I enlisted the help of ALL - we kneaded for an HOUR.......YES - AN HOUR! I am not exaggerating.
"The whole table moves!"
The guys put muscle into it
Serious work!

Everyone "earned" eating rights on this bread.
I could tell it wasn't "quite there" but surely an hour of hand kneading would equal 8 min in the Bosch? It didn't. It was a lovely, delicious door-stop.  I didn't take a photo.

I was voicing my frustration to Janey (Camp Host's wife - pronounced Ja Nay) as she bakes bread. I shared with her I'd used a Bosch for bread baking for nearly 20 years and I think I'd forgotten how to knead by hand. I told her I may need a baby Bosch. She arranged for me to meet this afternoon with Mary. Mary bakes her own bread and kneads it all by hand.  We met in the lounge today and baked bread together. Our goal was something more than bricks.
Kneading in the bowl is MUCH less mess too! Isn't the lounge nice? 
It turns out her recipe is the same as mine. I used Marilyn's famousbread recipe. My FAVORITE  recipe has far too many kinds of grains for trailer baking, and my second favorite is a Honey Oat bread from No More Bricks - but I sent the book to storage and didn't save the recipe.  Her kneading technique is new to  me - in the bowl - and it worked well. I had wanted to see if dough enhancer makes a difference....she made her loaves without and I made mine with....the ones with the dough enhancer did rise higher...same oven, same ingredients otherwise.

Top 2 loaves with dough enhancer
I enjoyed doing this with Mary and Janey. These are much closer to my normal loaves.... I'll keep playing with it. I'm keeping my eyes open for some bread pans at thrift stores. The ones I purchased are too wide and deep for what I want. I was desperate; it's all the BX had. I should have waited. Lesson re-learned. 

I'm still contemplating a Baby Bosch - I think it's small enough I can find a spot for it - maybe under the mattress or in the sock drawer? ::wink::  It says it will knead 2 loaves and it would be nice to have a mixer for cookie dough etc......but I'll keep trying the hand kneading and see if I can get some BIG loaves again. LOL  

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