Monday, July 20, 2015

9 Grain Whole Wheat Bread {with Natural Yeast}

We are not gluten free in this house (obviously), but I've been experimenting with natural yeast because of the health benefits.  I do have a gluten free friend who uses natural yeast to make her own wheat bread and she has zero side effects.  You can learn more about natural yeast here.

As for this recipe, it is almost identical to Honey Whole Wheat Bread (my favorite sandwich bread), just with the addition of 9 grain cracked cereal.  I like the texture it gives.  You can use any cracked cereal you have on hand, or make your own.  I use this one from Thrive Life, because it is easily accessible to me.

There are a two things to remember when baking with natural yeast:
1) Rise time is significantly longer.  The initial rise time is anywhere from 4-12 hours, with the final rise time being 1-4 hours, depending on the room temperature.
2) Cooking time is generally longer and hotter than with traditional yeast.
Other than that, its the same as regular yeast.

9 Grain Whole Wheat Natural Yeast Bread
Makes 2 loaves

3 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. vital wheat gluten
2/3 c. natural yeast
2/3 c. 9 grain cracked cereal
2 1/2 c. + 2/3 c. water

Combine all ingredients in mixer and mix until incorporated.
Let rest (sponge) for 10 minutes.

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. salt
1/3 c. olive oil
1/3 c. honey

Mix while adding:
2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour (or white flour if using half and half)

Dough should come away from the sides of the bowl and be wet to the touch, but not sticking to your fingers.  You may need to add up to 1 c. of additional flour until correct consistency is reached.
Mix dough for 10 minutes.

Move dough to large bowl and cover.
Let rise until double (4-12 hours).

Once doubled, roll dough out onto greased cutting board.
Knead thoroughly and cut in half.
Shape each loaf and place in greased bread pans.
Cover with kitchen towel and let rise until doubled (1-4 hours), or until dough is 1" above top edge of loaf pan.

Bake at 385 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 25-35 minutes, until well browned.
(Internal temperature of bread should reach 180 degrees when fully cooked).

Monday, July 13, 2015

Best Biscuits

I love biscuits.  I love these biscuits.  They are the go to recipe at our house since we started venturing away from shortening.
These work great with olive oil.
These work great with butter.
I'm sure they work great with shortening.
I'm sure they'd work with coconut oil or shortening or whatever other oil suits your fancy.
They are terrific, you wont be disappointed.
We personally like the outcome best when using all-purpose flour, but they work well with whole wheat or a mix of half and half.

Best Biscuits
4 c. flour
2 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2/3 c. olive oil OR butter
up to 2 c. milk

Combine dry ingredients.
Cut in softened butter (or pour in oil) and mix until crumbly.
Add milk until desired consistency is reached.

Roll out and cut into large rounds.
Bake at 425 for 13-15 minutes.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Peachy Keen Bars

This wonderful summertime dessert has all of the deliciousness of peach cobbler, all squared away into a perfect bar.  If you like peaches, you'll love this recipe.
Peachy Keen Bars
1 pkg dry cake mix (white, yellow, vanilla)
1/3 c. butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, divided
1 quart peaches, cubed
8oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl combine cake mix, butter and 1 egg; mix with fork until crumbly.
Set aside 1 1/2 c. for the topping.
Press remaining crumbs on the bottom of a sprayed 9x13" baking dish.
Bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, 1 egg and vanilla extract; beat with a mixer until creamy.
Drain peaches and spoon onto crust.
Spread cream mixture over peaches.
Sprinkle with reserved crumbs.
Bake an additional 30 minutes.
Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.