Bread Baking - Recipes and Information Category

Table of Contents

  1. Contents of Bread Baking - Recipes and Information
    1. Grains (Learn to cook nutritious, whole grains for...)
    2. Quick Breads
    3. Selecting a Grain Mill (Comparison Information)
    4. Tips and Information
    5. Yeast Breads

Bread Baking - Recipes and Information

Reliable whole grain bread recipes, techniques, tips, and more!

A Kernel Of Wheat

A Diagram of a kernel of wheat is depicted here.  The bran layers contain B-Vitamins
and fiber and account for about 15% of the grain by weight.  The germ contains Vitamin
E which is an anti-oxidant.  The Endosperm is the starch and about 80% of the grain.
The wheat kernel, sometimes called the wheat berry, is the seed from which the wheat plant grows. Each tiny seed contains three distinct parts that are separated during the milling process to produce flour. The kernel of wheat is a storehouse of nutrients essential to the human diet.

Endosperm

..about 83 percent of the kernel weight. It is the source of white flour. The endosperm contains the greatest share of the protein in the whole kernel, carbohydrates, iron as well as many B-complex vitamins, such as riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine.

Bran

..about 14 1/2 percent of the kernel weight. Bran is included in whole wheat flour and is also available separately. Of the nutrients in whole wheat, the bran contains a small amount of protein, larger quantities of the B-complex vitamins listed above, trace minerals, and indigestible cellulose material also called dietary flour.

Germ

..about 2 1/2 percent of the kernel weight. The germ is the embryo or sprouting section of the seed, usually separated because of the fat that limits the keeping quality of flour. Of the nutrients in whole wheat, the germ contains minimal quantities of protein, but a greater share of B-complex vitamins and trace minerals. Wheat germ can be purchased separately and is included in whole wheat flour.


Refined flour looses between 48-98% of the many naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.
There are estimated to be 26 vitamins and minerals in a kernel of wheat.

Only Vitamins B-1, B-2, and B-3 and folic acid and iron are added to white flour in a synthetic
form and this is called enrichment. 

This graphic depicts how we are being robbed of nutrients when we eat refined foods.


Urban Homemaker

An Introduction to Whole Grain Baking with Sue Gregg

AN INTRODUCTION TO WHOLE GRAIN BAKING
WITH COOKBOOK AUTHOR

SUE GREGG

 May 3, 2007 with Marilyn Moll, moderating
 To listen to a compilation of Phone Seminars including a recording Sue Gregg talking with Marilyn regarding Whole Grains CLICK HERE.

Thursday, May 3, we talked with Sue Gregg regarding her new book, An Introduction to Whole Grains. This new book is designed to be the text book that goes with the Baking With Whole Grains Curriculum, as well as a complete cookbook on blender batter baking and the two-stage process for quick breads and yeast breads.

Sue explained the benefits of the two-stage process both nutritionally and as a convenience to the cook. One of the benefits of soaking flour is the enzymes are activated that promote digestion of the grain, and the phytates are neutralized releasing a high percentage of the minerals that would otherwise be bound up.

Sue also described her Taste and Tell Recipe Sampler recipes and some of her favorite recipes from each of the different books in the series. We wrapped up the hour with Sue answering audience questions.

Sue Gregg has made available a limited number of her recipe samplers called, Taste and Tell, to anyone ordering one or more of her cookbooks. Please request your copy of Taste and Tell when placing an order for Sue Gregg cookbooks by asking for Free Taste and Tell, in the comments section of check out or over the phone. This free offer is while supplies last

 
Including Sue's new book, An Introduction to Whole Grains, this popular 6-book set PLUS this long-awaited new book is on sale for $92.00 (reg. $116) with F.REE shipping!

(7-Cookbook Set includes: Main Dishes, Lunches & Snacks, Soups and Muffins, Desserts, Breakfasts, Meals In Minutes, and An Introduction To Whole Grain Baking)

 Twelve Phone Seminars including this seminar with Sue Gregg are available in MP3 format on CD or electronically downloadable formats.  For more information on over 12 hours of Continuing Education for Moms CLICK HERE

Urban Homemaker

Basic Pizza Crust with Variations

Basic Pizza Crust (2 crusts)

4 Cups whole wheat flour, spelt, kamut
1 TB SAF yeast
1 TB olive oil
1 TB honey
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Cups warm water (110 degrees)

Pre-heat pizza stone in 500 degree oven for about 30 minutes. In a mixer, add water and then remaining ingredients, adding enough flour to clean sides of the bowl. Knead dough 3-5 minutes or until gluten is developed. Remove from bowl. Roll out on cornmeal or semolina dusted pizza paddle, or pizza pan. Brush crust with oil and prick with a fork. Pre-bake 5-8 minutes in an oven with pre-heated pizza stone, if desired. Remove with paddles and proceed with favorite toppings. Use about one pound of dough per crust. Make the pizza dough more stiff than normal bread dough so that it will be easy to roll out without stickiness.

Crust Variations:
Garlic: -
Add 4 or more garlic cloves chopped, minced, sauteed if desired
Herbed Dough - Add 4-10 TB minced fresh herbs or 2-6 TB dried herbs such as oregano, basil, tarragon, sage, rosemary, marjoram, Italian Seasonings while kneading dough.
Seeded Dough: Add 4 TB toasted sesame seeds to dough while kneading. Substitute sesame oil for olive oil.

Hint: Make a triple batch of pizza dough crust and pre-bake the pizza shells for approximately 5-8 minutes. Be sure to pierce the dough with a fork to avoid bubbles. Wrap well, and freeze for later use.

For Pizza Making inspiration, read The Best Pizza is Made at Home.


Articles and Recipes authored by marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com. For more information please visit us at The Urban Homemaker Specializing in products for better health in the spirit of Titus Two.

Urban Homemaker

Bread Baking Problems and Solutions

Bread Baking Problems and Solutions - Here are pictures of bread baked by me in our 8" bread pans. It makes excellent sandwiches that hold together. I used Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe.

Q. How do I get my bread to be suitable for making sandwiches?

A. There are three basic principles for making bread good enough for sandwiches.

1. Add 1/3 to ½ cup vital wheat gluten to a 2 loaf batch of bread. Make sure the gluten is fully developed. Vital gluten makes the bread softer, moister and it rises better.

2. Make sure you don't add too much flour – this leads to dry, crumbly bread when it cools. The dough should be smooth and elastic and a tiny bit tacky, not dry when shaping your loaves.

3.Don't over rise the bread – coarse texture leads to crumbly bread.

Q. Is it really cheaper to make homemade bread?

A. Cost isn't the only factor to consider when determining if bread baking is a good thing for your family. Consider the wonderful aroma in your home from home baking, and the superior nutritional value. I am glad that my homemade bread contains ingredients that I recogzine and I know how to pronounce them. Home baked bread has superior taste, and the fact that home made bread is very easy to incorporate into my routine is an added bonus. It is an added benefit to bless friends and neighbors with home baked bread.

Q. What is sponging and is it necessary?

A. Sponging is the process of allowing the yeast, water and a portion of the flour to be mixed together for about 15 minutes to activate the yeast. You could consider sponging a short, first rising. All yeast bread baking is flexible, however, and you can skip sponging and allow the bread to rise once or twice before baking. Be sure to get all the air bubbles out of the dough before shaping the loaves. Bread can rise just once in the pans before baking if you are running out of time. Conversely, bread can rise multiple times before shaping, rising, and the baking. Each rising period will improve flavor and texture. Be flexible and allow baking to fit around your schedule.

Q. I have some yeast bread recipes that do not call for fresh milled flour. How do I adjust the recipe?

A. I substitute cup for cup, whole grain hard wheat flour for all purpose flour in yeast bread recipes that appeal to me. The only adjustment I make is adding some vital gluten so the bread will not be too dense or heavy or dry.

Q. Can I use my fresh ground flour for cookies, pancakes and muffins?

A. Use freshly milled soft wheat flour or pastry wheat for any baked goods that do not contain yeast.
Remember freshly milled pastry flour must be packed like brown sugar for accurate measurements. You can obtain more information about ingredients and how to use them.

Q. My bread doesn’t rise very well.

A. Whole grain bread will not rise as well as white bread, but if you have waited several hours and the bread hasn’t doubled in size, the problem most likely is the use of low protein wheat. Low protein means low gluten content. All wheat is not created equal, and premium wheat will have a higher protein content than less expensive wheat.

Use 1 Tbsp. vital gluten per cup of flour as a starting place.

Q. I have some older yeast and I don't know if it is still good. What do I do?

A. Proofing the yeast is a way to determine if your yeast is still good. If it isn't, your bread may not rise well. If you suspect your yeast is out of date or old, here is how to proof (test) the yeast:

Add 1 tsp. yeast, with 1/2 cup warm water (85°F) and 1 tsp. sugar. If the yeast isn’t bubbling up to the top of the cup within 10 minutes, replace the yeast.

Be sure to store yeast cool and dry. Use moisture/vapor proof containers.

Step by step cinnamon Roll tutorial

Urban Homemaker

Coconut Oil for Baking Bread is Best!

Ed Note Last week I asked readers what oil they used in their bread.  Of the responses I received Coconut oil was the overwhelming consensus. 
Here are the comments:


Marilyn,

In your newsletter you asked about coconut oil use in bread.  I use a slight variation of the whole wheat bread recipe you have posted using the two-stage process.  I use coconut oil for the oil.  I melt it on the stove and measure it (1/4 cup for two loaves) after it is melted.  Because coconut oil has natural anti-fungal properties, I think it helps my bread products to last a little longer.

 
I have also successfully made the recipe without any oil if I plan to use the bread product immediately, such as in cinnamon rolls or pizza dough that will be consumed without leftovers, which happens more and more often with two growing boys!

Blessings to you and your family
,  Kassy

Dear Marilyn,

I couldn't find the question on your blog about what kind of oil to use in bread baking.  I bake with spelt, and have had great success w/ coconut oil (expeller pressed- not extra virgin which would make the oil taste like coconuts).  I just warm it a little on the stove to bring it into liquid form.

-Aimee B.

Dear Marilyn,
 
I use coconut oil in my bread baking.  If you use non=hydrogenated coconut oil, it is very good for your health.  I purchase it from an organic farm back east in 5 pound buckets.  It has the slight whif of coconut still in it.  We also use it in cooking and on popcorn!  It's delicious!
 

Jill  S.

Dear Marilyn,

I have been using melted butter for the "oil" in your bread recipe and it works great!
Nancy B

Dear Marilyn,

About the oil in bread.  I have used all coconut oil, but it makes the bread heavy. Using half coconut oil and half olive oil works better.......or 3/4 cup of coconut oil to every cup of olive oil.
 
Thank you.
Jane F

Hi Marilyn,

I just read your newsletter and have a couple of comments/possible answers for you.
 
Regarding the questions ....  After learning about how wonderful coconut oil is, and also how wonderful butter is (from pastured cows), I quit using olive oil completely in my bread and now use a combination of half coconut oil and half butter.  My family couldn't tell a difference but I can tell that the bread is softer and just a bit "richer."  From experience I have learned that you can also use all coconut oil or all butter also.
 
For weight loss, I highly recommend Sally Fallon's book Eat Fat, Lose Fat and also recommend The Metabolic Typing Diet by William Wolcott.  While whole grain, fresh homemade bread is absolutely wonderful, we cannot eat it all day long, every day.  We've got to mix in a large amount of vegetables, and also healthy animal foods.  We *really* have to limit fruits and fruit juices, and eliminate white sugar.  And we need to get moving.
 
Just my two cents.  Wish I could add more, but I hope this was helpful.  I'm sure you'll get lots and lots of responses!

 
Many Blessings,
Amy Knowles
 

Hi Marilyn,

About the coconut oil, I use it all the time to cook my bread in the Zo.   ( I also use it in about everything I can.) It is sooo good for you--anti viral and other various properties.  Coconut oil does not change into the unhealthy fats when it is heated like many other oils do.  Although it can be expensive, I think the health benefits out weight the cost.  I hope this helps,
Angela Workman

Dear Marilyn,

Next to the question on oil. I really love coconut oil for baking, because it won't turn into trans fats on reasonable heat. (I don't think it would deep fry) And butter. Melted butter is really good and I think it must be comparatively healthy because it is more natural. Just my observances.  Name Withheld

Dear Marilyn,

Coconut oil is antibacterial?   That's great!  I had a few slices of a pumpkin-cranberry quick bread left in the fridge from about a MONTH ago (oops), made w/ fresh-ground spelt and virgin coconut oil.  Near as I could tell, it never grew a speck of mold.  Maybe the coconut oil (combined w/ the acidity of cranberries?) had something to do with that.
:-)Aimee Baxter

So Bread Bakers and Aspiring Bakers, try using Coconut Oil in baking!  I will try it very soon.   Marilyn Moll, Editor, The Urban Homemaker
Urban Homemaker

Cost to Make Whole Wheat Bread

Costs of Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Homemade Bread

Recently I have been challenged to calculate the cost of my homemade bread to see if the savings is really worth it.

This is how I calculate (estimate) the cost of bread per loaf:

My grain costs me about $20.00 per 50 lb bag. It takes roughly one
pound of flour per loaf (1.5 lb loaf).The whole wheat flour cost is 40 cents.

Water is free, but I do use filtered water so there is no chlorine or other chemical contaminants in my bread.

Saf Yeast costs me $4.99 per pkg (I use SAF Instant yeast). I would use
about 1 tsp per loaf. I calculate that cost at 5 cents, that is an estimate.

Salt is 1 tsp. I don't calculate that cost, but call it 1 cent. (I use Real Salt)

Honey and oil are my most expensive ingredients. I would use 2 TB
honey per loaf and 2 TB oil per loaf, so depending on the costs of the oil and honey you
purchase (bulk purchases are cheaper per cup). I calculate the honey cost at 25
cents (1 cup of honey costs me $2.00 because I buy it in bulk).

The oil is 2TB per loaf and I use olive oil which costs me about $13.00 for 2 qts. so
that is 20 cents for 2 TB.

Total estimated expense is $.91.

So even if your ingredient costs are more because you don't buy in
bulk, we are talking in the neighborhood of $1.00 to $1.25 a loaf. You could add in
electrical costs if you were really wanting an accurate cost, but I
think the point is homemade bread is significantly less expensive and better
quality than most store bought equivalents.

Depending on the size of your family and how many loaves of bread you
use a week, you can calculate annual savings. Large families will save a bundle!

Marilyn's Famous Bread Recipe is VERSATILE! Use it to make cinnamon rolls, pizza, bread sticks, and more. Click this link for Whole Wheat Bread Dough Variations. If you use this bread dough to make your own rolls, cinnamon rolls, pizza, etc.the savings continues to grow.

Urban Homemaker

Cracker Recipes - whole grain recipes and tips

Recently a reader requested cracker recipes. I have never made crackers, so I asked readers for their input. Most readers say they are quite easy. Here are some of the many replies:

Dear Marilyn,

In answer to the request for a cracker recipe. One of the best ones I have used (since 1979) is the More-with-Less Cookbook, Wheat Thins p. 310

TIP: I usually had to remove the outer edge ones, and let the inside ones cook a ittle longer. Maybe even pull them apart to get more air. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking --- you may find these too sweet or what you are looking for. All I know is my kids love them.

Dear Marilyn,

Could you refer the person asking for cracker recipes to the book Recipes from the Old Mill. She has few in there. As far as plain "Saltine" type crackers, here is a recipe I love. I have made it with 1/2 unbleached white flour and 1/2 whole wheat, but havn't tried all whole wheat yet.

Dear Marilyn,

Here is our favorite cracker recipe:

Basic Crackers

1 c. flour, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tb. butter
About 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the flour, salt, and butter together in a large bowl or in the
container of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Blend with
a fork or pulse, until the flour and butter are combined. Add about
1/4 c. of water and blend, then continue to add water until the
mixture holds together but is not sticky.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface until 1/4" thick, or even less.
Score lightly with a sharp knife or razor if you want to break these
into nice squares or rectangles later on. Bake on a lightly floured
baking sheet, or directly on baking stones, until lightly browned,
about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack; serve warm or at room temperature, or store in a tin.

Barbara in New York


Dear Marilyn,

Here is our favorite cracker recipe:

SESAME CRACKERS

1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil baking sheet.
In a med. bowl combine flour and sesame seeds.
Add oil and blend well. Add water and mix to pie-
dough consistency. Roll out dough to 1/8 inch
thickness on prepared baking sheet. Score with
a knife into square or diamond shapes. Bake
about 15 minutes or until crackers are golden
brown. Cool on wire racks. Makes 3-4 doz.

The main trick I've learned for making crackers is to roll them out very
thin ON the cookie sheet and score them before baking.

Susie

Dear Marilyn,

Our favorite cracker recipes are p. 518 of Nourishing Traditions.

Ed note: Both of these receipes incorporate the principles of the 2 stage process by soaking the grain or the flour in order to neutralize the phytates and maximize nutritional value.

Urban Homemaker

ELECTRIC GRAIN MILL COMPARISONS

The below information is excerpted from A Beginner's Guide to Baking Bread ebook by Marilyn Moll. It is also available in a spiral bound edition

I have made most all our own bread and bakery goods for the last 22 years. I will briefly outline the advantages and disadvantages of each of the electric grain mills available, from my 22 years of experience with mills.

Micronizing Grain Mills
Micronizing mills are exclusively powered by electricity and utilize technology that originally was developed for the pharmaceutical industry to derive fine, uniform powders.  Modified for milling grains, micronizers are fast and capable of  milling grains into very fine, powdery flour at low temperatures.    My personal preference and baking experience has been exclusively with micronizing grain mills.


KITCHEN MILL Advantages - Large flour catch pan - holds 21-23 cups flour, strong reliability record, stores very compactly (if storage space is at a premium at your house you will appreciate this), produces high quality fine flour, mills all grains and dry beans, lifetime warranty on milling system/5 yr. warranty on the motor, mfg. in the USA.  This grain mill was my first mill and my husband's favorite.
Disadvantages: Smaller grain hopper, noisier than certain other mills.




NUTRIMILL- Advantages - Large flour canister - holds 21 cups of flour, life-time warranty, large grain hopper, slightly quieter than K-tec but has the same milling system, slide out drawer contains flour mills most grains and dry beans.
Disadvantages: higher price, takes a large amount of storage space, mfg. in Korea.



Wondermill - Advantages - Formerly known as the Whisper Mill, slightly quieter than The Kitchen Mill, large hopper capacity, six year warranty, high quality flour, grain feeds well into milling mechanism, produces flour quickly. My personal favorite grain mill. New models have a larger, more reliable motor.  This grain mill is my personal preference.
Disadvantages - Smaller capacity flour canister (12 cup), does not crack grain, must turn on mill before adding grain so the mill will not jam.


Steel-Cone Burr Mill
This type of grain mill also can be operated by both hand or electric power and offers the ability to adjust the fineness of the flour from fine to cracked.  Generally, the steel-cone burr will produce flour at a slower speed, but the electric version is also relatively quiet to run.  Steel cone burr mills can make fine flours suitable for breads, muffins, pastries, etc, but the flour may not be as fine as stone or micronizing mills.  These grain mills can also mill most whole grains and beans, but larger grains such as corn and beans will need to be cracked first, and then run through again on a fine setting if you want flour.

FAMILY GRAIN MILL - Advantages - versatile; available with handbase and other food processing attachments, adjustable fine to course mechanism so mill will crack grain, can be used with Bosch Universal with an adaptor or with K-Tec Kitchenetics without an adaptor, German made, quietest mill we sell, takes minimal storage space, very economical.
Disadvantage - flour may not be quite as fine as Nutrimill, Wondermill or Kitchen Mill, slower production of flour than high speed mills.

The above information is excerpted from A Beginner's Guide to Baking Bread by Marilyn Moll.


Urban Homemaker

Getting Started with Whole Grain Bread Baking

Why Bake Your Own Bread?

I have been baking most of our family's bread for over twenty years. The satisfaction I receive each time a fragrant and beautiful loaf of bread comes out of the oven never ends. But there are many other better reasons to bake your own bread, read on:

Did you know that whole grain wheat has 26 naturally occurring vitamins and minerals along with good quality fiber and wheat germ oil? Unfortunately the refining process removes the bran, and the wheat germ oil and most of the nutritional value. White refined flour has four B-vitamins left in it which are not in the original proportions. That's It! Consuming white flour product is like being robbed. Your body needs nutrient dense foods and refined flour baked goods are devoid of health enhancing nutrition.


Tips For The Best Bread
Now that you have familiarized yourself with the benefits of baking your own bread, and the basic ingredients needed in yeast breads, read through my tips below for the best bread before  you try baking your first whole grain loaf of bread.

Hand Method

Step 1:  Read through Marilyn’s Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe and acquaint yourself with the directions and ingredients.  
Assemble your basic yeast bread ingredients: fresh whole wheat flour, salt, yeast, honey, vital gluten and filtered water.
You are ready to get started!  

Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
Hand Method: (yields 2 loaves)

1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup oil
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tbsp. SAF Instant Yeast
2 1/2 tsp. salt
6-7 cups fresh whole wheat flour(room temperature)
1 1/2 tbsp. Dough Enhancer, opt
1/3 cup Vital Wheat Gluten, opt

Combine the warm water, yeast, and 2 cups of fresh whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl.  Allow to sponge (see pg. 21) for 15 minutes.  Add the honey, oil, dough enhancer, salt and 4-5 cups  additional flour until the dough begins to clean the sides of the mixing bowl.  This is true whether you are mixing by hand with a wooden spoon or using a dough hook attachment with an electric mixer.  

Knead the bread by hand 7-10 minutes or until it is very smooth, elastic, and small bubbles or blisters appear beneath the surface of the dough.   It is a common mistake of beginners to add too much flour.  When hand kneading, if you will oil your kneading surface and your hands with 1-2 tsp of oil, this will help reduce stickiness and help you avoid adding too much flour.  
Form the dough into 2 loaves.  Allow the dough to rise in a slightly warmed oven or other warm place until doubled in size, about 30-60 minutes.  (Turn the oven on for 5-10 minutes, turn off oven and open door, allowing it to cool down to approx. 100°F.)

Bake the loaves for  25-30 minutes in a 350°F oven.  Bread is cooked through when the top, sides, and bottom are nicely browned in color.  Over baked  is better than under baked.

Step 2: Mixing the ingredients
Pour the water into a mixing bowl and stir in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until they are moistened.  There is really no perfect order for combining these ingredients but below are some tips for insuring good success with your first efforts at baking whole grain bread. Step 3-Step 8 below will describe the kneading, raising, shaping, baking, and cooling steps in more detail.

General Mixing Tips and Suggestions:
* Use warm water.  Best temperature is 110 - 120°F if using SAF Yeast, otherwise 110° maximum.  If you are not using Instant or Quick Rising Yeast like SAF, be sure to proof the yeast before using it by mixing the yeast with 1/2 cup warm water with a teaspoon of sugar or honey and allowing it to sit for 10 minutes before using it.

* Use the right amount of flour.  Too much flour kneaded into the breads causes dry crumbly bread.  Because the moisture content of flours vary, yeast bread recipes will always call for a range of flour.  With experience you will learn to recognize when the right amount of flour has been added to the dough, rather than relying on measurements alone.

* Sponging is simply allowing the dough to sit in the mixing bowl to allow the flour to absorb the liquid.  Combine the warm water, yeast, and 2 cups of fresh whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl. Allow to sponge for 15 minutes.  This step gets the yeast off to a good start.  Set the timer if necessary.  Use the “waiting time” to clean up your kitchen or fold the laundry.  Don’t worry if the sponge goes longer than 15 minutes.  The art of baking bread is flexible.  If the baby needs to be changed, or the mailman rings the door bell, and life happens, relax; get back to the bread as soon as you can and don’t fret.

* Measuring ingredients and mixing the dough.  Measure the oil into a glass measuring cup before the honey.  That way the honey slides out with minimal stickiness.  Then add the remaining ingredients and 4-5 cups additional flour.  Stir with a sturdy wooden spoon until the bread dough begins to clean the sides of the mixing bowl.  Be sure to add the flour gradually to enable it to absorb the moisture.  

Step 3: Knead the dough
This process will develop the gluten.  The gluten is an elastic protein that enables dough to hold it’s shape when raised.  The most difficult aspect of mastering bread baking is learning the kneading technique and knowing how long to knead.  Here is how to recognize when the gluten is fully developed:  The dough will be smooth and elastic.  Take a golf ball sized portion of dough and see if the dough is stretchy and does not readily tear.  To improve the gluten content and texture of your bread add vital gluten.

Tips for Kneading the Dough By Hand
Try to get all the flour incorporated within two minutes of mixing so you will have even gluten development.  Too little flour will cause the dough to be too sticky to work with, which is your signal to add more flour.  Since whole grain flour absorbs moisture more slowly, be sure not to add too much flour, or, as you mix and knead, the dough will become too dry, resulting in crumbly bread.  Add more flour gradually, in 1/2- 1  cup portions.  It takes practice to add the right amount.

 A rhythmic process called “kneading” develops the gluten in the  bread dough by straightening the gluten strands and causing them to become smooth and elastic.   Place the slightly flattened dough all onto a lightly floured surface, and fold the dough  over toward yourself.  Press the folded dough together, pushing down and away from yourself with the lightly floured heels of both hands.  Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the process by folding the dough and pressing away, turning and repeating.  This “kneading” is a rhythmic motion, repeated many times.

Knead the dough by hand 7-10 minutes or until it is very smooth, elastic, and small bubbles or blisters appear beneath the surface of the dough.  It is a common mistake for beginners to add too much flour.  When hand kneading, if you will oil your kneading surface and your hands with 1-2 tsp of oil, this will reduce stickiness and help you avoid adding too much flour.  Remember, if your dough is too sticky to work with you will need to add additional flour.

A Fool-Proof Way to Knead Your Bread
If you are new to kneading bread dough, an older wiser woman told me how she determined if her bread was adequately kneaded.
She said, “Say the Lord’s Prayer as you knead, making one kneading stroke per word and then repeating the prayer at least twice”.  Many ladies have told me that this method alone solved their dilemma of determining how long to knead the dough.

With experience you will eventually master the kneading process and learn to “feel” and recognize when the gluten is developed.

Step Four: Recognizing When The Gluten Is Developed
You can recognize when gluten is fully developed by taking a golf ball sized portion of dough and gently stretching the dough in opposite directions using your thumb and forefinger of both hands.  If you can stretch the dough thin enough to see light through without the dough readily tearing, you have sufficiently developed the gluten.

If after 7-10 minutes of kneading the bread dough, the gluten doesn’t seem developed, it is most likely because you are using low protein flour or because you are new at kneading bread dough.

There is no way to increase the gluten content and development at this point. More kneading after a certain point does not mean more gluten development.  In fact, it is possible to over-knead the dough, and if this does occur, the gluten begins to break down and the dough becomes a sticky mess.

Finish making the bread according to the instructions below.  The finished bread may be a bit heavier and denser than you like,  but I suspect the bread you have made will smell wonderful and be delicious even if it is a bit heavy and dense. 

Just view this as a “learning experience”.  As I have said before, there are no failures in bread baking, only learning experiences.  Expect to have them.   Bread that we call “learning experiences” is usually enjoyed by the family anyway or it can be salvaged by turning the baked bread into croutons, bread pudding, bread crumbs, or feeding the ducks.

If you find your bread heavier or denser than you and your family enjoy,  you will want to add vital gluten into the recipe next time to improve the texture of the bread.   Often, baking with Montana grown hard wheat (which is higher in protein content) may solve that heavy/dense bread problem in the future.

Step 5: Let the bread dough rise (1st rising - optional)
When the gluten is fully developed, allow the dough to rise in a greased mixing bowl.  Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel to keep the dough from drying out.  This step is often called “proofing” (not to be confused with proofing the yeast).  Proofing is a baking term for allowing bread dough to rise, generally  outside of the oven.  Although this step is optional, proofing will develop texture and flavor, gluten framework, and help make light, fluffy loaves of whole wheat bread.  If you are in a hurry, this step can be skipped.

The activity of the yeast ferments the flour, causing the development of carbon dioxide gas to develop.  The carbon dioxide is captured by the gluten which causes the bread to rise. 

The optimum temperature for yeast activity is 85-100°F so use a slightly warmed oven, top of the refrigerator, direct sunlight or any other warm place, if possible.  Otherwise, the first rising period done at room temperature will just take longer, which is nothing to be concerned about.  Normally the first rising period  takes about 30-60 minutes.  (The first raising of the bread can be skipped if you are in a hurry, but flavor and texture of the bread improve with each raising.)

After the dough has doubled in size, punch down the dough, divide it into two equal pieces and shape the loaves.  Use 1 tsp. oil on your kneading surface or on your hands when it is time to shape the dough.  This keeps the dough from sticking and avoids using excess flour.

Step 6: Shaping bread loaves
After the dough has risen once and been punched down with your fist (this deflates all the air bubbles), you will want to shape the loaves in a round cylindrical shape, the length of your bread pan.  (8” cylinder for 8” pans, 10” cylinder, 10” pans, etc.)

I take the dough, stretch the dough around the tops, and sides of the “cylinder” I try to shape with my hands and pinch this stretched dough together, underneath  the loaf or cylinder, into a seam.  I roll the bread dough shaped into a cylinder like a rolling pin with my hands to make sure all the air bubbles have been removed and the loaf is nice and round and smooth.

When I’m content with the shape of my loaf, I put the dough. seam side down, into the greased bread pans and lightly grease the top of the loaf with oil or melted butter.  For the prettiest highest rising bread loaves, use 8” X 4 1/2” loaf pans filled 1/2 to 2/3 full of bread dough.  

Step 7: Raising the bread loaves (2nd raising)
The loaves are ready to bake when the dough has doubled in size.  So if your pan was only filled half full of  bread dough, it will be time to bake when the loaves reach the top of the pan.  This second raising period, usually takes about 30-60 minutes depending on the temperature of the place you allow the dough to rise. 

Don’t be in a hurry and allow the bread to rise too quickly.  Rapidly risen bread loaves often have a weak structure and tend to fall or collapse before the baking time is over.
Another way to determine if the loaf is ready to bake, is to lightly press the corner of the loaf with a pinky finger about one half inch.  If the dough holds the shape of the indentation, it is ready to bake.  If the dough springs back to the original shape, allow more rising time.
 
Step 8: Bake the bread!
Bake fully raised bread loaves for 25-30 minutes in a 350°F pre-heated oven. Bread is cooked through when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, and when the top, sides and bottom are a golden brown color.

 A more reliable and much less subjective method for determining if the bread is baked through requires the use of an instant read thermometer.  I have just discovered this method in the last year, and must say, I have had much more reliable results when using the temperature of the thermometer to determine done-ness.

The bread is baked through and considered done when the instant-read thermometer reaches 180-200°F.  I have used 190°F with consistent results.  In general, it is better to overbake bread than to under bake it.

When the bread is completely baked through, remove the loaves from the bread pans to cool on a cooling rack to release steam.  If you like, spread some melted butter on the top crust to keep it softer.  

For best slicing results, allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.  (Who can resist just just one slice of hot, steaming, out-of-the-oven bread?)
After the loaves are cooled, slice as evenly as possible and store in good quality re-useable bread bags.  Any bread that will not be consumed in a few days should be frozen or given away, as homemade bread will stale after 3-4 days.

The above information has been excerpted from An Introduction to Baking Bread  ebook by Marilyn Moll. 
Urban Homemaker

Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

VISIT OUR UPDATED BREAD RECIPE PAGE HERE


This recipe has been our family's daily bread for nearly 25 years and won many blue ribbons at state fairs and earned lots of money when sold at Farmer's Markets in the summer time. Give it a try!

Testimonial:

"I have been making bread for years. Yesterday I wanted to find a recipe to use with my Montana White Wheat, and I found your website. My husband and five children could not believe how excellent your recipe turned out! It is the whole wheat miracle I have always searched for. Thank you so very much for sharing." Sincerely, Kirsten Farmer

Hand Method: (yields 2 loaves)

1/3 C honey
1/3 C oil
2 1/2 C Warm Water
1 1/2 TB Saf Instant Yeast
2 1/2 tsp Real Salt
6-7 C Fresh whole wheat flour
1 1/2 TB Dough Enhancer

Large Mixer Method: (yields 5-6 loaves)

2/3 C honey
2/3 C oil
6 C warm water
3 TB Saf Instant Yeast
1 1/2 - 2 TB Real Salt
16-20 C fresh whole wheat flour
3 TB Dough Enhancer

1/3-1/2 Cup Vital Gluten

 






Zojirushi Bakery Supreme (Auto Baker Method)

2 TB honey
2 TB oil
1 1/2 C water (90 - 100F)
1 1/2 tsp Real Salt
3 1/2 C fresh whole wheat flour
2 tsp Dough Enhancer
3 TB Vital Gluten
1 1/2 tsp Saf Instant Yeast

Combine the warm water, yeast, and 2 Cups of fresh whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl. Allow to sponge for 15 minutes. Add the honey, oil, dough enhancer, salt and 4-5 C (12-16 C if using the Mix N Blend or (Bosch) additional flour until the dough begins to clean the sides of the mixing bowl. Do not allow the dough to get too stiff (too dry). Dough should be smooth and elastic. It is a common mistake for the beginning bakers to add too much flour.

Knead the bread by hand 7-10 minutes or until it is very smooth, elastic, and small bubbles or blisters appear beneath the surface of the dough. Six to ten minutes of kneading by electric mixer (Use speed 1 on the Bosch Universal, and use speed 4 on the Mix n Blend - or use the Auto-Knead function) should be sufficient to develop the gluten if you are using fresh flour. If you are kneading by hand, be sure to add the minimum amount of flour to keep the dough soft and pliable by using a tsp of oil on your hands and kneading surface.

Form the dough into 2 loaves if using the hand method or 5-6 loaves if using the Mix N Blend or Bosch Universal, method. Place the dough into greased loaf pans. Allow to rise in a slightly warmed oven or other warm place until doubled in size (about 30-60 minutes).

Bake loaves for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Bread is cooked through when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, and when the top and sides are a golden brown color.

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Urban Homemaker

Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

This recipe has been our family's daily bread for nearly 25 years and won many blue ribbons at state fairs and earned lots of money when sold at Farmer's Markets in the summer time. Give it a try!

Testimonial:

"I have been making bread for years. Yesterday I wanted to find a recipe to use with my Montana White Wheat, and I found your website. My husband and five children could not believe how excellent your recipe turned out! It is the whole wheat miracle I have always searched for. Thank you so very much for sharing." Sincerely, Kirsten Farmer

Hand Method: (yields 2 loaves)

1/3 C honey
1/3 C oil
2 1/2 C Warm Water
1 1/2 TB Saf Instant Yeast
2 1/2 tsp Real Salt
6-7 C Fresh whole wheat flour
1 1/2 TB Dough Enhancer

Large Mixer Method: (yields 5-6 loaves)

2/3 C honey
2/3 C oil
6 C warm water
3 TB Saf Instant Yeast
1 1/2 - 2 TB Real Salt
16-20 C fresh whole wheat flour
3 TB Dough Enhancer

1/3-1/2 Cup Vital Gluten

 






Zojirushi Bakery Supreme (Auto Baker Method)

2 TB honey
2 TB oil
1 1/2 C water (90 - 100F)
1 1/2 tsp Real Salt
3 1/2 C fresh whole wheat flour
2 tsp Dough Enhancer
3 TB Vital Gluten
1 1/2 tsp Saf Instant Yeast

Combine the warm water, yeast, and 2 Cups of fresh whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl. Allow to sponge for 15 minutes. Add the honey, oil, dough enhancer, salt and 4-5 C (12-16 C if using the Mix N Blend or (Bosch) additional flour until the dough begins to clean the sides of the mixing bowl. Do not allow the dough to get too stiff (too dry). Dough should be smooth and elastic. It is a common mistake for the beginning bakers to add too much flour.

Knead the bread by hand 7-10 minutes or until it is very smooth, elastic, and small bubbles or blisters appear beneath the surface of the dough. Six to ten minutes of kneading by electric mixer (Use speed 1 on the Bosch Universal, and use speed 4 on the Mix n Blend - or use the Auto-Knead function) should be sufficient to develop the gluten if you are using fresh flour. If you are kneading by hand, be sure to add the minimum amount of flour to keep the dough soft and pliable by using a tsp of oil on your hands and kneading surface.

Form the dough into 2 loaves if using the hand method or 5-6 loaves if using the Mix N Blend or Bosch Universal, method. Place the dough into greased loaf pans. Allow to rise in a slightly warmed oven or other warm place until doubled in size (about 30-60 minutes).

Bake loaves for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Bread is cooked through when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, and when the top and sides are a golden brown color.

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Marilyn's Famous Bread Recipe is VERSATILE! Use it to make cinnamon rolls, pizza, bread sticks, and more. Click this link for Whole Wheat Bread Dough Variations.


Urban Homemaker

Overcoming Gluten Intolerance by Marilyn Moll


Overcoming Gluten Intolerance -
The Two-Stage Process - Does it make a difference and why?
             
The two-stage process is a term coined by Sue Gregg, author of Sue Gregg Cookbooks, for a method of preparing yeast breads in which the grain or flour is soaked, sprouted, or fermented, for a period of time, prior to kneading the dough, in order to maximize the nutritional value of whole grain bread.

Soaking, sprouting, or fermenting the flour or grain are methods used traditionally by our ancestors for preparing grains, porridges, or breads.  These slower, more gentle methods contrast sharply with modern factory and commercial baking techniques.  Only recently has research documented the chemical changes that occur using these slower methods and the corresponding health benefits.

According to Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig, in their book Nourishing Traditions, enzyme inhibitors, tannins, complex sugars, difficult to digest proteins, “anti-nutrients” (substances which put a strain on our digestive system and pancreas), and other factors in whole grains contribute to a variety of digestive disorders.  It has been hypothesized that improperly prepared whole grains, consumed for a long period of time, may contribute to increasing incidences of gluten intolerance, grain allergies, celiac  disease, chronic indigestion, mineral deficiencies, and bone loss.

The slow process of soaking flour or whole grains in an acidic environment neutralizes phytic acid, which is contained in the bran, and which blocks absorption of minerals, and significantly boosts the availability of vitamin and mineral content to the body.  The authors  point out that “Tannins, complex sugars, gluten and other difficult-to-digest substances are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.” during the soaking, sprouting, or fermenting process.
In addition, Fallon and Enig write in Nourishing Traditions: 

“Our ancestors, and virtually all pre-industrialized peoples, soaked or fermented their grains before making them into porridge, breads, cakes and casseroles. A quick review of grain recipes from around the world will prove our point: In India, rice and lentils are fermented for at least two days before they are prepared as idli and dosas; in Africa the natives soak coarsely ground corn overnight before adding it to soups and stews and they ferment corn or millet for several days to produce a sour porridge called ogi; a similar dish made from oats was traditional among the Welsh; in some Oriental and Latin American countries rice receives a long fermentation before it is prepared; Ethiopians make their distinctive injera bread by fermenting a grain called teff for several days; Mexican corn cakes, called pozol, are fermented for several days and for as long as two weeks in banana leaves; before the introduction of commercial brewers yeast, Europeans made slow-rise breads from fermented starters; in America the pioneers were famous for their sourdough breads, pancakes and biscuits; and throughout Europe grains were soaked overnight, and for as long as several days, in water or soured milk before they were cooked and served as porridge or gruel.” (Many of our senior citizens may remember that in earlier times the instructions on the oatmeal box called for an overnight soaking.)” (pg. 452)
My bread recipes do not reflect the two-stage process, because  I encourage beginning bakers to master the basics of yeast bread making before undertaking this soaking, sprouting, or fermenting method.

 Although I had started making fermented bread with a wild-caught sour dough starter several years ago (one of the methods mentioned in Nourishing Traditions, I found the very slow rising time resulted in very sour bread and the very long raising time was often not compatible with my busy schedule.  Sue Gregg introduced me to the Two-Stage Process which I find works well with my schedule; in fact, I would consider this method somewhat of a convenience. 
Bread that has been made using the two-stage process is moister for longer periods of time, and stales very slowly. 

  TWO-STAGE PROCESS FOR YEAST BREADS
Adapting Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread -Recipe to maximize nutritional value
 
1. Soak the whole grain flour in liquid.  Using 1 tbsp. of an “acid” medium such as kefir, yogurt, buttermilk or whey for each cup of water called for in Marilyn's Bread Recipe.  For example, if a recipe calls for 6 cups water, use 6 tbsp. kefir, yogurt or buttermilk along with the water.  You can substitute  lemon juice or vinegar instead if you suspect dairy intolerance. 
Add the honey and oil called for in the recipe along with enough flour to make a thick batter.  Mix the liquid and flour ingredients only until moistened and then begin the “soaking”  time.  For the hand method, use about 5- 6 cups whole grain flour.  Use 11-12 cups flour for the Large Mixer method.
Twelve to twenty-four hours or more soaking time will yield the best results.  The longer you soak the flour the more sour dough-like taste it will have.  However, be flexible, soak the flour as long as you have time for so that this process fits into your routine smoothly; any soaking time improves texture, nutrition, and flavor.  Just mix the liquid and water long enough to moisten the flour before the soaking time begins.  This is a little bit like "sponging" however no yeast is used.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out.

 2. After the liquid, honey, oil, and flour has soaked, blend the following in a liquid measuring cup and allow to proof for 10 minutes:
1/4 cup-1/2 cup warm water
SAF yeast called for in the recipe (conventional yeasts may be substituted)
1 tsp. honey or sugar
 
3. Work the yeast mixture into the dough along with enough flour until the dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl. 
 
4. Be sure to add the salt, and enough unbleached bread flour or additional whole grain flour as needed so that the dough is easily handled and knead the bread until the gluten is developed. For whole wheat bread it takes about 8 minutes kneading time in a Bosch mixer, or 10-12 minutes of vigorous hand kneading (about 600-800 strokes).
 
5. Be sure to add as little flour as needed to keep the dough moist but not sticky or from becoming too stiff (a sign that too much flour has been added).  Knead the bread until it becomes smooth and elastic, and resistant to the kneading action. Check to see if the gluten is fully developed.
 
6. Complete the recipe according to Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread recipe instructions for the particular version you are making.  Allow the dough to rise once in a greased bowl, and once in the bread pans.   Be prepared that the rising time will take longer because the dough is lower in temperature from sitting at room temperature. (Ideal rising temperature is 85 degrees.)
 
7. Allow the bread to double in pans; bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes or until the loaf is well browned on the top, sides, and bottom.
This two-stage procedure can be used with any yeast bread recipe.  
 
Conclusion
When you have learned to use a variety of whole grains in your diet, and your family has accepted this change, then you might want to consider moving on to the new step of adapting your recipes to   the two-stage process. 
Sue Gregg writes, “I suggest that occasional consumption of whole grains that are not processed by one of the three two-stage methods (soaking, fermenting, sprouting) is not likely detrimental to health and may contribute a plus, while those that are properly processed as the main dietary choice will be greatly beneficial to health."
Pg. 14 - An Introduction To Whole Grain Baking

Learning to prepare breads and grain products with slower methods may seem daunting or a bit intimidating or even overwhelming to a beginning baker just becoming acquainted with whole grains.  If so, put this  two-stage process information on a shelf, and come back to it when you are ready. 
Urban Homemaker

Zojirushi Method - Program your Zo for thinner crusts

Program Your Zojirushi for thinner crusts:

Preheat - 0 minutes

Knead 1 - 12 minutes

Knead 2 - 0 minutes

Rise 1 - 15 minutes

Rise 2- 45 minutes

Rise 3 - 0 minutes

Bake - 45 minutes

Keep Warm - 60 minutes

If you use Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe (Zojirushi Method) you will get a 1 1/2 lb loaf of bread.

Two Stage Method:

I place the flour, vital gluten, and liquid called for in Marilyn's Famous Bread Recipe (Zo Method) PLUS 2 TB buttermilk, kefir, whey, lemon juice OR vinegar. I allow this mixture to mix for 1 minute or until the flour is moistened. Then I re-set my machine to "turn it off". I allow this mixture to sit from 8-12 hours and then I start up my machine on the Pre-programmed Homemade Cycle using the above settings. So far my bread has come out quite well!

In the winter time, I believe the preheat cycle will need to be used or a longer rising time. But I have perfected this method in the summer when my kitchen is warm with good results.

If you have other questions about using your Zojirushi Machine, please email me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com.

Urban Homemaker

Grains

Learn to cook nutritious, whole grains for salads, side dishes, breakfast, main dishes, and more.

A Kernel Of Wheat

A Diagram of a kernel of wheat is depicted here.  The bran layers contain B-Vitamins
and fiber and account for about 15% of the grain by weight.  The germ contains Vitamin
E which is an anti-oxidant.  The Endosperm is the starch and about 80% of the grain.
The wheat kernel, sometimes called the wheat berry, is the seed from which the wheat plant grows. Each tiny seed contains three distinct parts that are separated during the milling process to produce flour. The kernel of wheat is a storehouse of nutrients essential to the human diet.

Endosperm

..about 83 percent of the kernel weight. It is the source of white flour. The endosperm contains the greatest share of the protein in the whole kernel, carbohydrates, iron as well as many B-complex vitamins, such as riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine.

Bran

..about 14 1/2 percent of the kernel weight. Bran is included in whole wheat flour and is also available separately. Of the nutrients in whole wheat, the bran contains a small amount of protein, larger quantities of the B-complex vitamins listed above, trace minerals, and indigestible cellulose material also called dietary flour.

Germ

..about 2 1/2 percent of the kernel weight. The germ is the embryo or sprouting section of the seed, usually separated because of the fat that limits the keeping quality of flour. Of the nutrients in whole wheat, the germ contains minimal quantities of protein, but a greater share of B-complex vitamins and trace minerals. Wheat germ can be purchased separately and is included in whole wheat flour.


Refined flour looses between 48-98% of the many naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.
There are estimated to be 26 vitamins and minerals in a kernel of wheat.

Only Vitamins B-1, B-2, and B-3 and folic acid and iron are added to white flour in a synthetic
form and this is called enrichment. 

This graphic depicts how we are being robbed of nutrients when we eat refined foods.


Curried Quinoa Pilaf

Curried Quinoa Pilaf
adapted from The Versatile Rice Cooker

Quinoa is a high protein, natural whole grain which cooks into a nutty flavorful side dish. It is easily interchanged with rice in many dishes.

2 TB butter
1 C. quinoa, rinsed with cold water, drained
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 C. chopped onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 C. coarsely grated carrot
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 TB lemon juice
1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, chopped
2 C. water
1/4 C. slivered toasted almonds
fresh cilantro leaves for garnish, optional
salt and freshly ground pepper

Turn cooker on and melt butter. Add curry powder and cook 1-2 minutes to bring out curry flavor. Add onions, garlic, carrot, and mushroom pieces. Cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes. Add water, quinoa, salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice. Cover rice cooker and cook until it shuts off. Put in serving dish and top with almonds and cilantro.


Learn from the Ant by Kathie Palladino

Learn from the Ant

Ed note: 
The following article originally appeared in New Harvest Homestead Newsletter, September 2007.  It is reprinted by permission.

Many years ago I came upon a section of
Scripture which speaks of learning from the ant.
(Proverbs 6:6-11). How silly, I thought, as I pondered
the pesky ants that kept sneaking into my kitchen and
raising havoc. They would build nests in every nook
and cranny until I would find the rascals and bait
them with a Terro trap. Thinking my ant miseries
were over, I confidently began leaving sweet foods
on the counter again. However, it wasn’t long before
a larger army of more stout ants had begun running
through the food and out a minute hole in a window
ledge. The worst thing was they had trampled all over
my husband’s double-death-chocolate-suicide cake
and were now carting pieces of it to their nest.

Disgusted and in a rage, I marched outside with
determination–death to my foe! My goal: destroy the
nest and destroy the problem. However, little did I
know, I was to learn a valuable lesson from these
pests. In knocking down the ant’s nest, I discovered a
priceless treasure, the meaning of the verses in
Proverbs 6.

As I dismantled the nest, which was
partially above ground, to my amazement I saw
sections. One section contained eggs and another
food. While I chopped away, the worker ants were
scurrying around trying desperately to remove the
eggs and the ant queen to a safer location. However,
what really caught my attention was their unique
storage of food. These little fellows really understood
the meaning of being prepared.

It didn’t take me long to realize that they didn’t go
to a local grocery store and purchase little jars, bags,
and packages of prepared foods. No, these little
geniuses stored whole foods and stored them in bulk.
At this point, my journey began.

T hose who have attended Kitchen2 classes and
been to the website, www.kitchen2.com, have found
many exciting ways to purchase and save a lot of
money. That savings has allowed us to purchase a
newer car, a freezer, a refrigerator, and a second
kitchen in our home–Kitchen2.

So, if you want to be prepared, here are some
suggestions:

  • Whenever possible, purchase in bulk and case lots.  You could save as much as 50% or more. If you can’t use it all, buddy-share with a friend.
  • Join a grocery co-op. We use United North East UNE) ( www.unitedbuyingclubs.com ) for organic grocery items.
  • If at all possible, don’t purchase pre-mixed or prepared items. Learn to make them from scratch and save. I have found it exciting to take a pre-mixed package of something and try to figured out the recipe on my own, obviously leaving out the food additives, which are known to be harmful and some times deadly.
  •  Purchase your meat in bulk. We invested in a used, upright freezer, which has proven to be a grandinvestment. If you don’t live rurally in order to buy a half or whole cow, you can still go to butcher shops and request to purchase this way. Be sure to ask for a discount. Also, request to know if the meat you are purchasing was tainted with hormones, antibiotics, and other contaminates, which are now found in most grocery store meats.
  • Watch for bargains at small, discount grocery stores. One of my husband’s favorite past-times is hunting down bargains; and, he can really find them. You would be surprised at what you find in these little "buy-outs" stores that will save you a bundle.
  •  Learn to read labels. Not only is this important because you might be purchasing more "junk" than real food, but the additives are sometimes quite harmful. We use a little book called Food Additives– A Shopper’s Guide to What’s Safe & What’s Not, by Christine Hoza Farlow, D.C.
  • And best of all, start a garden. Don’t say, "I don’t have room." I said that and then in desperation plowed up our entire backyard while living in a large city in FL. Not one neighbor complained and I had wonderful veggies with no contaminates. I even shared my crop with the grateful neighbors. In order to "get started" my husband purchased my first gardening book, The Joy of Gardening, by Dick Raymond. It is very simple and to the point, for all types of gardening. For years now, we have planted an "eating" garden and a "saving" garden. The "eating" garden consists of things like lettuce, cukes, etc., that don’t store. The "saving" garden contains tomatoes, corn, beans, eggplant, peppers of all sorts, and more. Putting up all of this wonderful food, that we grew, is a real delight for my daughters and me.We also learned how to saving seeds using Saving 25Seeds by Marc Rogers. This is another great way tobe prepared.
Speaking of being prepared, I have to thank the
Lord for first using the "ant" to teach me a much
needed lesson; and then adding to that a Force-5
hurricane, which destroyed our home in FL and the
blizzard of ‘93 that we experienced in NC.

Both of these events left us without electricity and water for
weeks. Our small food supply was destroyed when
the hurricane hit our home; and, basically there was
no way to obtain food after the blizzard hit. We were
not prepared. However, through the Lord the ant has
taught us to manage our home, to be alert and to be
prepared–not only for our own family needs, but
giving us a willingness to help others.


Kathie Palladino, Murphy, NC

Quick Breads

2 Stage Process for Pancakes by Kelly Moeggenborg

TWO STAGE PROCESS FOR PANCAKES By Kelly Moeggenborg

1. The night before mix together in a large mixing bowl:

4 cups whole wheat flour (Kelly uses freshly ground whole grain flour, 1/2
soft berries and 1/2 hard wheat berries so it's an "all-purpose" flour. If you pack your soft wheat flour like brown sugar, you will not need to use any hard wheat.)
3/4 c. yogurt (I make my own, it's sooooo easy!)
2 c. milk

2. Let the flour/milk/yogurt mixture set on the counter, covered, for at least 7 hours, or overnight ( Longer soaking time means more phytic acid is neutralized, but the batter may get more sour, I usually leave it for 8 1/2 hours and it's not sour tasting at all. If you're not ready to make the pancakes or waffles yet, you can then put the bowl in the refrigerator until you're ready.)

3. In the morning mix into the batter:
4 eggs
1 T. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. sea salt
3 T. Rapadura, Turbinado, or other natural sugar
1 t. vanilla
more milk if you like it thinner

4. Bake on a medium hot griddle or waffle iron as normal. Makes a nice size batch for plenty to freeze. Yummy with butter and real maple syrup! (ed note: I certainly agree real maple syrup and butter make these extra yummy!)

To download my free e-cookbook with lots more whole grain bread recipes Fast and Health Recipe for Busy Homeschooling Moms, click on this link.

To receive my free newsletter ON MY HEART which is published twice a month with information, product updates and reviews, delicious recipes and much more in the spirit of Titus Two, click here.

If you haven't tried my blue ribbon winning Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, here is the link to the recipe.

Applesauce Muffins

Applesauce Muffins

1 egg, beaten
1/4 Cup oil
1 C applesauce
1/2 Cup honey
1-3/4 C. whole grain pastry flour
1/2 tsp. soda
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 C. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/2 C. raisins (optional)

Mix egg, oil, honey and applesauce in a small bowl and set aside. Assemble the dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and stir to evenly distribute spices and leavening into the flour.

Combine liquid ingredients into dry ingredients with a wire whisk gently. Carefully fold in nuts and raisins if desired and avoid over-mixing the ingredients. Fill oiled or lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

Basic Whole Grain Tortillas

BASIC FLOUR TORTILLAS
Basic tortillas are really quite simple, to make.;

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, 7-Grain Flour, or Kamut flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup canola
2/3 cup warm water

Rub flour, salt, and oil or shortening together with your fingers until completely incorporated and fine crumbs form. Pour water into dry ingredients and immediately work it in with a fork. Dough will be in large clumps. Sprinkle with flour and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Allow the dough to sit, covered for 20-30 minutes or more and then divide into 6-8 equal pieces. Press the tortilla out on tortilla maker with quick up and down movement. Bake the tortilla about 45-60 seconds on each side on hot griddle or skillet or tortilla maker or to desired doneness. This recipes makes - 6-8 tortillas. Double or triple as needed.

Blender Batter Banana Muffins or Banana Bread

BLENDER BANANA MUFFINS

The flavor of these go espeically well with breakfast foods. For more blender tips or to mix by hand with flour see pp 82-83 of BREAKFASTS ( use 2 cups pastry, kamut, or barley flour or 2 1/3 cups spelt flour for hand mixing.

AMOUNT: 14-16 Muffins

Bake: 325�F - 25 minutes

1. Place in blender and blend, starting at lower speed and increasing to higest speed for 3 minutes (keep batter churing):


3/4 Cup buttermilk or non dairy alternative
2 TB olive oil (Extra Virgin)
2 TB melted butter or more olive oil
1/3 Cup honey
(warmed slightly if too cold and thick)
1 1/2 very ripe bananas, broken pieces (for 2/3 cup mashed)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Grain Choice (not flour)
1 l/3 Cups whole wheat pastry grain or 1  1/2 Cups spelt or kamut whole grain


2. Cover blender; let stand at room temperature overnight.

3. Grease or spray muffin pans.

4. Preheat oven to 325�.

5. Just before baking, add and reblend on highest speed for 1 minute:

1 egg (Or egg alternative)
6. Mix into blender batter thoroughly, but briefly, using blender and/or rubber spatual, as needed:

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder (Rumford's is aluminum free)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

7. Optional -- Fold in with rubber spatula:

1/2 -3/4 Cup chopped walnuts

8. Evenly fill muffin cups almost full. Fill any empty cups half full of water. Bake 20 minutes at 350�. Cool muffins in pan for 3-5 minutes for easy removal.

This recipe is courtesy of Sue Gregg's BREAKFASTS book and reprinted by permission.

For more information, please contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call me at 1-800-552-7323.

Blender Batter Waffles and Pancakes

BLENDER BATTER WAFFLES OR PANCAKES

1. Preheat waffle iron or pancake griddle to highest temperature.

2. Place in blender and blend at high speed for4-5 minutes or until smooth:

1 3/4 Cups buttermilk (or fruit juice or non-dairy alternative
1 egg
2 TB olive oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 TB honey
1/3 Cup raw brown rice
1/2 Cup pastry wheat or kamut
1/2 Cup rolled oats

The secret to getting light and tender waffles is the thinness of the batter. The batter should always swirl about a vortex in the blender. If not, add a little liquid until the hole reappears. This is very important.

3. Blend in briefly just before baking:

1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder (non-aluminum

4. Pour thin batter from blender onto seasoned, hot waffle iron or pancake griddle sprayed with olive oil non-stick spray. Bake about 4 minutes. Don't Peek!

For many more grain variations for pancakes and waffles see BREAKFASTS...with Blender Batter Baking and Allergy Alternatives by Sue Gregg.

This recipe is courtesy of The Urban Homemaker. For more information about methods, ingredients or books, please call 1-800-552-7323 or visit www.urbanhomemaker.com.

Buttermilk Biscuits

BUTTERMILK DROP BISCUITS
Very delicious and easy

2 Cups pastry or kamut flour
1 TB baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cup buttermilk

In a bowl, stir dry ingredients together. Cut in butter to coarse crumb stage. Add buttermilk. Stir until just blended.

Drop dough into Drop Biscuit Pan or on cookie sheet to make 7 large biscuits. Fill quite full. Bake 15-18 minutes in 450 oven. Serve warm. Smaller biscuits will bake faster.

Optional: Add 2 TB finely shredded carrots, 1 TB snipped parsley or 1 TB chopped green onion

To maximize the nutritional value of these biscuits, use the two stage process by making the following adjustments:

Blend flour with melted butter or shortening and buttermilk till just moistened. Cover the top of the dough with plastic wrap to let stand for 12-24 hours which will neutralize phytic acid in the grain to release the valuable nutrients.

Then blend the rest of the dry ingredients ( leavenings, salt, sugar, and cream of tartar) into the dough. Proceed by dropping spoonfuls of batter on lightly greased cookie sheet or cast iron biscuit pan.

CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

We have enjoyed this simple, bread like cake, a lot. The original recipe comes from Penzey's a spice company.

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 TB butter
6 tb cocoa powder
2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup chocolate chips

In mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla. In saucepan, melt butter and add cocoa powder. Set aside to cool. Grate zucchini. Mix zucchini, with cocoa powder/butter mixture and when cooled combine with egg mixture. Add flour, soda, salt, cinnamon. Mix only enough to blend. Coat chocolate schips in some flour to keep them from sinking. Add to batter. POur into 2 greased 8 " pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes. Eat!

To improve the "healthiness" of this recipe, I  substitute 1 cup honey for the sugar and cut the oil from 1 Cup to 1/2 cup and use coconut oil.

Easy Pancake and Waffle Mix

Easy Pancake and Waffle Mix
(
A great gift and a delicious breakfast)

8 Cups whole wheat pastry flour, Spelt or Kamut flour*
4 tsp. salt
7 TB Baking powder
1/2 Cup fructose
2 2/3 Cup dry milk powder

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well to distribute the ingredients evenly. Store in a Zip-loc freezer bag or other freezer cannister. Be sure to label contents and include recipe for making up a batch of pancakes.

Pancakes or Waffles

1/3 Cup oil
3 Cups Pancake Mix
2 eggs
1 2/3 Cup water

Put all the ingrdients into a blender or large mixing bowl. Blend or stir until well mixed. Batter should be more thin than thick, adjust liquids if necessary so batter will be pourable.
Heat griddle to medium hot. Make pancake size as desired. When the top of the pancake is bubbly, flip to other side. Serve with syrup, honey, apple butter, fruit syrup, fresh fruit or other topping of choice.

For Gifts:
Package the mix in decorative jars or bags. Be sure to include the recipes.

* Do not substitute hard wheat for pastry flour, your pancakes will be heavy and dense. Be sure to "pack" pastry flour into a measuring cup if it is freshly milled to get accurate measurements.

Articles and Recipes authored by marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com. For more information please visit us at The Urban Homemaker Specializing in products for better health in the spirit of Titus Two.

IRISH OAT BREAD

Traditionally served on St. Patrick's Day


8 ounces regular oatmeal (not instant)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 cup flour
2 tablespoons melted butter

Add the oatmeal to a bowl and cover with the buttermilk-
it should cover the oats. Let this sit overnight in the refrigerator.
The next day, add baking powder, salt and part of the flour.
Mix well with a wooden spoon, continually adding flour until dough
is no longer sticky. Place dough on greased baking sheet or in
round bread pan, forming a round loaf; brush with melted butter.
Bake 30 minutes at 325 to 350 degrees. When toothpick put into
center comes out clean, it's done. If needed, bake 10 minutes
longer or until done. Makes 1 loaf.

For more information email me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com. For a free 64 page catalog from The Urban Homemaker, click here.

Old Fashioned Bread Pudding

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding
There is no such thing as failures in bread baking - only learning experiences. This is a good way to use up the "learning experiences", stale bread, or leftover end pieces.
A tasty, old-fashioned dessert that comes out of the oven puffy and slowly falls. The crust is golden and lightly crusty. Best results is obtained from day old homemade bread.


7 slices good quality homemade bread
4 Cups milk, or substitute
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 Cup Sucanat or sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 Cup raisins
1/2 - 1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Soft butter

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 2 quart baking dish. Spread a generous amount of butter on one side of each slice of bread and line the bottom and sides of the baking dish. Mix together the milk, eggs, sugar, salt, raisins, and vanilla and pour over the bread. Pleace any extra pieces of bread on top and press down so they are submerged. Let stand about 10 minutes or longer if bread is quite dry. Bake covered for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for 30 minutes more. If you like a crustier brown top, slip the dish under a hot broiler for a few minutes until deep golden. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream if you like.

Articles and Recipes authored by marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com. For more information please visit us at
The Urban Homemaker Specializing in products for better health in the spirit of Titus Two.

Pizza Crust Variations with Whole Grains

BASIC PIZZA CRUST
Makes 2 crusts

4 Cups whole wheat flour, spelt, or Kamut'
1 TB SAF yeast
1 TB olive oil
1 TB honey
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 C. warm water (110 degrees)

Pre-heat pizza stone in 500 degree oven for about 30 minutes. In a mixer or mixing bowl, add water and then remaining ingredients, adding enough flour to clean sides of the bowl. Knead dough 3-5 minutes or until gluten is developed. Remove from bowl. Use about one - one and half pounds of dough per crust. Make the pizza dough more stiff than normal bread dough so that it will be easy to roll out without stickiness. Roll out the pizza crust on cornmeal or semolina dusted pizza paddle, or pizza pan. Brush crust with oil and prick with a fork. Pre-bake 5-8 minutes. Remove with paddles and proceed with favorite toppings.

Crust Variations:
Garlic:
- Add 4 or more garlic cloves chopped, minced, sauteed if desired .
Herbed Dough: - Add 4-10 TB minced fresh herbs or 2-6 TB dried herbs such as oregano, basil, tarragon, sage, rosemary, marjoram, or Italian Seasonings while kneading dough.
Seeded Dough: Add 4 TB toasted sesame seeds to dough while kneading. Substitute sesame oil for olive oil.

Hint: Make a triple batch of pizza dough crust and pre-bake the pizza shells for approximately 5-8 minutes. Be sure to pierce the dough with a fork to avoid bubbles. Wrap well, and freeze for later use.

Toppings Per Pizza Crust: (Calculate amount depending on how many pizza's are being made)
Mix and match, choose as many or as few toppings as desired

1/2- 1 Cup Pizza/Pasta sauce per crust
1-2 Cups Italian or Mozzerella Cheese, shredded
1 oz - Pepperoni
1/4- 1/2 Cup onion, chopped
1/2 Cup Italian sausage, crumbled and cooked
1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper and red pepper
1/2 Cup sliced mushrooms

Spread pizza sauce over the pre-baked pizza crust. Sprinkle toppings of choice over the sauce.
Bake pizza on pizza stone or in pizza pan until cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 100-15 minutes in a 400 oven.

Pumpkin Cider Bread

Pumpkin Cider Bread (Makes 1 loaf)

2 cups fresh pressed apple cider or apple juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon mulling spices
1 cup canned or fresh homemade pumpkin puree
2 large fresh eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup Sucanat or light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest (optional)
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat your oven to 350F.

In a saucepan combine the apple cider, cinnamon stick, and mulling spices. Boil the mixture until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup and let it cool. If you don't have time to simmer the cider to concentrate the flavors just use 1/4 Cup apple cider.

In a bowl whisk the pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, brown sugar, orange zest, and the cool reduced cider. Into a mixing bowl,stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, mace, cinnamon, and ground cloves. Add the chopped walnuts, and stir the batter until it is just combined together. Transfer the batter to a well-buttered 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Bake the bread in the middle of your preheated 350F. oven for 1 hour, or until your toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the bread pan.

The aroma of this bread alone wafting through your house makes this a family favorite recipe.

Wheat Germ Zucchini Bread

A family favorite! The maple flavor makes this a very unique and delicious variation for zucchini bread. A tasty way to sneak in veggies and whole grains.

3 eggs, beaten
3/4 C. honey
1/2 C. cooking oil
3 tsp maple flavoring
2 C. coarsely shredded, peeled, packed zucchini
(about 3 medium zucchini)
2 tsp soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup regular wheat germ (opt.)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or other whole grain flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sesame seeds


Beat together eggs, honey, oil, and maple flavoring until foamy and thick. Stir in zucchini. Add soda, baking powder, salt, wheat germ and flour. Mix well. Add nuts. Spoon batter into two greased and floured loaf pans, 9"X5". Sprinkle tops with sesame seeds. Bake in oven preheated to 350 F about one hour or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool bread in pans about 10 minutes before removing from pans. The zucchini has a wonderful distinctive flavor.

Selecting a Grain Mill

Comparison Information

ELECTRIC GRAIN MILL COMPARISONS

The below information is excerpted from A Beginner's Guide to Baking Bread ebook by Marilyn Moll. It is also available in a spiral bound edition

I have made most all our own bread and bakery goods for the last 22 years. I will briefly outline the advantages and disadvantages of each of the electric grain mills available, from my 22 years of experience with mills.

Micronizing Grain Mills
Micronizing mills are exclusively powered by electricity and utilize technology that originally was developed for the pharmaceutical industry to derive fine, uniform powders.  Modified for milling grains, micronizers are fast and capable of  milling grains into very fine, powdery flour at low temperatures.    My personal preference and baking experience has been exclusively with micronizing grain mills.


KITCHEN MILL Advantages - Large flour catch pan - holds 21-23 cups flour, strong reliability record, stores very compactly (if storage space is at a premium at your house you will appreciate this), produces high quality fine flour, mills all grains and dry beans, lifetime warranty on milling system/5 yr. warranty on the motor, mfg. in the USA.  This grain mill was my first mill and my husband's favorite.
Disadvantages: Smaller grain hopper, noisier than certain other mills.




NUTRIMILL- Advantages - Large flour canister - holds 21 cups of flour, life-time warranty, large grain hopper, slightly quieter than K-tec but has the same milling system, slide out drawer contains flour mills most grains and dry beans.
Disadvantages: higher price, takes a large amount of storage space, mfg. in Korea.



Wondermill - Advantages - Formerly known as the Whisper Mill, slightly quieter than The Kitchen Mill, large hopper capacity, six year warranty, high quality flour, grain feeds well into milling mechanism, produces flour quickly. My personal favorite grain mill. New models have a larger, more reliable motor.  This grain mill is my personal preference.
Disadvantages - Smaller capacity flour canister (12 cup), does not crack grain, must turn on mill before adding grain so the mill will not jam.


Steel-Cone Burr Mill
This type of grain mill also can be operated by both hand or electric power and offers the ability to adjust the fineness of the flour from fine to cracked.  Generally, the steel-cone burr will produce flour at a slower speed, but the electric version is also relatively quiet to run.  Steel cone burr mills can make fine flours suitable for breads, muffins, pastries, etc, but the flour may not be as fine as stone or micronizing mills.  These grain mills can also mill most whole grains and beans, but larger grains such as corn and beans will need to be cracked first, and then run through again on a fine setting if you want flour.

FAMILY GRAIN MILL - Advantages - versatile; available with handbase and other food processing attachments, adjustable fine to course mechanism so mill will crack grain, can be used with Bosch Universal with an adaptor or with K-Tec Kitchenetics without an adaptor, German made, quietest mill we sell, takes minimal storage space, very economical.
Disadvantage - flour may not be quite as fine as Nutrimill, Wondermill or Kitchen Mill, slower production of flour than high speed mills.

The above information is excerpted from A Beginner's Guide to Baking Bread by Marilyn Moll.


Selecting a Grain Mill

SELECTING A GRAIN MILL

When someone becomes interested in better nutrition for their family through learning to bake whole grain breads, the question I am invariably asked most often is, "Which grain mill is the best?" Possibly you, the reader, have also asked that question.

You also may be wondering what the benefit of milling your own flour might be, and if a grain mill is worth the expense. Consider that freshly milled whole grain flours are nutritionally superior to commercial whole grain flours. Not only that but freshly milled flours taste better and perform much better in whole grain recipes. Because whole grain flours deteriorate quickly due to oxidation and the onset of rancidity due to natural oils, freshly milled flour is more capable of providing superior nutrition and taste. In fact, flour begins to oxidize as soon as it is milled and within 24 hours nearly half the nutrients are oxidized. Oxidation occurs because every flour particle is now exposed to air which causes the onset of rancidity. Also, unmilled whole grains will generally store indefinitely, with no negative effect on nutritional value until the hull of the grain is broken by milling or cracking. Finally consider that home milled flour is more economical per pound than whole grain flour available in food stores.

If you are convinced, as I and thousands of others are, that home milled flour is the best choice and are ready to purchase a grain mill or replace an ageing grain mill, "the best grain mill" is the mill
which meets your personal criteria for price, noise level, storage space requirements, warranty, and versatility. I have found that my favorite grain mill may not appeal to you, based on your criteria. Keep in mind that electric grain mills are for meant for grinding grains and dry beans only; they are genearally not used for oily seeds or coffee.

Electric grain mills offer a number of benefits over hand-operated (non-electric) mills. Non-electric or grain mills require a significant time commitment just to mill one cup of flour! On average, it takes about 15-20 minutes of hand cranking to produce enough flour for just one loaf of bread. Although non-electric mills are ideal for emergencies if electrical power is lost, my experience is that long term power outages are rare and most families quickly lose their commitment to tedious hand milling on a regular basis.

Steel-Cone Burr vs. Stone Mills vs. Micronizing Grain Mills

Most of the grain mills on the market fall in the categories of Steel-cone Burr Mills, Stone Mills, and Micronizers.

Stone Mills - These mills have the ability to mill fine flours and can be adjusted for a range of flours from fine to cracked grain consistency. The more oily grains and beans should not be used as they will cause the stones to glaze over. Periodically, the stones will need cleaning to remove fine flour particles that lodge within the stones. In addition, stones wear out over time and need replacing from time to time, depending on how much you use your mill. Also the vast majority of stones mills have aluminum in the stones that is used as a binder to hold the stones particles together so if you are concerned about aluminum in your diet you may want to avoid stone mills. Depending on their speed of operation, they may also het up the flour to the point of nutrient deterioration.

Steel Cone Burr Mills - These mills use a stainless steel milling head. They too can grains into a range of from fine to cracked grain consistency, however they may not be able to mill as fine as a stone mill is capable. You can, however, mill a wider variety of grains and beans than a stone mill without fear of gumming up the milling heads, and they are easy to clean. Generally the steel-cone burr mill will produce flour at a slower speed, and as a bonus, operate more quietly than other mills. Steel cone burrs will mill most whole grains and beans, but corn and beans will need to be cracked first, and then run through again on a finer setting if you want bean or corn flours. For the most part the fine flour produced is suitable for breads, muffins, pastries, etc, but the flour will not be as powdery fine as you may desire.

Micronizing Grain Mills - These are considered the "newer technology" mills that have borrowed technology that originally was developed for the pharmaceutical industry. A micronizer is made up of concentric circles of stainless steel "teeth" which spin at a very high speed. They don't "grind" the grain as the other mills do, but rather "burst" the grain into flour when the grain comes in contact with the stainless steel milling teeth. The result is fine, uniform particle-sized flours in a fraction of the time that other mills take. Because the milling heads are not "grinding" the grain, the result is low-temperature milling. These mills will produce the finest flours and will adjust to as coarse as corn meal. Since micronizers run at very high speeds they produce flour more quickly than a steel-cone burr or stone mills, but they generate higher levels of noise. Just how much noise, you ask? Well, I've come to believe that noise is in the ear of the beholder so that can be difficult, in that sense, to quantify, but suffice it to say that they are louder. These are also the most popular type of mill on the market, and it is rare to receive a complaint regarding the noise level. In my opinion, the main drawback to micronizing mills is that they do not crack grains, and the fineness adjustments are very limited.

I have used all the grain mill discussed below and find they are all good quality, produce great flour, and offer years of reliable service. I have outlined advantages and disadvantages of each of the most popular and reliable electric grain mills that I know of based on my 22 years of experience. Remember, there is no perfect grain mill, and the best mill is the one that meets your criteria. If you would like more information about grain mills please contact me at urbanhome@tds.net.

Grain Mill Comparisons
THE KITCHEN MILL - Micronizer
Advantages - Large flour canister- holds 21 cups of flour, strong reliability record, stores very compactly (if storage space is at a premium at your house you will appreciate this), produces high quality, fine flour, mills a wide variety of dry beans and grains, is made in the USA., and comes with a six year warranty with a limited lifetime warranty on the milling heads. We have sold thousands to satisfied customers over the last 16 years. It is my husband's favorite mill. My first Kitchen Mill lasted 12 years and was used heavily including milling flour for bread baking classes.
Disadvantages: Smaller grain hopper than some mills, Noisier than other mills, does not crack grain.

NUTRIMILLL - Micronizer
Advantages - Large flour canister, life-time warranty, one piece construction, large grain hopper, flour canister holds about 20 cups of flour, slightly quieter than The Kitchen Mill but has the same milling device.
Disadvantages - Higher price, does not crack grain, takes a larger amount of storage space, mfg. in Korea.

WONDER MILL - Micronizer
Advantages - Formerly known as the Whisper Mill, slightly quieter than The Kitchen Mill, large hopper capacity, six year warranty, high quality flour, grain feeds well into milling mechanism, produces flour quickly. My personal favorite grain mill. New models have a larger, more reliable motor.
Disadvantages - Smaller capacity flour canister (12 cup), does not crack grain, must turn on mill before adding grain so the mill will not jam.

FAMILY GRAIN MILL - Steel Cone Burr
Advantages - Versatile, can be used with hand base or electric motor base, adjustable from fine to coarse mechanism so this mill will crack grain. Will fit on the Bosch Universal when ordered with correct configurtion, German made, very quiet while running, takes minimal storage space, very economical.
Disadvantage- flour may not be quite as fine as the mills above, slower production of flour than high speed mills.

Conclusion

When I purchased my first grain mill, I took a VERY deep breath about investing so much money in a kitchen appliance when we had so many other needs and so little disposable income. Obviously, I have never regretted the expense and I don't think you will either, if you have been led of the Lord to improve the quality of the breads you serve your family.

Some readers may worry or agonize that their husbands and kids will object to healthy whole grains. Taste buds will adjust over time. When my daughter was about 4 or 5, I had run out of bread, so I ran to the store, bought some Roman Meal, and prepared her sandwich for lunch. After a few bites Laura's response was, "Mommy, this bread tastes funny!" Your family will adjust to the delicious and nutritious whole grain breads you serve and I know that as you commit your way to the Lord, He will direct your path.


Tips and Information

2-Stage Process for Cooking Whole Grains

For more information check out A Beginner's Guide to Baking Bread by Marilyn Moll


 The Two Stage Process
A Preparation Method Maximizing the Nutritional Value of Whole Grains

by Sue Gregg reprinted by permission


Just because you've switched from white flour to whole grains does not
mean that you are getting all the nutritional value. In fact you may
experience new problems with digestion. That is because whole grains contain
phytic acid in the bran of the grain. Phytic acid combines with key
minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc and prevents
their absorption in the intestinal tract.

Soaking, fermenting, or sprouting the grain before cooking or baking
will neutralize the phytic acid, releasing nutrients for absorption. This
process allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to not only
neutralize the phytic acid, but also to break down complex starches,
irritating tannins and difficult-to-digest proteins including gluten. For
many, this may lessen their sensitivity or allergic reactions to particular
grains. Everyone will benefit, nevertheless, from the release of nutrients
and greater ease of digestion.

The first stage of preparation in making whole grain porridges or baked
recipes, is to soak the whole grain flour in an acid medium such as
buttermilk, yogurt, or other cultured milk, or in water with whey, lemon
juice or vinegar added. As little as 7 hours soaking will neutralize a large
portion of the phytic acid in grains. Twelve to 24 hours is even better with
24 hours yielding the best results.

Brown rice, buckwheat and millet are more easily digested because they
contain lower amounts of phytates than other grains, so they may be soaked
for the shorter times. Other grains, particularly oats, the highest in
phytates of the whole grains, is best soaked up to 24 hours.


There are two other advantages of the two-stage process.
Several hours
of soaking serves to soften the grain, resulting in baked goods lighter in
texture, closer to the texture of white flour. The longer the soaking, the
less necessary is the baking powder. Baking soda, alone, will give enough
rise. Secondly, this is a great step in convenience, dividing the task into
two shorter time periods, cutting the time needed to prepare the recipe
right before cooking and baking when you feel rushed to get food on the
table.


Our blender batter baking recipes include the soaking process as a
recommended option. Our preferred acid medium is buttermilk, but you can
substitute an equal amount of water with whey, lemon juice or vinegar--2
tbsps. per cup--as an alternative.


We encourage you to use the two-stage option, because we suspect that
many problems with whole grains would be minimized. Nutritional value and
appetite appeal are enhanced. As Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, PhD point out
in Nourishing Traditions, "...virtually all preindustrialized peoples,
soaked or fermented their grains before making them into porridge, breads,
cakes and casseroles." p. 452.

You may read more information about Sue Gregg's six volume cookbook set at this link.

Join our on line discussion for more information here. This is a double opt-in newsletter, be sure to confirm your subscription, the link will come in a separate email.

For more information email me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com

Avoid Allergies - The Two-Stage Process for Whole Grains

The following article The Two Stage Process - Maximizing Nutritional Value was written by Sue Gregg of Sue Gregg Cookbooks and is used by permission.

 

Just because you/ve switched from white flour to whole grains does not mean that you are getting all the nutritional value. In fact you may also experience new problems with digestion. That is because whole grains contain phytic acid in the bran of the grain. Phytic acid combines with key minerals, especially calcium, mangesium, copper, iron, and zinc and prevents their absorption in the intestinal tract.

Soaking, fermenting or sprouting the grain before cooking or baking will neutralize the phytic acid, releasing these nutrients for absorption. This process allows enzymes, lactobacilli, and other helpful organisms to not only neutralize the phytic acid, but also to break down complex starch, irritating tannins, and difficult-to-digest proteins including gluten. For many, this many lessen their sensitivity or allergic reactions to particular grains. Everyone will benefit, nevertheless, from the release of nutrients and greater ease of digestion.

The first stage of preparation in making whole grain porridges or baked recipes, is to soak the whole grain flour in an acid medium such as buttermilk, yogurt, or other cultured milk, or in water with whey, lemon juice or vinegar added - 1 TB per cup water. As little as 7 hours soaking will neutralize a large portion of the phytic acid in grains. Twelve to 24 hours is even better with 24 hours yielding the best results.

Brown rice, buckwheat, and millet are more easily digested because they contain lower amounts of phytates than other grains, so they may be soaked for the shorter times. Other grains, particularly oats (the highest in phytates of the whole grains) is best soaked up to 24 hours.

There are two other advantages of the two-stage process. Several hours of soaking serves to soften the grain resulting in baked goods lighter in texture, closer to the texture of white flour. The longer the soaking, the less necessary is baking powder. Baking soda, alone, will give enough rise. Secondly, this is a great step in convenience, dividing the task into two shorter time periods, cutting the time needed to prepare the recipe right before cooking and baking when you feel rushed to get food on the table.

Blender batter baking recipes should also include the soaking process as a recommended option. Sue Gregg prefers acid medium of buttermilk, but you can substitute an equal amount of water with whey, lemon juice or vinegar - 1 TB per cup--as an alternative.

We encourage you to use the two-stage option, because we suspect that many problems with whole grains would be minimized. Nutritional value and appetite appeal are enhanced. As Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, PhD point out, "..virtually all preindustrialzied peoples, soaked or fermented their grains before making them into porriddge, breads, cakes and casseroles." Nourishing Traditions. p. 452. I recommend this book as a supplemental text to Sue Gregg's cookbooks. To order, call 1-800-552-7323 or go to urbanhomemaker.com.

Bake and Take Day Contest Winners and Recipes

Thank you to all the contestants for participating in our first annual Bake and Take Contest!

First Place Winner of Norwex Microfiber Enviro Cloth and Window Cloth: Laura Weimer

Here is Laura's prize winning entry and recipe:

The moment I read about Bake and Take day I just knew what we would bake and who we would take it to. About a year ago a neighbor friend who is a Christian was going through some difficulties in her marriage and thinking I would be helpful gave her some unsolicited advice and ended up offending her and I thought I had ruined the friendship.

I quickly apologized but always felt like there might still be awkwardness with us. She is currently living with her 2 young children and working part-time so I know she doesn't have as much time as she would like to bake, but I also know she is very health conscience. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to minister to her and hopefully fully restore a relationship.

My three kids and I (ages 6, 4 1/2, and 3) love to make Bran Flax Muffins. My 6 year old peels and grates the carrots (using the kitchen-aid) and I peel and slice the apples and he grates them.

My 4 year old helps measure the flour, and other dry ingredients and cracks the eggs, and my 3 year old puts in a few fistfuls of raisins and lines the muffin tins with paper muffins cups. I pour the liquids, then mix all the ingredients, and then we all get spoons and spoon the batter into the muffin cups. The 6 and 4 year old get hot pads and put the pans into the oven and set the timer. It's so much fun and makes preparing them a lot less work..well, sort of.

We got a basket, lined it with tissue paper, wrapped the muffins in a plastic bag and put lots of curly ribbon all over the basket. I had a little note card with pretty flowers and a nice saying about God being all we need for life and happiness and we marched it over. She was really excited and said she and her kids loved these muffins. I had a chance to thank her for letting me back into her life and I felt like we were able to get rid of any awkwardness that might have been there. I felt really joyful afterward and thought I might even feel more thankful after the whole thing than she did! Thanks for giving me a reason to reach out again to a neighbor and restore a friendship.

Here is Laura's Bran Flax Muffins Recipe:

Mix together:

1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 c oat bran
3/4 c flaxseed meal
1 c brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon

Stir in:

1 1/2 cups carrots, grated
2 cups apples, peeled & grated
1/2 cup raisins

Combine:

3/4 c milk
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla

then add to dry ingredients. Stir until moistened. Do not over mix. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.

Second Place Winner of 2-Norpro 8" Bread pans: Bobbi Krenka

My name is Bobbi and I read about the bake and take bread day in your newsletter. My son who is 10 came home from school and told me about the 2nd grade teacher who just had a breast removed due to breast cancer. She has 2 boys in grade school as well as a husband. We made some cookies, loaf of whole wheat bread, and made a card to let them know we were praying for her and her family. While my son was in his self defense class I was going to sneek it in their car, but it was locked. So I had to go and tell her husband that I had something for them. I gave it to him and the look on his face was very humbling for me and he told me how thankful he was. It made the cookie mess that we had left in the kitchen all worth while.
Thank you.

Whole Wheat Bread in a Zo

11/2 c water
41/4 c whole wheat flour
2 tbls dry milk
3 tbls brown sugar
2 tbls gluten
1 tsp dough enhancer
2 tbs salt
1 3/4 tsp SAF yeast

I have a ZO bread maker and I just put in on quick bread setting. it makes a good size loaf. I haven't had my breadmaker to long and have had a little trouble at first. We live at about 6500 ft and I had to do a little experimenting.


Honorable Mention (In no particular order):

#1. Heather Kleveter's Entry: I was so excited to read about your Bake and Take contest...what a great idea!! Any excuse to bless a friend or relative with gifts from the kitchen is a good excuse for me.

I had it all figured out. My sister-in-law in California just had a baby boy and so we planned a vacation to go meet our sweet new nephew and cousin. I would bake a batch of my Spelt English Muffins to take along as a gift for my sister-in-law. They were a hit at the Farmers' Market last summer, they freeze great, and as any new mom knows... it's such a blessing to have something quick and nutritious to eat when you are a sleep-deprived nursing mother!

Then we got the flu. All seven of us! It takes a l-o-n-g time for the flu to run it's course through that many people. With tears, we postponed our trip and crawled back into bed. There was NO way I would be taking baked goods anywhere, let alone cook at all! We were surviving on instant food.

After I started to get my strength back, I asked my husband what he would like me to fix. "Something healthy" was his reply (you know that craving you get when you haven't had a good home-cooked meal in awhile!). Then it occurred to me how very, very blessed I am! And what a wonderful thing a family is! Even if I didn't have the strength to get dressed and brush my hair, my family didn't mind. Even if I was coughing and sniffling, it didn't matter...so was everyone else! So I didn't have to take my baking far...just across the kitchen to the table. And all 5 of my kids and my dear husband were blessed and nourished...and so very grateful for a home cooked breakfast.

Here's what I made:

Blender Lemon-Ginger Pancakes
wheat-free, dairy-free

the night before you want to eat these...
Add to blender:

Juice and zest from 1 large lemon
plus enough water to = 2 cups of liquid

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. Kamut
1/2 c. millet
1/2 c. whole barley

cover and blend on high for 3 minutes.

--------------zzzzzzzz-------------------------------

In the morning, at the skillet pre-heats, add:

2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ginger powder (good for nausea!)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
and blend for 1 minute

then add and blend briefly (or stir by hand) until mixed:
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda

Add a dab of butter to the hot skillet, pour on the batter. Flip when bubbles form and edges are dry. Add more butter between each batch. Serve with pure maple syrup...yum!

P.S. We are all recovering nicely and are soooo ready for that postponed vacation! Here's the recipe I'll be taking next weekend!

Spelt English Muffins (with fruit & nuts)

18 c. freshly ground spelt flour (spelt is fluffier than other grains so pack it a bit when measuring)
5 c. water
2/3 c. honey
1/4 c. molasses
1/2 c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. sea salt
1/3 c. whey (pour all natural plain yogurt into a sieve lined with cheese cloth or an un bleached coffee filter, place over a bowl and let sit for a few hours. Whey is the liquid in the bowl. We blend the yogurt cheese with jam, using a hand held blender...delicious as a pancake topping or alone!)
a pinch of vitamin C powder, optional

Warm water, honey, molasses and oil together on stove top. Pour this mixture into Bosch (or other bread mixer) bowl. Add salt, vit. C and mix briefly. Add flour, mixing after every 5 cups. Remove dough hook, cover and soak overnight, 7-24 hours. This allows the acidic whey to break down the phytic acid in the whole grains so all the nutrients can be properly absorbed.

After soaking, add:
2 eggs, which have been warmed in a bowl of warm water, before cracking
1/4 c. instant yeast (SAF)
plus more flour (up to 2 cups) if needed, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl

Mix slowly at first to incorporate eggs, then knead for about 6-8 minutes on high until the dough will stretch very thin and translucent when you pull up on a piece.

Let the dough rest for approximately 15 minutes.

This is the fun part where you get to pick your flavor...any chopped nut or dried fruit!
I like to add:
cranberry & almond
walnuts, pecans & golden raisins
cinnamon & raisin
Just grab a handful and knead it in!

Then roll the dough to about 3/4 " thick on a greased counter. Cut out circles using a biscuit cutter or a clean, empty tuna can.

Place on a greased cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with oat bran. Spritz top of muffins with water (or cooking spray) and sprinkle with oat bran. Cover with a towel and let rise foe 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat an electric griddle to about 240 degrees (low temp). Cook muffins for about 9 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Split with a fork These freeze great! Enjoy!

Thank you for your ministry, Marilyn!

#2 My name is Amy and I started baking bread about 3 years ago. I have struggled with the quality of the bread and have gone through many experimental fixes trying to get a texture that would hold up for sandwiches. I also taught a neighbor to bake, and she, too, would love to have a moist, soft, full loaf. Our struggle seems to be primarily that we live at 9,100 feet in elevation and would get bread that would fall, be coarse and crumbly, or be too yeasty.


So, I finally baked a great loaf and took it to her, as proof that it can be done. She was delightfully surprised, and is anxious to try my new method. (The secret is in mastering the yeast; don't kill the yeast with hot water, don't add too soon, don't let rise too much, don't knead it to death, don't work the dough too much or too rough, and, don't use a dry dough as the yeast absorbs a lot of moisture, leaving a dry loaf).


Bread with Altitude by Amy Hoppes
Makes 2 loaves

5 1/4 C. whole wheat Prairie Gold berries, milled and set aside
_____________________________________

Proof:
1 1/2 Tbls. Yeast Sprinkled over;
2/3 C. Warm Water with
1 1/2 Tbls. organic sugar, sprinkled over all.
Let set about 10 min. to dissolve
Meanwhile....
_____________________________________

Scald 2 1/2 C. Milk. Put in Kitchen-Aid mixer, and add;

Half of the flour
2 large eggs
1/2 C. organic sugar
3/4 tsp. Salt

Beat 5 min. Then add:

The proofed yeast mixture,
1/3 C. oil (canola, Olive, or comb. of 2 part butter, and 1 part coconut oil)
2 Tbls. Vital Wheat Gluten,
and most of the remaining flour.

Knead to a slightly sticky consistency.
_____________________________________

Put in large buttered Bowl (turn, and optional, dot and spread a bit of butter on top) Cover with damp towel and let rise in draft free location for 15 min (30 if in the mile high range).
Dump on counter - shape lightly - put back in bowl to rise a second time in draft free location for 15 min (30 if in the mile high range).
Dump out, and cut evenly for loaves or rolls etc. (two loaves, or a loaf and some cinnamon rolls, etc.) Put in buttered pans and let rise to top of pan about 10 min. and about 5 min. more while you pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bake 30 min. at 350 degrees in convection oven if available. Test with instant thermometer to read 180 degrees, remove from pans immediately, wipe pans with paper towel, and let bread cool completely (at least one hour).

I have sent each Honorable Mention Participant a Norwex Microfiber face cloth just for participating in our contest.

Thanks to all the participants!

Bread Baking: Functions Of Basic Ingredients In Yeast Breads

Liquid - The liquid in yeast breads may range from water, milk, and potato water to fruit juice, buttermilk, yogurt, cottage cheese, whey and bouillon. Liquids used in yeast breads should be sufficiently warm so that after the sweetening and shortening are added the temperature of the combination is at least 80 or slightly above.

Sweetening - The sweetening used can be honey, molasses, applesauce, fruit juice, or sugar. Some breads use no sweetening at all.

Yeast - Yeast is a living organism that grows in the presence of moisture and carbohydrates at a warm temperature (l06 - l20). Under these conditions the yeast ferments, forming gases. These gases are captured by the rubbery gluten in flour. Like a balloon, gluten is stretched (blown up) by the gases, causing the bread to raise. All commercial yeasts are not the same because the quality can vary. Saf Yeast can be stored in the freezer for several years and used as needed. Saf Yeast will store, unopened, on the
shelf for one year. It is a good item for food storage.

Fats/Oils - The fats/oils in yeast breads may be cold-pressed oil, shortening, butter, margarine, bacon grease, or animal fat. The fats/oils make bread tender and rich. Dough made without fats/oils tends to become stale more quickly. Butter is particularly delicious when used in sweet yeast breads and rolls.

Salt - Salt brings out the flavor of the bread. The texture and shape of bread is affected by the omission of salt because it controls yeast activity. Bread low in salt will have a coarse texture.

Flour - Fresh ground whole grain flour adds the most flavor, nutrients, and gluten to the bread and results in superior products. Whole grain flours other than wheat may be used for their distinctive flavors. However, they tend to make bread heavy as they do not have enough gluten to help lift the dough. Replace no more than one-fourth of the flour content in a given recipe with flours other than wheat or add vital gluten.

Other Additions - Raisins, dates, dried fruits, citron, nuts, hulled sesame and roasted hulled sunflower seeds, sauteed onions, dried or fresh herbs, bean or grain sprouts, toasted wheat germ, milk solids are all added to improve flavor and increase nutritional values. These "improvers" are seldom used in greater quantity than up to about one-fourth the weight of the flour.

To receive my free newsletter ON MY HEART which is published twice a month with information, product updates and reviews, delicious recipes and much more in the spirit of Titus Two, click here.

If you haven't tried my blue ribbon winning Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, here is the link to the recipe.

Complimentary copies of our 64 page catalog of products for homemakers is available here.

Bread Machine Tips

Bread Machine Tips How to trouble shoot those less than perfect loaves and have success

1. If your bread falls: try reducing the liquid by 1/8 Cup and/or increasing salt by 1/8 tsp and/or decrease yeast by 1/8-1/4 tsp.

2. If you loaf is too short or heavy: Decrease salt by 1/8 tsp and or increase yeast and sugar by 1/2 tsp and/or use high quality freshly milled hard wheat and or add 1-3 TB vital gluten and/or increase liquid temperature to 100-110 degrees F.

3. If the crust is too thick: Use home made programming feature to cut the baking time to 45 minutes and/or reduce sweetener and/or increase liquid by 1/8 cup.

4. Kneading arm is hard to remove: Spray the post and inside hold of the kneading arm with non-stick cooking spraky prior to baking and/or soak baking pan in hot water for 5-10 mijnutes to soften crust, then remove arm from post.

Articles and Recipes authored by marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com. For more information please visit us at The Urban Homemaker Specializing in products for better health in the spirit of Titus Two.

COMPARISON OF ELECTRIC GRAIN MILL

I have briefly outlined advantages and disadvantages of each of the electric grain mills available from our 20 years of experience with mills. Keep in mind, all of these mills are high quality and produce excellent, fine quality flour; there is no "perfect" or "best" grain mill. Each mill represents exceptional quality, reliability and will provide many years of service.

The "best" grain mill, is the mill that meets your criteria for price, noise level, storage space
requirements, warranty, and versatility.

KITCHEN MILL - Advantages - Large flour catch pan- holds 21 cups flour, strong
reliability record, stores very compactly (if storage space is at a premium at your house you will appreciate this), produces high quality, fine flour, mills all dry beans and grains, mfg in the USA. Six year warranty. We have sold thousands to satisfied customers over the last 15 years.
Disadvantages: Smaller grain hopper than some mills, Noisier than other mills, does not crack grain.

NUTRIMILL -Advantages - Large flour catch pan, life-time warranty, one piece
construction, large grain hopper slightly quieter than K-tec but has the same motor and milling device.
Disadvantages - Higher price, does not crack grain, takes a larger amount of storage space, mfg. in
Korea.

WONDERMILL - Advantages - Formerly known as the Whisper Mill, slightly quieter than K-tec, large hopper capacity, six year warranty, high quality flour, grain feeds well into milling mechanism
Disadvantages- Smaller capacity flour cannister (12 cup), does not crack grain, must turn on mill before adding grain so the mill will not jam.

FAMILY GRAIN MILL - Advantages - versatile, can be used with handbase or electric motor base, adjustable from fine to course mechanism so mill will crack grain, can be used with Bosch Universal, German made, very quiet while running, takes minimal storage space, very economical.
Disadvantage- flour may not be quite as fine as the mills above, slower production of flour than high speed mills.

We hope to be of service to you very soon!


www.urbanhomemaker.com
1-800-552-7323

COOKING WITH WHOLE GRAINS - QUINOA

"A member of the goosefoot family (Chenopodium quinoa), quinoa is grown in the altiplano of the Andes in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, and some in Chile and Argentian. A pilot crop grows in Boulder, Colorado.

Quinoa has historically been the staple food of the Andes, traditonally eaten like rice, toasted and ground to make tortillas, and fermented to make chicha, a drink. As the "mother grain" of the Incas, quinoa was of such central importance to that civilization, that by destroying its cultivation, the Spaniards subdued the Inca Empire in one year.

Quinoa cooks up quickly in 15-25 minutes into a light, fluffy "cute curly" yellow grain. It has a gourmet look and a very delicate flavor. The flavor makes light crepes and waffles in our blender recipes. It is gluten-free, providing another grain choice for the gluten intolerant. With high protein and high lysine content, quinoa is one of the most nutritious grains. It is very expensive.

A substance on the surface of quinoa seed called saponins imparts a bitter taste and must be rinsed away. I rinse the seed in a strainer 1-2 minutes the evening before using it, soak it in a bowl of water overnight, drain it, and rinse again, about 1 minute. This procedure is included in our recipes for quinoa crepes, waffles, and creamed cereal." p., 75-76 BREAKFASTS By Sue Gregg, Reprinted by permission

CREAMY QUINOA

The added butter givesthis cereal an especially pleasing flavor. The rinsing and soaking of the grain is essential to remove bitter flavor (p.75 BREAKFASTSfor details)

AMOUNT: 2-3 servings (Double, triple as needed)

1. The night before, put quinoa in strainer and rinse for 1 minute:

1/2 cup quinoa

2. Set strainer with rinsed quinoa in a bowl filled with water so that it is submerged. Let stand overnight.

3. Discard water and rinse quinoa another 30 seconds.

4. Blend in blender on high speed about 1 minute:

1/2 Cup water
2 TB rinsed, drained quinoa

5. In saucepan bring water to a boil, stir in blender mixture and return to boil; stir in blender mixture and return to boil; stir in remaining ingredients:

1 Cup water
blender mixture
remaining rinsed, drained quinoa
1/4 tsp. salt

6. Lower heat, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes until water is absorbed; stir 2 or 3 times during cooking.

7. To serve, blend in 1 TB butter for an extra special flavor.

p. 106, BREAKFASTS By Sue Gregg, Reprinted by permission.

BLACK BEAN, RED PEPPER, CORN & QUINOA SALAD
This salad goes together quite easily, with gourmet flair, it is colorful and declicious.

5 TB olive oil
1/2 C. Quinoa, rinsed thoroughly in cold water, drained
1 C. chicken broth
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin, ground
2 TB lime juice
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 C. cooked or canned black beans, drained
1 C. whole kernel corn
1 C. ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, diced
1/2 C. sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
2 green onions finely chopped
3 TB chopped cilantro (opt)
2 TB chopped parsley
2 C. mixed salad greens

1. In a 1 qt saucepan (or small pressure cooker) heat 2 TB oil over medium heat. Add Quinoa and stir until toasted and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth, cumin, salt, heat to a boil over heat, until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat & let stand 5 minutes fluff 2ith a fork, set aside to cool.

2. In medium bowl, whisk 4 TB oil, lime juice, and pepper. Stir in black beans, corn, tomato, red pepper, green onion, cilantro, parsely and mixed Quinoa.

3. Serving: Divide greens amond 4 salad plates. Spoon quinoa mixutre onto greens. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

QUINOA SALAD - GREEK STYLE

2 Cups Cooked Quinoa (see above instructions for cooking the grain)
1 Cup diced cucumber
5 Pepperocini's (bottled, optional)
1/2 Cup Feta cheese, crumbled
5-10 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered or halved

Oil and Vinegar Dressing or Greek Salad Dressing - contains oregano, pepper and garlic - To moisten or to taste!

To receive my free newsletter ON MY HEART which is published twice a month with information, product updates and reviews, delicious recipes and much more in the spirit of Titus Two, click here.

If you haven't tried my blue ribbon winning Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, here is the link to the recipe.

Complimentary copies of our 64 page catalog of products for homemakers is available here.

GRAINS AND SEEDS FOR SPROUTING


Here is a list of grains and seeds you may wish to keep on hand in your home. Economical whole grains and seeds pack high amounts of a wide range of vitamins and minerals, valuable fiber and are naturally low in fat. Grains, seeds, and nuts are perfect for sprouting, baking, and side dishes. Make it a goal to try several new grains in the upcoming weeks for taste, texture, nutrition and flavor treats. The following information was adapted from The Sprouting Book by Ann Wigmore. Nutritional info is for the sprouted grain or seed which may differ from the unsprouted.


Adzuki Beans - A good source of protein, vitamin C, and iron.

Alfalfa - Pound for pound are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. A very good source of Vitamins B-complex, C, K, E, and calcium, magnesium, selenium, iron, potassium, and zinc.

Almonds - Of all the spouted nuts, these are the easiest to digest. Excellent source of vitamins B and E, protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, and fats.

Cabbage - A good source of vitamins A, C and U, along with trace elements iodine and sulfur.

Chick Pea - Rich in carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, and protein. Also provide magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A and C.

Fenugreek - A valuable blood and kidney cleanser and a good source of phosphorous and iron. Spices up a salad!

Lentils - The single richest source of high-quality protein. Great sprouted or in a variety of main dishes.

Millet - A mild-flavored highly digestible alkalizing grain. It is rich in protein, and calcium. A staple to the ancient cultures of Egypt, India, and China. Use the unhulled type for sprouting.

Mung Beans - A good source of iron, protein, potassium, and vitamin C.

Oats - A cereal grass that can be purchased as whole groats, and flaked, or steel cut, or rolled and flaked. A great addition to breads, cookies. Use the whole oat groats for sprouting.

Radish - Spices up your sprouting mix!

Rye - Gives a slightly sweet flavor to a sprout mix.

Sesame Seeds - Rich in fats, protein, fiber. vitamins, B, E, and several vital minerals.

Sunflower Seeds - Rich in B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin. The sprouts are richer in these vitamins than the raw, unsprouted seeds.

Triticale - A new cereal grass with good protein content made by a hybrid cross of rye and wheat. Often found in seven grain mixes, and useful for wheat intolerant systems.

Wheat - The world's most cultivated grain. Wheat is found in many varieties and forms including durum used for pastas, hard wheat used for yeast breads, soft wheat used in pastries such as pancakes and muffins. Wheat bran adds nutrition to great muffins, couscous is cracked and pelletized endosperm of durum wheat, bulgur is steamed and cracked wheat, wheat germ is nutrient dense, and farina is coarsely ground endosperm of wheat. A great form of vitamin E, which functions as an antioxidant. Soft wheat works best for sprouting. Use in salads, desserts, breads, and cereals, and to make juice and milks.

Hot Whole Grain Breakfast Cereal Recipes

HOT WHOLE GRAIN BREAKFAST RECIPES
Reprinted from MARTHA'S FAMILY COOKERY BOOK by permission 2004

ED NOTE: Hot cereal literally costs pennies per serving compared to boxed cereal, and represents an exceptional way to reduce grocery costs. With a little experience, and a few creative touches you can nourish your family without boredom and pocket the change!

All these hot cereals can be prepared in minutes in a DUROMATIC Pressure Cooker saving lots of time and energy consumption. Cut the water amount from 2 Cups to 1 1/2 cups. Bring the pressure up to the second red ring. Remove from heat, allow the pressure to drop naturally. Serve.

BAKED OATMEAL

Mix together:
1/2 Cup butter, melted (I used olive oil)
1 Cup brown sugar ( I used about 2/3 Cup)
2 eggs, beaten

Add:
3 cups rolled oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk

Mix well. Pour into a greased casserole dish 9 X 13 baking dish for 30 minutes at 350F. I used a smaller baking pan and had to increase the baking time to 40 minutes.

Marilyn's Variation: Add 1-2 Cups finely chopped apple pieces.

APPLE OATMEAL

1 Cup rolled oats
2 Cups cold water
1/2 tsp. salt
Cook on low heat in a medium saucepan. Add in:

2 cups chopped apples
dash nutmeg

Cook 5 minutes longer or until apples are at a desired consistency. Serve with milk or yogurt, honey or brown sugard and a sprinkling of connamon. Yield: 4-6 servings

CREAM OF WHEAT

1 Cup cracked wheat kernels*
2 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt

Coarsely crack the wheat kernels. Combine the cracked wheat kernels with water and salt in a suacepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. S Serve with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey. The recipe below for Hearty Cereal Topping is delicious with this hot morning cereal.
*I crack my whole wheat kernels in the BOSCH mixer using the blender attachment. You must use a very strong and powerful blender to accomplish this. The BOSCH MIXER has 700 watts. You can crack about 1 cup of kernels at a time. It would be convenient to go ahead and crack up a container full and then store it in the freezer.

HEARTY CEREAL TOPPING
(Ed. note: What a creative way to liven up hot cereal for breakfast! Prepare this topping ahead of time for a very quick breakfast.)

1/4 Cup wheat germ
1/2 cup bran cereal
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 dried fruit, in small piece
s

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl combine the first 4 ingredients. Add in butter and cut in with a pastry blender or fork until butter is in coarse crumbs and evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Stir in nuts an seeds. Spread mixture in a baking pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit pieces. Coo and store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. use within 4-6 weeks. Use as a delightful topping on your hot cereal in the morning. YIELD: 3 Cups

BABY BEAR PORRIDGE

1 cup rolled oats
2 1/4 cups cold water
1/2 tsp. salt
2 TB cracked wheat

Combine water and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add in rolled oats and cracked wheat. Reduce heat and simmer gently until done, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Serve with milk, and brown sugar, honey or maple syrup. Honey should not be fed to babies under the age of one. Serves 4.

GOOD MORNIN' MILLET CEREAL
(Ed note: millet is very high in calcium and other minerals.)

1 Cup hulled millet
3 Cups water
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 30-40 minutes. Serves 4. Serve with butter and honey. (If using the Duromatic Pressure Cooker, cook at the first red ring for 12 minutes and allow the pressure come down naturally.)

OATMEAL PANCAKES

Mix in a mixing bowl and set aside:

2 Cups rolled oats
3 Cups buttermilk

Mix in a separate mixing bowl:

3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 TB sugar
1 heaping tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt.
3TB cooking oil

Mix together oat mixture and dry ingredients. Stir until well blended. Cook on a hot griddle. Serve hot with syrup or honey.

To receive my free newsletter ON MY HEART which is published twice a month with information, product updates and reviews, delicious recipes and much more in the spirit of Titus Two, click here.

If you haven't tried my blue ribbon winning Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, here is the link to the recipe.

Complimentary copies of our 64 page catalog of products for homemakers is available here.

Know Your Ingredients

Types of Wheat and Flours: If you know your ingredients you will have much better baking success. Read on....

All-Purpose Flour- the finely ground endosperm of the wheat kernel minus the bran and the germ which contain the highest concentrations of B-vitamins and Vitamin E. The flour is widely used for all home baked goods but devoid of nutritional content. It is generally enriched with flour B vitamins but not the original concentrations.

Bread Flour - contains greater gluten strength and is generally used for yeast breads produced by commercial bakers. It is now widely available in grocery stores for bread machine enthusiasts.

Hard Winter Wheat -planted in the fall, usually dry-land wheat grown without irrigation. Tends to be lower in protein than hard spring wheat.

Hard Spring Wheat - planted in the spring. It is not irrigated thus yielding a high protein and low moisture content wheat kernel. This wheat tends to be more expensive because of the high protein content and makes the lightest whole wheat bread.

Pastry Flour - Has lower protein/gluten and is milled from Soft wheat. Used for baked goods that contain baking powder.

Soft Spring Wheat - Usually this wheat is irrigated. It has a larger yield than hard wheat but is lower in protein. It is used for making cake,s cookies, muffins, pancakes, pie crust, pastries and baked goods that use baking powder. Be sure to pack this flour into a measuring cup if it is freshly milled to get accurate measurements.

Durum Wheat - used for making pastas. Semolina is a grade of milling for Durum wheat.

Whole Wheat Flour -Commercially ground whole wheat flour is coarse -textured and should be stored in the freezer to protect against rancidity. Whole wheat flour is rich in Bk-complex vitamins, vitamin E, protein, and contains significantly more trace minerals and dietary fiber than white flour.

Articles and Recipes authored by marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com. For more information please visit us at The Urban Homemaker Specializing in products for better health in the spirit of Titus Two.

Tips For The Beginning Bread Baker

1. Use fresh home-milled flour with all of the bran and fiber intact.

2. Use fresh yeast such as Saf Instant Dry Yeast. Because whole wheat produces a heavier dough, whole wheat bread dough often requires a better grade of yeast due to its superior rising ability. If your whole wheat bread is coming out like a brick it may be due in part to poor quality yeast.

3. Use warm water. Best temperature is 120 - 130F (if using SAF Yeast).

4. Use the right amount of flour. Home milled flour is best. Too much flour causes dry crumbly bread. Here is information about grain mill comparisons.

5. Develop the gluten. The most difficult aspect of mastering bread baking is recognizing when the gluten is fully developed. When dough is properly kneaded it will be smooth and elastic. To improve the texture of your bread add Vital gluten.

6. Use 1 tsp. oil on your kneading surface or on your hands when it is time to shape the dough. This helps keep dough from sticking and avoids using excess flour.

7. Let the dough proof. Proofing is a baking term for allowing bread dough to raise outside of the oven. Although this step is optional (some let the dough rise in the oven prior to baking), proofing will develop flavor, gluten framework, and help make light, fluffy loaves of whole wheat bread.

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Tips For The Best Bread


Tips For The Best Bread
Now that you have familiarized yourself with the benefits of baking your own bread, and the basic ingredients needed in yeast breads, read through my tips below for the best bread before  you try baking your first whole grain loaf of bread.

Hand Method

Step 1:  Read through Marilyn’s Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe and acquaint yourself with the directions and ingredients.  
Assemble your basic yeast bread ingredients: fresh whole wheat flour, salt, yeast, honey, vital gluten and filtered water.
You are ready to get started!  

Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
Hand Method: (yields 2 loaves)

1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup oil
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tbsp. SAF Instant Yeast
2 1/2 tsp. salt
6-7 cups fresh whole wheat flour(room temperature)
1 1/2 tbsp. Dough Enhancer, opt
1/3 cup Vital Wheat Gluten, opt

Combine the warm water, yeast, and 2 cups of fresh whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl.  Allow to sponge (see pg. 21) for 15 minutes.  Add the honey, oil, dough enhancer, salt and 4-5 cups  additional flour until the dough begins to clean the sides of the mixing bowl.  This is true whether you are mixing by hand with a wooden spoon or using a dough hook attachment with an electric mixer.  

Knead the bread by hand 7-10 minutes or until it is very smooth, elastic, and small bubbles or blisters appear beneath the surface of the dough.   It is a common mistake of beginners to add too much flour.  When hand kneading, if you will oil your kneading surface and your hands with 1-2 tsp of oil, this will help reduce stickiness and help you avoid adding too much flour.  
Form the dough into 2 loaves.  Allow the dough to rise in a slightly warmed oven or other warm place until doubled in size, about 30-60 minutes.  (Turn the oven on for 5-10 minutes, turn off oven and open door, allowing it to cool down to approx. 100°F.)

Bake the loaves for  25-30 minutes in a 350°F oven.  Bread is cooked through when the top, sides, and bottom are nicely browned in color.  Over baked  is better than under baked.

Step 2: Mixing the ingredients
Pour the water into a mixing bowl and stir in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until they are moistened.  There is really no perfect order for combining these ingredients but below are some tips for insuring good success with your first efforts at baking whole grain bread. Step 3-Step 8 below will describe the kneading, raising, shaping, baking, and cooling steps in more detail.

General Mixing Tips and Suggestions:
* Use warm water.  Best temperature is 110 - 120°F if using SAF Yeast, otherwise 110° maximum.  If you are not using Instant or Quick Rising Yeast like SAF, be sure to proof the yeast before using it by mixing the yeast with 1/2 cup warm water with a teaspoon of sugar or honey and allowing it to sit for 10 minutes before using it.

* Use the right amount of flour.  Too much flour kneaded into the breads causes dry crumbly bread.  Because the moisture content of flours vary, yeast bread recipes will always call for a range of flour.  With experience you will learn to recognize when the right amount of flour has been added to the dough, rather than relying on measurements alone.

* Sponging is simply allowing the dough to sit in the mixing bowl to allow the flour to absorb the liquid.  Combine the warm water, yeast, and 2 cups of fresh whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl. Allow to sponge for 15 minutes.  This step gets the yeast off to a good start.  Set the timer if necessary.  Use the “waiting time” to clean up your kitchen or fold the laundry.  Don’t worry if the sponge goes longer than 15 minutes.  The art of baking bread is flexible.  If the baby needs to be changed, or the mailman rings the door bell, and life happens, relax; get back to the bread as soon as you can and don’t fret.

* Measuring ingredients and mixing the dough.  Measure the oil into a glass measuring cup before the honey.  That way the honey slides out with minimal stickiness.  Then add the remaining ingredients and 4-5 cups additional flour.  Stir with a sturdy wooden spoon until the bread dough begins to clean the sides of the mixing bowl.  Be sure to add the flour gradually to enable it to absorb the moisture.  

Step 3: Knead the dough
This process will develop the gluten.  The gluten is an elastic protein that enables dough to hold it’s shape when raised.  The most difficult aspect of mastering bread baking is learning the kneading technique and knowing how long to knead.  Here is how to recognize when the gluten is fully developed:  The dough will be smooth and elastic.  Take a golf ball sized portion of dough and see if the dough is stretchy and does not readily tear.  To improve the gluten content and texture of your bread add vital gluten.

Tips for Kneading the Dough By Hand
Try to get all the flour incorporated within two minutes of mixing so you will have even gluten development.  Too little flour will cause the dough to be too sticky to work with, which is your signal to add more flour.  Since whole grain flour absorbs moisture more slowly, be sure not to add too much flour, or, as you mix and knead, the dough will become too dry, resulting in crumbly bread.  Add more flour gradually, in 1/2- 1  cup portions.  It takes practice to add the right amount.

 A rhythmic process called “kneading” develops the gluten in the  bread dough by straightening the gluten strands and causing them to become smooth and elastic.   Place the slightly flattened dough all onto a lightly floured surface, and fold the dough  over toward yourself.  Press the folded dough together, pushing down and away from yourself with the lightly floured heels of both hands.  Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the process by folding the dough and pressing away, turning and repeating.  This “kneading” is a rhythmic motion, repeated many times.

Knead the dough by hand 7-10 minutes or until it is very smooth, elastic, and small bubbles or blisters appear beneath the surface of the dough.  It is a common mistake for beginners to add too much flour.  When hand kneading, if you will oil your kneading surface and your hands with 1-2 tsp of oil, this will reduce stickiness and help you avoid adding too much flour.  Remember, if your dough is too sticky to work with you will need to add additional flour.

A Fool-Proof Way to Knead Your Bread
If you are new to kneading bread dough, an older wiser woman told me how she determined if her bread was adequately kneaded.
She said, “Say the Lord’s Prayer as you knead, making one kneading stroke per word and then repeating the prayer at least twice”.  Many ladies have told me that this method alone solved their dilemma of determining how long to knead the dough.

With experience you will eventually master the kneading process and learn to “feel” and recognize when the gluten is developed.

Step Four: Recognizing When The Gluten Is Developed
You can recognize when gluten is fully developed by taking a golf ball sized portion of dough and gently stretching the dough in opposite directions using your thumb and forefinger of both hands.  If you can stretch the dough thin enough to see light through without the dough readily tearing, you have sufficiently developed the gluten.

If after 7-10 minutes of kneading the bread dough, the gluten doesn’t seem developed, it is most likely because you are using low protein flour or because you are new at kneading bread dough.

There is no way to increase the gluten content and development at this point. More kneading after a certain point does not mean more gluten development.  In fact, it is possible to over-knead the dough, and if this does occur, the gluten begins to break down and the dough becomes a sticky mess.

Finish making the bread according to the instructions below.  The finished bread may be a bit heavier and denser than you like,  but I suspect the bread you have made will smell wonderful and be delicious even if it is a bit heavy and dense. 

Just view this as a “learning experience”.  As I have said before, there are no failures in bread baking, only learning experiences.  Expect to have them.   Bread that we call “learning experiences” is usually enjoyed by the family anyway or it can be salvaged by turning the baked bread into croutons, bread pudding, bread crumbs, or feeding the ducks.

If you find your bread heavier or denser than you and your family enjoy,  you will want to add vital gluten into the recipe next time to improve the texture of the bread.   Often, baking with Montana grown hard wheat (which is higher in protein content) may solve that heavy/dense bread problem in the future.

Step 5: Let the bread dough rise (1st rising - optional)
When the gluten is fully developed, allow the dough to rise in a greased mixing bowl.  Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel to keep the dough from drying out.  This step is often called “proofing” (not to be confused with proofing the yeast).  Proofing is a baking term for allowing bread dough to rise, generally  outside of the oven.  Although this step is optional, proofing will develop texture and flavor, gluten framework, and help make light, fluffy loaves of whole wheat bread.  If you are in a hurry, this step can be skipped.

The activity of the yeast ferments the flour, causing the development of carbon dioxide gas to develop.  The carbon dioxide is captured by the gluten which causes the bread to rise. 

The optimum temperature for yeast activity is 85-100°F so use a slightly warmed oven, top of the refrigerator, direct sunlight or any other warm place, if possible.  Otherwise, the first rising period done at room temperature will just take longer, which is nothing to be concerned about.  Normally the first rising period  takes about 30-60 minutes.  (The first raising of the bread can be skipped if you are in a hurry, but flavor and texture of the bread improve with each raising.)

After the dough has doubled in size, punch down the dough, divide it into two equal pieces and shape the loaves.  Use 1 tsp. oil on your kneading surface or on your hands when it is time to shape the dough.  This keeps the dough from sticking and avoids using excess flour.

Step 6: Shaping bread loaves
After the dough has risen once and been punched down with your fist (this deflates all the air bubbles), you will want to shape the loaves in a round cylindrical shape, the length of your bread pan.  (8” cylinder for 8” pans, 10” cylinder, 10” pans, etc.)

I take the dough, stretch the dough around the tops, and sides of the “cylinder” I try to shape with my hands and pinch this stretched dough together, underneath  the loaf or cylinder, into a seam.  I roll the bread dough shaped into a cylinder like a rolling pin with my hands to make sure all the air bubbles have been removed and the loaf is nice and round and smooth.

When I’m content with the shape of my loaf, I put the dough. seam side down, into the greased bread pans and lightly grease the top of the loaf with oil or melted butter.  For the prettiest highest rising bread loaves, use 8” X 4 1/2” loaf pans filled 1/2 to 2/3 full of bread dough.  

Step 7: Raising the bread loaves (2nd raising)
The loaves are ready to bake when the dough has doubled in size.  So if your pan was only filled half full of  bread dough, it will be time to bake when the loaves reach the top of the pan.  This second raising period, usually takes about 30-60 minutes depending on the temperature of the place you allow the dough to rise. 

Don’t be in a hurry and allow the bread to rise too quickly.  Rapidly risen bread loaves often have a weak structure and tend to fall or collapse before the baking time is over.
Another way to determine if the loaf is ready to bake, is to lightly press the corner of the loaf with a pinky finger about one half inch.  If the dough holds the shape of the indentation, it is ready to bake.  If the dough springs back to the original shape, allow more rising time.
 
Step 8: Bake the bread!
Bake fully raised bread loaves for 25-30 minutes in a 350°F pre-heated oven. Bread is cooked through when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, and when the top, sides and bottom are a golden brown color.

 A more reliable and much less subjective method for determining if the bread is baked through requires the use of an instant read thermometer.  I have just discovered this method in the last year, and must say, I have had much more reliable results when using the temperature of the thermometer to determine done-ness.

The bread is baked through and considered done when the instant-read thermometer reaches 180-200°F.  I have used 190°F with consistent results.  In general, it is better to overbake bread than to under bake it.

When the bread is completely baked through, remove the loaves from the bread pans to cool on a cooling rack to release steam.  If you like, spread some melted butter on the top crust to keep it softer.  

For best slicing results, allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.  (Who can resist just just one slice of hot, steaming, out-of-the-oven bread?)
After the loaves are cooled, slice as evenly as possible and store in good quality re-useable bread bags.  Any bread that will not be consumed in a few days should be frozen or given away, as homemade bread will stale after 3-4 days.

The above information has been excerpted from An Introduction to Baking Bread  ebook by Marilyn Moll. 

Understanding the Two Stage Process - Maximizing Nutritional Value

Understanding the Two-Stage Process
Maximizing the Nutritional Value of Whole Grains

by Sue Gregg

Reprinted by permission from SueGreggCookbooks.com

Just because you've switched from white flour to whole grains does not mean that you are getting all the nutritional value. In fact you may also experience new problems with digestion and assimilation. That is because whole grains contain phytic acid in the bran of the grain. Phytic acid combines with key minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc and prevents their absorption in the intestinal tract.

Soaking, fermenting, or sprouting the grain before cooking or baking will neutralize a large portion of the phytic acid, releasing these nutrients for absorption. This process allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to not only neutralize the phytic acid, but also to break down complex starches, irritating tannins and difficult-to-digest proteins including gluten. For many, this may lessen their sensitivity or allergic reactions to particular grains. Everyone will benefit, nevertheless, from the release of nutrients and greater ease of digestion.

The first stage of preparation in making baked recipes, is to soak the whole grain flour in an acid medium, usually a cultured milk such as kefir, yogurt. sour raw milk or buttermilk as in quick breads. When water is used as in yeast breads, or sweet raw milk, or almond or coconut milk as non-dairy substitutes, apple cider vinegar, whey (liquid poured off yogurt1) or lemon juice is added in proportion of 1 tablespoon per cup).

As little as 7 hours soaking will neutralize a large portion of the phytic acid in grains. Twelve to 24 hours is even better with 24 hours yielding the best results. Brown rice, buckwheat and millet are more easily digested because they contain lower amounts of phytates than other grains, so 7 hours soaking is sufficient. Other grains, particularly oats, the highest in phytates of the whole grains, is best soaked up to 24 hours.

There are two other advantages of the two-stage process. Several hours of soaking serves to soften the grain, resulting in baked goods lighter in texture, closer to the texture of white flour. This is especially helpful when making blender batters, where the initial blending may not smooth out the grain as much as desired. Secondly, this is a great step in convenience, dividing the task into two shorter time periods, cutting the time needed to prepare the recipe right before cooking and baking when you feel rushed to get food on the table. Doing food preparation tasks in advance is is a great convenience facilitator. The two-stage process fits right in.

I believe that the sensitivity to whole grains that people frequently have may be minimized by uti-lizing the two -stage process in recipes, in ad-dition to enhancement of nutritional value. As Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, PhD point out, "...virtually all preindustrialized peoples, soaked or fermented their grains before making them into porridge, breads, cakes and casseroles." (Nourishing Traditions p. 452).

Many are overwhelmed by the thought of doing the two-stage process. This is because it is a paradigm shift, something completely foreign to our normal way of doing things. For decades it has never been part of cookbooks with whole grain recipes. Thus a variety of questions arise, such as, "Do I soak the grain and then grind it? Do I grind the flour and then soak it? How will I use the soaked flour or grain in the recipe?, etc." I just say, "Follow the recipe, it is part of the first step."

The process is built into every recipe in this book. As you become familiar with the basic two-stage preparation for either a quick bread or yeast bread, you will easily learn how to adapt it to any recipe that does not follow two-stage preparation. The only time that separate preparation is needed is when the method used is sprouting the grain. There are some wonderful advantages in using sprouted grain, however, so I have interoduced it in the Yeast Breads section, although sprouted grain can be used in both quick and yeast breads.

Evaluating the Importance of the Two-Stage Process

While the whole truth is probably not yet known (recall Proverbs 25:2 ), phytates are not all bad. Research shows that they may be involved in curbing free radicals in the body that contribute to heart disease and cancers, as well as preventing excessive mineral build up in the body, especially of iron, which also contributes to free radical formation. It is thought that it may be the phytates in the bran layers of whole grains, in legumes and in nuts and seeds that are providing these protections. Thus the inclusion of these foods in the diet against a diet that relies primarily on white flour products and on a high proportion of fiberless meats and dairy products becomes a further plus. The value of phytates, on the other hand, does not warrant ignoring the value of the two-stage process. First of all, neutralizing phytic acid to release nutrients bound up in the form of phytates is not 100% accomplished except under ideal conditions of temperature and pH. Attempting to control these conditions, at least in home baking, is not a worthwhile endeavor beyond inclusion of an acid medium and room temperature for a suggested range of time, or the practice of making sourdough or sprouted breads. Second, taking a realistic view of our habits is useful. Home baking not withstanding, commercial whole grain products not processed adequately will find their way to our tables (as whole grain pastas, commercially purchased breads, e.g.). In any case, since many people lack essential minerals and have difficulty with the digestion of gluten in grains, the two-stage process plays a valuable role in baking with whole grains.

Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CNN, author of The Whole Soy Story, points to the Hebrews as an example of consuming both leavened and unleavened bread. The former, which was produced through the fermentation process from wild yeasts was practiced most of the time. The latter, unleavened bread, was part of the the Hebrew preparation for Passover in early spring, "a natural time for fasting, a practice that encourages detoxification." Daniel suggests that these yearly short periods "might have been a very effective way to rid the body of any heavy metals through the action of phytic acid." On the otherhand, Daniel reminds us that "Decades of research on the phytates of real foods have shown that phytates are antinutrients--more likely to comtribute to disease than prevent it."1

To conclude, I suggest that occasional consumption of whole grains that are not processed by one of the three two-stage methods (soaking, fermenting, sprouting) is not likely detrimental to health2 and may contribute a plus, while those that are properly processed as the main dietary choice will be greatly beneficial to health.

1The Whole Soy Story, by Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CNN, Chapter 17, "Phytates ties that bind," pp. 221, 224, quotes by permission.

2However, to many gluten-sensitive and grain-allergic persons, the two-stage process may be beneficial on a basically consistent basis.

14

Wheat Free Bread with Variations

Amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa are not true grains, so may be pure gold to
those who react to all grains! All will be found in most health food stores.
For best results, buy fresh amaranth and quinoa flours where there is a quick
turn-over - and smell it before baking with it to be sure it isn't rancid.(Best to grind your own it possible)


Also, buy whole UNROASTED buckwheat groats and grind your own flour in a
blender. This is easily done as the groats are not nearly as hard as grains
of wheat, so you don't need a special grinder or mill. Grind one pound of
groats in you blender, half cup at a time, in 7 minutes, and that includes
rubbing the flour through a strainer to catch and discard any large particles
that may be present.

The flavor and texture of this mixed-flour pan bread is superior to that of bread made from any one flour. While not a sandwich bread, this corn-bread-type-bread is wonderful with salad, soup or stew, or for breakfast (topped with a fruit sauce or a little all-fruit jam).

Yields 1 pie plate (6-8 pieces)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon amaranth flour 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon unroasted
buckwheat flour 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon quinoa flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
Water to make 1 cup liquid
stevia powder (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick
spray, or oil and dust with flour. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of
tartar, salt, and stevia powder or date sugar, if using, in a bowl and whisk
to blend. Measure the oil, maple syrup, and water in a 2-cup glass measuring
cup, and stir. Make a "well" in the center of the flour and pour in the
liquids. Use a rubber spatula to stir a few swift strokes - only until all
the dry ingredients are moistened. Transfer at once to prepared pan. Batter
will be quite stiff, yet when you scrape it into the pan, it still pours. (In
other words - although stiff, it's still a heavy batter rather than a dough.)
Bake about 20 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly touched,
and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes
before cutting. Best served warm.

Variations for a sweet bread:

Substitute pineapple, apple, orange, pear or white grape juice for the water,
and add an additional 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to dry ingredients. Resembles
coffeecake.

Variations for a spicy bread:

Following the recipe for the sweet bread, add ONE of the following to the dry
ingredients, whisking well to mix:

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (gives bread a very nice flavor!)
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg"




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why Mill Your Own Fresh Flours?

1. Fresh flours taste better and perform much better in whole grain recipes kneaded in Heavy Duty Mixer and Zojirushi Bread Machines.

2. Fresh flour contains all the vitamins and minerals missing in commercial flours. It includes the bran which is vital for a healthy colon and weight control.For information on electric grain mills click here.

3. Fresh flour is economical! It only costs about 25¢ per pound or less when freshly milled.

4. If you mill only the amount of flour needed, essential nutrients are preserved. Within 24 hours up to 40% of the nutrients have oxidized. In three days up to 80% of nutrients have oxidized.

5. Stale flours become rancid because the germ oils in the grain become rancid. Rancid oils and flours strain the immune system, speed the aging process and contribute free radicals into our bodies.

6. When you mill your flour fresh you may enjoy various grains such as rye, corn, oats, rice, amaranth, spelt, quinoa, and kamut, as well as beans. Different varieties of flour are good for rotation diets, economy, and variety in eating.

7.Baking Books for beginning whole grains bread enthusiasts can be at the Urban Homemaker website under books.

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Yeast Breads

100% Sprouted Wheat Bread

100% Sprouted Wheat Bread

Sprouted grain is easier to digest and contains more nutrients than unsprouted grain. Some persons who are wheat sensitive or allergic to wheat can tolerate it in the sprouted form. This makes delicious French Bread, Spelt or Kamut may be substituted, increasing the amount of sprouted spelt flour in step #5 as needed.

AMOUNT: 1 Medium Loaf * 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 " Pan

Bake: 350°F - 50-60 minutes

1. Prepare Sprouted Wheat.

2. Dissolve yeast with honey in water in a glass measuring cup; let stand 5-10 minutes until bubbles come up:

1/4 Cup lukewarm water (100-115°F - warm to wrist)
1 tsp. honey
1 TB Saf or active dry yeast

3. Blend together in blender until sprouts are well pulverized:

1 cup hot water (may use water saved from soaking wheat)
2 cups moist sprouted or soaked wheat

4. Blend together in mixing bowl:

pulverized sprouts (Step # 3 above)
2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. Vitamin C crystals or 1 tsp. dough enhancer
1 1/2 cups sprouted whole wheat flour
/a proofed yeast mixture (step #2)

5. Add remaining flour until dough in electric bread kneader clears sides of bowl while kneading or as needed to prevent sticking whilte hand kneading:

about 1- 1/2 cups sprouted whole wheat flour

6. Knead about 8-10 minutes.

7. Shape dough into loaf, place in greased pan, let rise until doubled, bake 45-60 minutes or until top, sides, and bottom of the loaf are browned.

Sprouted Bread Tips: Sprouted bread rises faster than unsprouted, so watch it closely -- it falls royally, if allowed too much rise. Since practically no honey is sued in this recipe, the bread will not be golden brown when it is done.

This recipe is copyrighted from Yeast Breads by Sue Gregg author of Eating Better Cookbook Series. Used by permission.

Customers comment:

I talked with you last week regarding this recipe and how to sprout and dry this much grain...well I did it. I put the grain on 3 big cookie sheets and covered with a damp cloth and put them in the oven with the oven light on. It took 24 hours to dry, but it did just fine, and then I milled the flour and made the recipe. The bread turned out great!>>>

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2 STAGE PROCESS - For Yeast Breads - Maximizing Nutritional Value

2 STAGE PROCESS FOR YEAST BREADS- Adapting Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe to maximize nutritional value

1. Soak the whole grain flour in liquid. Substitute an acid medium such as buttermilk, yogurt, or other cultured milk such as kefir or whey for the water called for in Marilyn's Bread Recipe depending on which version you are making. (Hand, Large Mixer, or Zo method.) Lemon Juice or Vinegar may be added -- 1 TB per cup water as an alternative "acid" ingredient. Use 6 Cups flour for hand method, 14 Cups flour for Large Mixer method. As little as 7 hours soaking time will neutralize a large portion of the phytic acid in grains. 12-to 24 hours is even better with 24 hours yielding the best results.

However, be flexible, soak the flour as long as you have time for so that this process fits into your routine smoothly, any soaking time improves texture, nutrition, and flavor. Just mix the liquid and water long enough to moisten the flour before the soaking time begins. This is a little bit like "sponging" but no yeast is used or any other ingredients. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out or cover the bowl with a damp cloth.

2. After the liquid and flour has soaked overnight or 12 hours, blend in a glass or plastic liquid measuring cup:

1/4 cup-1/2 C. warm water
Saf yeast called for in recipe (Conventional yeasts may be substituted)
1 tsp. honey

If using Saf yeast, the proofing time is not needed, otherwise allow this yeast mixture to stand 5-10 minutes to proof the yeast.

3. Thoroughly whisk together the oil, honey, and salt ingredients called for in your recipe in a 1 or 2 cup liquid measuring cup and work it into the dough with the yeast mixture until they are well blended.

4. Knead the dough as normal adding unbleached bread flour or additional whole grain flour as needed so that the dough is easily handled and knead the bread until the gluten is developed. For whole wheat bread it takes about 8 minutes kneading time in a Bosch, or 10-12 minutes of vigorous hand kneading or about 600-800 strokes.

5. Be sure to add as little flour as needed to keep the dough moist but not sticky or from becoming too stiff (a signal too much flour has been added). Knead the bread until it becomes smooth and elastic, and resistant to kneading action. Check to see if the gluten is fully developed.

6. Complete the recipe according to Marilyn's famous recipe instructions for the particular version you are making*. Allow the dough to rise once in a greased bowl, and once in the bread pans.** Be prepared that the rising time will take longer because the dough is lower in temperature from sitting at room temperature. (Ideal rising tempterature is 85 degrees.)

7. Allow the bread to double in pans; bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the loaf is well browned, top, sides, and bottom of the loaf.

* When adapting other bread recipes, complete the instructions according to the cookbook instructions for the particular recipe .

**If using conventional yeasts OTHER than Saf Yeast, Sue Gregg suggests two raisings of the dough in the bowl before shaping, raising and baking the final product.

For more information, contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323.

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2 Stage Process for Zojirushi and other Automatic Bread Machines

2 Stage Process for the Zojirushi Machine - 1.5 lb loaf

I have had several complaints lately about the 2 lb loaf recipe for the 2 stage process for the Zojirushi Machine being too big, and the top of the machine getting covered with dough and the results were very messy to clean.

So I proposed to one customer how to scale back the recipe warning him that this suggestion was untested. Here is his reply after testing the recipe twice, the second time making one adjustment.

"Just finished trying your suggested changes and would like to report an unqualified success. The loaf rose two inches over the top edge of the Zo pan with a light, perfect crust. Many thanks for your help." E Wintegart

Here is the scaled back recipe:

1. First, you must use the homemade program. (ed note: If your bread machine is programmable, you can adapt her method to your machine.) The following is the procedure that I use:"

1 1/3 cup water Plus 2 TB vinegar, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, or whey
3 1/3 cups of
fresh whole wheat flour

Set program as follows:

Preheat: Off.
Knead 1: 3min.
All other settings off.

2. Unplug the machine, place plastic wrap over top of the bread machine pan. Leave soaking flour mixture in the bread machine pan.
Soak the flour mixture 12-24 hours, remove the plastic wrap

3. Heat the butter and honey together in a measuring cup to warm and then add to the soaked flour mixture:

2 TB honey
1 /12 tsp
Salt
3 TB
Vital Gluten
2 TBSP butter or oil
1 1/2 tsp
Saf Yeast

4. Plug in Zojirushi machine, use the light crust setting and the following setting on the homemade feature:

Preheat-30 min.(you need every bit of this preheat cycle to warm the cooled dough to promote yeast activity)
Knead 1: 24min.
Rise 1: 45 min.
Rise 2: 1 hour 25 min.
Rise 3: Off
Bake: 1 hour 10 min ( If I bake any less it is gummy.

E. Wintegart tip: I set the "home menu" setting to 2 And 3. The "2" was the first day program and the "3" setting was for the second day, after the 24 hours.

2 Stage Process for the Zojirushi Machine - 2 lb Loaf
by Lisa Burchel

Dear Marilyn:

"I wanted to let you know that after much failure, over the Summer I finally have a recipe for
my
Zojirushi Automatic bread machine using the two stage process. I have had my Zo for over 5 years and had great success. Now this 2 step process has come in and I was thrown for a loop. This perfected recipe and method works. Here is what I do:

1. First, you must use the homemade program. (ed note: If your bread machine is programmable, you can adapt her method to your machine.) The following is the procedure that I use:"

1 7/8 cup of water PLUS 2 TB vinegar
5 cups of freshly milled flour

Set program as follows:

Preheat: Off.
Knead 1: 3min.
All other settings off.

2. Unplug the machine, place plastic wrap over top of the bread machine pan. Leave soaking flour mixture in the bread machine pan.
Soak the flour mixture 12-24 hours, remove the plastic wrap

3. Heat the butter and honey together in a measuring cup to warm and then add to the soaked flour mixture:

3 TB honey
2 tsp salt
4 TB vital gluten
2 TBSP butter or oil
2 tsp SAF yeast

4. Plug in Zojirushi machine and use the following setting on the homemade feature:

Preheat-30 min.(you need every bit of this preheat cycle to warm the cooled dough to promote yeast activity)
Knead 1: 24min.
Rise 1: 45 min.
Rise 2: 1 hour 25 min.
Rise 3: Off
Bake: 1 hour 10 min ( If I bake any less it is gummy.

Hope this helps. I have had myZojirushi for over 5 years and had great success. Now this 2 step process has come in and I was thrown for a loop. This recipe works.

Thanks,


Lisa Burchel

Ed Note: THANKS Lisa for taking the time to perfect the 2 Stage Process for all the automatic bread machine enthusiasts!

7-Grain Bread

Hand Method Large Mixer Method

Use the smaller amounts for Hand Method and larger amounts for Large Mixer Method:


1/3 C. honey / 2/3 C. honey
1/3 C. oil / 2/3 C. oil
2 1/2 C. warm water / 6 C. warm water
11/2 TB Saf Instant yeast / 3 TB Saf Instant yeast
4 tsp. salt / 11/2 to 2 TB salt
5-7 C. fresh whole wheat flour * / 14-16 C. fresh whole wheat flour *
1TB dough enhancer / 2 TB dough enhancer
1 C. Bread Flour / 2 C. Bread Flour
1 C. 7-Grain Cracked / 2 C. 7-Grain Cracked
2 tsp sesame seeds (opt.) / 1 TB sesame seeds (opt.)
2 tsp. flax seeds (opt.) / 1 TB flax seeds (opt.)
4 TB sunflower seeds (opt.) / 2/3 C. sunflower seeds (opt.)

Combine the honey, oil, warm water, yeast, dough enhancer, 7-Grain Cracked, Bread Flour, and 2 Cups of the whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and 4-5 C. (14 to 18 C. if using a large mixer) additional flour until the dough is stiff and cleans the sides of the mixing bowl. Knead the bread by hand 7-10 minutes or until it is very smooth, elastic and small bubbles or blisters appear beneath the surface of the dough. In a large mixer, 5-6 minutes of kneading on speed #1 should be sufficient to develop the gluten if you are using fresh flour. If you are kneading by hand, be sure to add the minimum amount of flour to keep the dough soft and pliable.

Form the dough into 2 loaves if using the hand method or 5-6 loaves if using the large mixer method. Allow to rise in a slightly warmed oven or other warm place until doubled in size (about 30-60 minutes). Bake loaves for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. (Oven temperatures vary) Bread is cooked through when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom and the top and sides of the loaves are a golden browned color.

* If you are unable to use fresh whole wheat flour, use equal amounts of store bought whole wheat and bread flour.

Reprint Permission Granted with the following information:

Copyright The Urban Homemaker 2004, "old fashioned skills for contemporary people".

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Black Russian Rye Bread


(This recipe can be doubled for large mixers)
This is my husband's favorite bread!

Mixer or Hand Method
2 tablespoons SAF yeast
2-1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup molasses
4 1/2 tablespoons cocoa or carob
1/4 cup butter or oil
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons instant coffee (opt)
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
4 tablespoons crushed caraway seed
1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seed
4 cups rye flour
4-5 cups fresh whole wheat flour
Cornmeal
1/2 cup cold water
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Combine the warm water, yeast, coffee, dehydrated onion, caraway seed, and fennel seed and 2 Cups of fresh whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl. Allow to sponge for 15 minutes. In a small saucepan, or microwave safe bowl, combine vinegar, molasses, cocoa or carob powder, salt, butter or oil , Heat to lukewarm. Add the warmed mixture into yeast mixture. Add rye flour, and mix or stir. Gradually add most of the whole wheat flour until the dough begins to clean the sides of the mixing bowl. Do not allow the dough to get too stiff (too dry)

Knead 8-12 minutes, adding flour as needed, or until the gluten is developed. It is a common mistake for the beginning bakers to add too much flour. Lightly grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Divide dough into two portions, and form into spherical shaped balls. Place on each end of the baking sheet. Cover with a damp towel, and let rise until double. (Do not put free-formed, round loaves in a warmed oven to rise, they will flatten.)

Bake in a 350 oven for 45 to 50 minutes. While bread is baking, combine 1/2 cup cold water and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Cook until thickened. Remove bread from oven, brush with cornstarch mixture, and return to oven for an additional 2 to 3 minutes to set the glaze. Remove from baking sheet, and place loaves on cooling rack to cool. Makes 2 loaves. Delicious with cream cheese on it.

NOTE: For a lighter bread, decrease rye flour and increase wheat flour, or use 3 cups bread flour and 2 cups whole wheat flour instead of the 4 to 5 cups whole wheat flour .


For more great whole grain bread recipes, tips, and information, please subscribe to From The Heart of the Urban Homemaker, it's free!

To maximize nutritional value of whole grain breads and adapt this receipe to the 2 Stage Process click here.

Bosch Bread Making - Step by Step

Untitled Document

This demonstration shows Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread being made in the Bosch Universal with the 2 Stage Process which means most of the flour has been
added and soaked in the liquid for at least 12 hours. This 2 Stage Process is optional and I recommend it only for experienced bakers.

If you scroll down a bit, you will see how I divide up the dough, shape the loaves, raise the bread in the bread pans, bake the bread, and a finished slice. My bread doesn't always come out as well as these pictures. I have learning experiences t oo!

This bread contains sunflower seeds for a "nuttier" variation to my basic recipe.

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Dough is soaking in Bosch with about
six cups water and 1/2 Cup kefir and
about 12 cups of whole wheat flour.

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Lump of Dough - My Bosch recipe
makes about 10 lbs of bread dough

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Dough is Divided into Five Equal Parts.
I make 4 loaves and one batch of cinnamon rolls

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Bread is shaped into pans. The bread dough
only fills about 1/2-2/3 of the 8" bread pan.
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Bread is Ready to Bake when it has doubled
or comes to the top or just above the top of
the bread pan.
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Completed Loaf. It is browned top, sides, and bottom.
Your loaf will look different depending on what size bread pan
you use, and the amount of dough you put into each pan.
Bread is also done when it reads 190 on an Instant Thermometer.

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Slice of bread - The bread has even texture.
Coarse bread has been raised too long.

 

 

Cinnamon Rolls - Illustrated with Step by Step instructions

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Using about 1 to 1 1/2 lbs leftover bread dough or
sweet roll dough, roll out a rectangular piece of Dough
approximately 12 " X 18".  The dough pictured is Marilyn's Famous
whole wheat bread dough
with sunflower
seeds in it, that is why it looks bumpy.

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Spread the dough with 2 TB melted butter
close to but not all the way to the edge
of the rectangle. Then sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar
mixture. Use about 2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 Cup
brown sugar or Sucanat.

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Roll up the dough along the 18" or long side for smaller
rolls with lots of layers. Or roll it along the short side for
bigger rolls and fewer layers. This example is rolled
along the 18" side.

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Seal the seam by pinching along the edge

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Cut 3/4 Inch Cinnamon rolls with an 18" piece
of dental floss and place in a greased baking pan.

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Fill Pan - space rolls 1" apart.  Allow to raise until doubled in size-
30-60 minutes.

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Bake the rolls until they are browned. Frost the rolls
with confectioner's frosting while warm, if desired.(The
frosting step is not pictured.



Cracked Grain Rolls

These whole grain rolls are outstanding served for company meals and/or with hearty winter soups and stews.

2 cups hot water
2 cups Seed Mix (see below)
1/2 cup butter, softened
6 to 7 cups whole wheat flour OR 5 cups whole wheat flour and 1 to 2 cups bread flour
2tablespoons SAF yeast
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
2 cups water
1/3 cup honey
3 eggs
1tablespoon salt


Seed Mix - Makes 2 cups

3/4 cup whole wheat, coarsly cracked
3/4 cup rye, coarsly cracked
2tablespoons flax seed
2tablespoons sesame seed
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, slightly cracked

Coarsly crack wheat and rye separately in hand mill or blender. Use high speed for about 45 to 60 seconds in blender. Be certain no whole kernels remain. Combine all "Seed Mix" ingredients and cook as directed below.

Bring hot water to a boil. Add Seed Mix, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add butter, and set aside. Mix 3 cups flour, yeast, and dry milk in mixer bowl using kneading arm. (A large mixing bowl and heavy duty wooden spoon can be substituted for an electric mixer.) Mix well. Add water and honey to seed mixture. (Mixture should now be comfortably warm, approximately 120 .) Add this mixture to ingredients in mixer and mix about 1 minute. Turn off mixer, cover bowl, and let dough sponge 10 minutes. Add eggs and salt. Turn on mixer. Add remainder of flour, 1 cup at a time, just until dough begins to make a ball and clean the sides of the bowl. Knead 5 to 6 minutes. Dough should be pliable, smooth and elastic, but not sticky.

Lightly oil hands. Shape dough into balls using about 1/4 cup dough for each. Place quite close together, but not touching, on baking sheets. Let rise until double. Bake at 350 for 18 to 22 minutes. Yields 4 to 5 dozen large rolls. Put extra rolls in freezer. Recipe may be halved.


Ezekiel's Bread

Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them together in a container and make them into bread for yourself. Ezekiel 4:9

This bread dries out quickly and therefore tastes best when fresh. If you want the bread to last longer, use 1/3 Cup honey, and additional flour as needed, although this modification is not as authentic it does promote shelf life.

Preparation Tip: This recipe calls for sprouted wheat. Use 1 cup whole wheat or spelt kernels to make 2 cups sprouts, using Method #l at this link.

Amount: 2 Medium Loaves

Bake: 350 - 35-45 minutes

1. Dissolve yeast with honey in water in a glass measuring cup;
let stand 5-10 minutes until bubles up:

1/4 Cup lukewarm water
1 tsp. honey
1 1/2 TB SAF yeast

2. Blend together in blender until sprouts are well pulverized:

2 Cups hot water (water from soaking grain can be used)
2 Cups moist wheat or spelt sprouts

3. Blend together in mixing bowl

1/4 Cup olive oil or melted unslated butter
1/3 Cup honey
1/4 tsp. vitamin C crystals or dough enhancer
2 tsp. salt

4. Blend flours together in separate bowl; add half to the moist ingredients:

1 1/2 cups barley flour
3/4 cup lentil flour
3/4 cup millet flour
3/4 cup soy flour, toasted
3 cups whole wheat flour or 3 1/2-3 3/4 cups spelt flour

5. Blend in proofed yeast and remaining flour.

6. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding1/2 cup or more whole wheat or spelt flour until dough in bread kneader clears sides of bowl or as needed to prevent sticking while hand kneading.

7. Divide dough, shape, let rise, bake, and cool as for regular bread recipes. Brush loaves with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds before baking, if desired.

This recipe is adapted from Sue Gregg's Yeast Breads Book used by permission. Copyright The Urban Homemaker.

According to Sue Gregg, Ezekiel's Bread is providing complete protein, high fiber, and vitamins and minerals for the body. Ezekiel's bread bears a message concerning the need for spiritual renewal. God calls for justice and righteousness among his people. It is also a reminder that God has made complete provision for all our needs, calling us to praise and worship him.

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If you haven't tried my blue ribbon winning Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, here is the link to the recipe.

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Fantastic Whole Wheat Rolls

For a step by step tutorial with pictures, please CLICK HERE.

These wonderful rolls will be a hit for everyday or special occasions. Halve the recipe for a small batch.

2 1/2 Cups warm water
1/2 Cup honey
1/2 Cup dry powdered milk
2 TB yeast
2 eggs
6-8 cups whole wheat flour*
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Cup oil
1/2 Cup vital gluten
2 TB dough enhancer (optional)
melted butter

Combine warm water, honey, powdered milk, and yeast in mixing bowl. Allow yeast to activate. Add eggs and 3 Cups flour. Stir until thoroughly mixed; dough will resemble cake batter. Let rest until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Add salt, oil, and remaining flour. Knead for 6-10 minutesor until gluten is developed or dough is soft and pliable. Pour out onto a lightly greased surface. Grease baking sheets. Pinch off 2-inch round portions, and roll out to an 8-inch rope. Tie rope in a single knot. Place in rows on baking sheets, cover, and let rise until double. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter if desired, and remove to a cooling rack. Makes 2-3 dozen.

Multi-grain variation: Substitute 1 cup of 7-Grain Mix, cracked OR 1 Cup cracked wheat for one cup of the whole wheat flour.

* IF you do not have high quality fresh home milled whole wheat flour I would recommend that you use half bread flour in order to avoid heavy, dense rolls.

For more information, write to me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call me at 1-800-552-7323.


French or Italian Bread

This recipe is very basic, simple and delicious main meal accompaniment.  Double this recipe for large families!


2 1/2 C. warm water
2 TB Saf Yeast
1 TB honey
2 tsp salt
2 TB oil
3 C. fresh whole wheat flour
3 Cups Bread Flour or Unbleached flour

Mix all the ingredients except the bread flour for one minute. Then add 2-3 cups of the bread flour (this is a higher protein refined flour; all-purpose flour may be substituted for the bread flour) until the mixture cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead for 6-10 minutes or until the gluten is fully developed. Allow the dough to rise 15-30 minutes in a covered bowl.

To shape the loaves: Divide the dough into two and roll each portion into a 12X15" rectangle. Roll up tightly along the long side. Pinch the edges to seal. Place on a greased cookie sheet or French Bread pans sprinkled with cornmeal. When dough doubles in size, slash the top with a serrated knife 1/4" deep every 2-3 inches. Beat one egg white with water until foamy. Use a pastry brush to coat top and sides of loaves with egg mix. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 375�F about 25-30 Minutes or until brown.

To shape bread bowls: Use 1 to 1-1/2 cups dough per "bowl". Place dough shaped bowls onto greased cookie sheet which has been sprinkled with 2 TB yellow cornmeal or semolina flour. Bake at 375�F for 25-30 minutes or until a deep golden brown color has been achieved. Either French Bread or bread bowls can be baked on a pre-heated pizza stone for a more crispy crust. Use bread bowls as a fun way to serve chili or hearty soups & stews. You can eat the dish afterwards!

For more information email me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323 or go to www.urbanhomemaker.com.

German Stollen

German Stollen

3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruits and peels
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup rum (optional)
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 TB SAF
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup chopped blanched almonds
Confectioners' Icing

Soak raisins, mixed fruits, and currants in 1/4 C. water (or rum). In large mixer bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast. Heat milk, butter, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt til warm (115-120°F), stirring constantly to melt butter. Add to dry mixture; add eggs, almond extract, and peels.
Mix thoroughly by hand or the dough hook of a heavy duty mixer. Stir in fruit-rum mixture, nuts, and enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on floured surface til smooth (8-10 minutes), or in a mixer until the gluten is developed. Shape into ball. Place in greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise til double (about 1 1/4 hours). Punch down; divide in half.

Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Roll each half to 10X7-inch oval. Fold long side of oval over to within 1/2 inch of opposite side; seal edge. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover, let rise until double (about 45 minutes).( Breads made with lots of nuts and fruits will not rise as high as regular breads.) Bake at 375°F til done, about 15 to 20 minutes. While warm, glaze with Confectioners' Icing. Garnish with candied fruits, if desired. Makes 2 coffee cakes.

Confectioners' Sugar Icing: In small bowl, combine 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 to 3 tablespoons milk. Beat until smooth.

 


HOT CROSS BUNS

Remember the children's nursery rhyme that goes as follows?

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns were sold in the street to the cry of "Hot cross buns!" around the period in English history dating back to the seventeenth and eighteenth century.

A hot cross bun is a type of sweet spiced bun made with currants and leavened with yeast. It has a cross on the top which might be made in a variety of ways. Using confectioner's frosting, is the most common way.

According to one source, hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of Christ and the resurrection. Have fun with the children and enjoy the process of being together in the kitchen. Here's my recipe for the buns:

Hot Cross Buns

2/3 cup dried currants
3-1/2 to 4 cups whole wheat flour (or half bread flour and half whole wheat
2 TB yeast
1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/3 cup sugar or honey
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 slightly beaten egg white

Frosting (recipe follows)

Cover currants with very hot water. Let stand about 10 minutes or up to one hour at room temperature. Drain well. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups flour, yeast, and cinnamon. Heat milk, oil, sugar or honey, and salt until warm (115 to 120�). Add to the dry mixture. Allow to sponge for about 15 minutes if time allows. Add eggs, one at a time. By hand or mixer, stir in currants and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead until the gluten is developed by mixer or on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6-10 minutes.

Shape into ball. Place in greased bowl. Turn once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours. Punch down. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Divide into 18 pieces. Form smooth balls. Place on greased baking sheet 1-1/2 inches apart. Cover; let rise until double, 30 to 45 minutes. Cut shallow cross in each. Brush tops with egg white. Bake in preheated 375� oven 12 -15 minutes. Remove from baking sheet. Use confectioner's Frosting to make a "cross" on the bun.

Confectioner's Frosting:

2 TB milk
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine these ingredients together and add milk or water as needed to get a good pouring consistency for the frosting. Place the frosting in a small zip-lock sandwich baggie, clip the corner and use the baggie to squeeze the frosting over the cooled buns in a cross shape. Small children will enjoy this process even if it gets a little messy!

More Easter Themed Activities:

1. To learn to dye Easter eggs with natural colors, CLICK HERE.

2. Another fun Resurrection project is Resurrection Cookies.

A Beginner's Guide  to Baking Bread  ebook by Marilyn Moll offers step-by-step instructions for getting started with baking yeast breads.

Click Here to purchase this instantly downloadable ebook for $9.95.

Learn how to:

* How to Select Ingredients
* Selecting a Grain Mill
* Selecting A Mixer

* Step-by-Step Mixing Instructions
* How to Develop the Gluten

* Tips for the Best Bread
* Lots of Bread and Roll Recipes
* Troubleshooting Guide
* The Two-Stage Process

 Item #6059    $9.95

Click Here to purchase this ebook for $9.95.


Multi - Grain Bread

This hearty bread is delicious! Don't be afraid to try it. If you don't have all the seeds and grains just omit them and use additional whole wheat flour. This recipe is for an automatic bread machine and lists the order in which to add the ingredients.

If you want to make this recipe by hand kneading, just double the amounts listed. For the large mixer method, multiply the amounts by four and mix as you would for Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Zojirushi Method
1-1/4 cups warm water
1/3 cup cracked 7-grain blend
2 TB sunflower seeds
1 TB millet
1 TB flax seeds
1 TB sesame seeds
1 TB amaranth grain
1/4 cup vital gluten
2 TB oil
2 TB honey
1-1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dough enhancer
2 tsp. yeast
2-1/2 to 3 cups whole wheat flour

To download my free ecookbook Fast and Health Recipe for Busy Homeschooling Moms, click on this link.

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If you haven't tried my blue ribbon winning Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, here is the link to the recipe.

Complimentary copies of our 64 page catalog of products for homemakers is available here.

Overcoming Gluten Intolerance by Marilyn Moll


Overcoming Gluten Intolerance -
The Two-Stage Process - Does it make a difference and why?
             
The two-stage process is a term coined by Sue Gregg, author of Sue Gregg Cookbooks, for a method of preparing yeast breads in which the grain or flour is soaked, sprouted, or fermented, for a period of time, prior to kneading the dough, in order to maximize the nutritional value of whole grain bread.

Soaking, sprouting, or fermenting the flour or grain are methods used traditionally by our ancestors for preparing grains, porridges, or breads.  These slower, more gentle methods contrast sharply with modern factory and commercial baking techniques.  Only recently has research documented the chemical changes that occur using these slower methods and the corresponding health benefits.

According to Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig, in their book Nourishing Traditions, enzyme inhibitors, tannins, complex sugars, difficult to digest proteins, “anti-nutrients” (substances which put a strain on our digestive system and pancreas), and other factors in whole grains contribute to a variety of digestive disorders.  It has been hypothesized that improperly prepared whole grains, consumed for a long period of time, may contribute to increasing incidences of gluten intolerance, grain allergies, celiac  disease, chronic indigestion, mineral deficiencies, and bone loss.

The slow process of soaking flour or whole grains in an acidic environment neutralizes phytic acid, which is contained in the bran, and which blocks absorption of minerals, and significantly boosts the availability of vitamin and mineral content to the body.  The authors  point out that “Tannins, complex sugars, gluten and other difficult-to-digest substances are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.” during the soaking, sprouting, or fermenting process.
In addition, Fallon and Enig write in Nourishing Traditions: 

“Our ancestors, and virtually all pre-industrialized peoples, soaked or fermented their grains before making them into porridge, breads, cakes and casseroles. A quick review of grain recipes from around the world will prove our point: In India, rice and lentils are fermented for at least two days before they are prepared as idli and dosas; in Africa the natives soak coarsely ground corn overnight before adding it to soups and stews and they ferment corn or millet for several days to produce a sour porridge called ogi; a similar dish made from oats was traditional among the Welsh; in some Oriental and Latin American countries rice receives a long fermentation before it is prepared; Ethiopians make their distinctive injera bread by fermenting a grain called teff for several days; Mexican corn cakes, called pozol, are fermented for several days and for as long as two weeks in banana leaves; before the introduction of commercial brewers yeast, Europeans made slow-rise breads from fermented starters; in America the pioneers were famous for their sourdough breads, pancakes and biscuits; and throughout Europe grains were soaked overnight, and for as long as several days, in water or soured milk before they were cooked and served as porridge or gruel.” (Many of our senior citizens may remember that in earlier times the instructions on the oatmeal box called for an overnight soaking.)” (pg. 452)
My bread recipes do not reflect the two-stage process, because  I encourage beginning bakers to master the basics of yeast bread making before undertaking this soaking, sprouting, or fermenting method.

 Although I had started making fermented bread with a wild-caught sour dough starter several years ago (one of the methods mentioned in Nourishing Traditions, I found the very slow rising time resulted in very sour bread and the very long raising time was often not compatible with my busy schedule.  Sue Gregg introduced me to the Two-Stage Process which I find works well with my schedule; in fact, I would consider this method somewhat of a convenience. 
Bread that has been made using the two-stage process is moister for longer periods of time, and stales very slowly. 

  TWO-STAGE PROCESS FOR YEAST BREADS
Adapting Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread -Recipe to maximize nutritional value
 
1. Soak the whole grain flour in liquid.  Using 1 tbsp. of an “acid” medium such as kefir, yogurt, buttermilk or whey for each cup of water called for in Marilyn's Bread Recipe.  For example, if a recipe calls for 6 cups water, use 6 tbsp. kefir, yogurt or buttermilk along with the water.  You can substitute  lemon juice or vinegar instead if you suspect dairy intolerance. 
Add the honey and oil called for in the recipe along with enough flour to make a thick batter.  Mix the liquid and flour ingredients only until moistened and then begin the “soaking”  time.  For the hand method, use about 5- 6 cups whole grain flour.  Use 11-12 cups flour for the Large Mixer method.
Twelve to twenty-four hours or more soaking time will yield the best results.  The longer you soak the flour the more sour dough-like taste it will have.  However, be flexible, soak the flour as long as you have time for so that this process fits into your routine smoothly; any soaking time improves texture, nutrition, and flavor.  Just mix the liquid and water long enough to moisten the flour before the soaking time begins.  This is a little bit like "sponging" however no yeast is used.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out.

 2. After the liquid, honey, oil, and flour has soaked, blend the following in a liquid measuring cup and allow to proof for 10 minutes:
1/4 cup-1/2 cup warm water
SAF yeast called for in the recipe (conventional yeasts may be substituted)
1 tsp. honey or sugar
 
3. Work the yeast mixture into the dough along with enough flour until the dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl. 
 
4. Be sure to add the salt, and enough unbleached bread flour or additional whole grain flour as needed so that the dough is easily handled and knead the bread until the gluten is developed. For whole wheat bread it takes about 8 minutes kneading time in a Bosch mixer, or 10-12 minutes of vigorous hand kneading (about 600-800 strokes).
 
5. Be sure to add as little flour as needed to keep the dough moist but not sticky or from becoming too stiff (a sign that too much flour has been added).  Knead the bread until it becomes smooth and elastic, and resistant to the kneading action. Check to see if the gluten is fully developed.
 
6. Complete the recipe according to Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread recipe instructions for the particular version you are making.  Allow the dough to rise once in a greased bowl, and once in the bread pans.   Be prepared that the rising time will take longer because the dough is lower in temperature from sitting at room temperature. (Ideal rising temperature is 85 degrees.)
 
7. Allow the bread to double in pans; bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes or until the loaf is well browned on the top, sides, and bottom.
This two-stage procedure can be used with any yeast bread recipe.  
 
Conclusion
When you have learned to use a variety of whole grains in your diet, and your family has accepted this change, then you might want to consider moving on to the new step of adapting your recipes to   the two-stage process. 
Sue Gregg writes, “I suggest that occasional consumption of whole grains that are not processed by one of the three two-stage methods (soaking, fermenting, sprouting) is not likely detrimental to health and may contribute a plus, while those that are properly processed as the main dietary choice will be greatly beneficial to health."
Pg. 14 - An Introduction To Whole Grain Baking

Learning to prepare breads and grain products with slower methods may seem daunting or a bit intimidating or even overwhelming to a beginning baker just becoming acquainted with whole grains.  If so, put this  two-stage process information on a shelf, and come back to it when you are ready. 

PECAN CINNAMON STICKY BUNS

MARILYN'S FAMOUS PECAN STICKY CINNAMON BUNS

If you would like to have hot-out-of-the-oven rolls without getting up at 4:00 a.m., prepare the rolls a day ahead. Place the shaped rolls on the maple glaze and raise them overnight in the refrigerator (instead of a warm place), keeping them carefully covered with plastic wrap. In the morning, the dough should have doubled and be ready to bake. Voila! Fresh bread in minutes and you didn't even get up at 4:00 a.m. to do it! This recipe is extra delicious and healthy as it contains maple syrup and honey for sweetening instead of sugar . A fabulous gift to a new mom or new neighbors, or just for being friends.

2 cups warm water (120F)
2TB SAF Yeast
1/2 cup dry milk powder
1/2 cup oil or butter
1/3 cup honey
3 large eggs
1 TB Salt
6-8 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup Vital Gluten

Caramel Topping:
1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 cup maple syrup
1-1/2 cup chopped or whole pecans

Cinnamon Roll Mixture:


1 cup SUCANAT (unrefined sugar found in health food stores) or brown sugar
1 TB + 1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted

Combine yeast, dry milk powder, vital gluten, and flour in a large mixer bowl. Add water, oil, and honey. Mix well for 1-2 minutes. Turn off mixer, cover the bowl and let dough sponge for 10-15 minutes. Add eggs and salt. Turn on the mixer; add additional flour, one cup at a time, until the dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl. Knead for only 5 minutes and keep the dough very soft and manageable. (Stiff dough will produce heavy, dry rolls.) If the dough becomes stiff while kneading, drizzle additional water as you knead. To prepare sticky buns, melt butter and syrup and add the pecans. Divide this mixture evenly into the bottom of two - 9x13 baking pans. Divide the bread dough into two equal portions. Roll into a 20x28 inch rectangle. Spread 2 TB of melted butter over the rectangle of dough. Sprinkle with half the SUCANAT/cinnamon mixture. Roll up into a "jelly roll", seal the seam, and cut into 1-1 1/2 inch thick pieces with dental floss. This will yield 12-15 rolls. Place the rolls into the prepared pans. Repeat this process with the remaining dough. Let the rolls raise in a warm area until doubled (approximately 30-60 minutes). Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or till well-browned. Remove from the oven and let stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn out of the pan to cool onto a rack placed over a jelly roll pan (to catch the drippings and simplify cleanup). ENJOY!

To download my free ecookbook Fast and Health Recipe for Busy Homeschooling Moms, click on this link.

To receive my free newsletter ON MY HEART which is published twice a month with information, product updates and reviews, delicious recipes and much more in the spirit of Titus Two, click here.

If you haven't tried my blue ribbon winning Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, here is the link to the recipe.

Complimentary copies of our 64 page catalog of products for homemakers is available here.

Poppy Seed Roll

Poppy Seed Roll
Makes 2 rolls

5 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 TB SAF yeast
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup water
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
Poppy Seed or Honey Nut filling (recipes follow)
Additional ground nuts or poppy seed, optional
Confectioners' Sugar Frosting, optional (recipe follows)

In large bowl, mix 2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, lemon peel and salt. Heat milk, butter and water until hot to touch (125 to 130°F). Butter does not need to melt. Gradually add to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or using a dough hooks, and then stir in enough additional flour to make stiff dough. Knead by mixer or by hand on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise until doubled in size, about 75 minutes.

Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll each half to 10X15-inch rectangle. Top each with 1/2 poppy or nut filling, spreading to within 1/2-inch of edges. Roll up from long end as for jelly roll. Pinch seam and ends to seal. Place loaves on greased baking sheets. If desired, curve ends to make a horseshoe. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until risen slightly, 30 to 45 minutes.

Brush loaves with beaten egg. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until done. Remove from baking sheets. Cool on wire racks. If desired, frost with confectioners' sugar frosting and garnish with additional ground nuts or poppy seed.

Poppy Seed Filling: Combine 3/4 cup poppy seed, 1/4 cup milk, 1 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel in saucepan. Cover over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils (about 5 minutes); cool. Filling will thicken on standing. Increase baking time to 45 minutes; if necessary, cover with foil to prevent excess browning.

Honey Nut Filling: In small bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups ground walnuts, 1/2 cup honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Blend well.

Confectioners' Sugar Icing: In small bowl, combine 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 to 3 tablespoons milk. Beat until smooth.

Sourdough Starter and Bread Recipes

Sourdough starter is easy to make, and you can make new starter anytime you want to. Acquiring some "famous" starter that has been in the family or among friends for generations or that came out of San Francisco isn't a necessity.

I have found that sour dough is really quite forgiving, and although recipes give basic guidelines for using sour dough starter, you can be quite flexible, and still have great results. Use your starter in any favorite bread recipe, but be patient, it takes longer to rise.

I have particularly enjoyed using my sourdough starter for pancakes, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, and occasionally sandwich breads.

I even took my starter with me when we went camping last summer and had delicious bread baked in the dutch oven using my basic Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe using the hand method. I made the bread in the morning and baked it at dinner time. I used about 1 tsp. of yeast instead of 2 TB.

BASIC SOUR DOUGH STARTER:

Blend in a quart-size non-metal bowl or crock (sourdough reacts with metal) and let stand 5-10 minutes till bubbly:

1. 1/2 cup lukewarm water or potato water (95 -105F)
1 TB SAF dry yeast
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached white flour

2. Blend in additional:
1/2 cup lukewarm water or potato water (95-105)
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached white flour

3. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or cheesecloth; let stand in a corner 2-6 days. Stir down with non-metal spoon as it bubbles up. A day or two longer may be needed if the weather is cool. Top of the refrigerator is usually a warm place.


4. Store the starter in a glass or crock container in the refrigerator, at least 12 hours before using.

5. To use Refrigerated starter: Remove starter from refrigerator, stir down any dark liquid, bring portion to be used to room temperature (always reserve an unused portion for step #6).


6. Replenish the unused starter with equal parts of warm water and flour about 1/2-1 cup of each. Cover loosely and refrigerate. After you have replenished the starter give it at least 24 hours before using it again.

Tips:
Dark liquid rises to the top can be stirred back in, it is not a sign of failed or spoiled starter. If mold appears, remove it. Discard starter only if any pink color is present.

For Best Results:
Use your starter twice weekly, or at minimum every 2 weeks to prevent its becoming too sour. If no used freuently one of the following options can be followed:
1. Freeze it in 1 cup portions.
2. Throw half away and replenish the remainder (see step #6) . Repeat with unsued starter periodically.
3. Discard it and make new starter, if needed.
4. I have found the more often I use the starter the better, but I have not used the starter for months at a time, and it always comes back to life, as long as refrigerated.

To Use Sourdough Starter in Recipes:

Sourdough starter can be used in English muffins, yeast breads, and rolls using these general guidelines.

1. Use 1/2-1 cup starter. Reduce liquid and flour in the recipe by same amount that is in the starter.

2. Replenish leftover sourdough starter and return to refrigerator (step #6, p.36).

3. Several hours or the night before make a sponge by blending the starter with the main liquid used in the recipe (lukewarm water, not hot), and part, or all of the flour to keep the sponge at a batter caonsistency. Let stand several hours or overnight,

4. In the morning blend in remaining ingredients. Active dry yeast can be omitted for a natural leaven bread, or reduce the amount of yeast used in the recipe by 1/3. For example, if the recipe calls for 3 TB yeast, I use 1 TB.

Sourdough starter may be used in any pancake, waffle, biscuit, or muffin recipe.

The above information is adapted from Sue Gregg's Yeast Breads Book.

If you have any additional questions about baking with sourdough, just contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call us at 1-800-552-7323. Free 64 page catalogs of all of our products and much more are available at http://www.urbanhomemaker.com/catalog.

Sprouted Grain - For use with 100% Sprouted Wheat Bread and Ezekiel's Bread

SPROUTED GRAIN METHOD:

Here is the method for making Sprouted Grain for 100% Sprouted Wheat Bread and other recipes. Large amounts of grain can be sprouted ahead, dried, and stored until needed.

SPROUTED GRAIN
Sprouted (or soaked) grain is used in four recipes in
Yeast Breads: 100% Sprouted Wheat Bread, Sprouted Rye-Wheat Bread, Sprouted Oat-Wheat Bread, and Ezekiel's Bread. Sprouted grain can be used in other recipes as well.

Use one of these Methods To Sprout the Grain:

#1 sprouted grain gives the bread a distinct sweet sprouted grain flavor.
#2 Soaked Grain gives the bread a slightly "sourdough" flavor.

Preparation Tips: Part of the grain used in the sprouted bread recipes is used moist and part of it is used dried and milled into flour. Any amount of sprouted or soaked grain to be used dried and milled into flour can be prepared in advance and stored after drying.

For sprouted or soaked grain that is going to be used moist, make no more than will be needed within a day or two (1 cup dry grain= about 2 cups sprouted)

METHOD #1 SPROUTED GRAIN (For a medium Loaf Bread)

To Sprout grain use a Sproutmaster

1. Soak overnight:

4 cups whole wheat kernels
2 quarts water

2. Drain, Saving soaking water to use as hot liquid in bread recipe (refrigerate until needed).

3. Sprout Grain for 1 day only for very short sprouts - 1/16" to 1/8" long; keep grain well drained, but damp, watering it twice.

4. Store 2 cups sprouted grain in refrigerator in tightly covered container until needed (not over a day or two).

5. Thoroughly Dry Out remaining grain. When thoroughly dried, mill into flour (any dried grain not to be used immediately may be stored in tightly covered container in cool place; do not mill into flour until ready to use). Grain may be dried in a dehydrator at low temperatures to preserve nutrients or in a warmed oven.

6. Use moist refrigerated grain and milled flour as directed in specific recipes.

METHOD #2 SOAKED GRAIN (For 1 Medium loaf of bread)

1. Using same amount of grain and water as step #1 above; cover container with loose fitting lid; soak for 3 days at room temperature.

2. Proceed with steps #2, 4-6 of Method #1 above.

The above information comes from p. 64 Yeast Breads by Sue Gregg of Sue Gregg Cookbooks. Used by permission.

To download my free ecookbook Fast and Health Recipe for Busy Homeschooling Moms, click on this link.

To receive my free newsletter ON MY HEART which is published twice a month with information, product updates and reviews, delicious recipes and much more in the spirit of Titus Two, click here.

If you haven't tried my blue ribbon winning Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, here is the link to the recipe.

Complimentary copies of our 64 page catalog of products for homemakers is available here.

WHOLE WHEAT BREAD DOUGH VARIATIONS

WHOLE WHEAT BREAD VARIATIONS

Any basic bread dough can be made into many tasty variations limited only by your imagination. Why not try Marilyn's Whole Wheat Bread recipe for a basic bread dough and fashion it into pizza, cinnamon rolls, bread sticks, onion cheese bread, etc?

WHOLE WHEAT PIZZA
Use approximately one loaf of bread dough(1 1/2 pounds dough) for each pizza crust. If you are not baking the crust on a Pizza Stone, you will be much more successful if you pre-bake the crust for 6-8 minutes, and then cover it with toppings of your choice. Be sure to have all your toppings ready, or wrap and freeze pizza crusts for future meals.

CINNAMON PULL-APARTS
Pinch dough off into walnut size balls. Dip in melted butter and then roll in cinnamon sugar mixture (1T cinnamon to 1/2 C. sugar or sucanat). Place balls in layers, at least two layers or one-half to two thirds full), in a regular loaf pan or bunt pan. Let rise until doubled in bulk, bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

CARAMEL NUT PULL APARTS
Make caramel sauce by melting 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 Cup brown sugar, and 1/2 C. maple syrup in a saucepan, add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans if desired. Pour this mixture into the bottom of a bundt pan or 9X13" baking pan. Place walnuts sized pieces of dough in layers in the pan. Let rise until doubled, bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

MOCK RYE BREAD
For each loaf of bread, cut in 1 T caraway seed and 1 tsp. anise seed.

BREAD STICKS
Roll 1/2 Cup portions of dough into finger-thin ropes and cut to the desired length. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with a desired topping: Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, or powder, Italian Seasonings, sesame seeds, etc. Place the "sticks" onto a lightly greased baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Let rise 10-15 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-18 minutes.

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ONION CHEESE BREAD
For each loaf, knead in 1/4 cup chopped onion (or reconstituted minced onion) and 1/2 C. grated, sharp, cheddar cheese. Proceed with regular rising and baking.

CINNAMON-RAISIN BREAD
Knead in 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans plus 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.

GARLIC-HERB PARMESAN BREAD
For each loaf, add 1/3 cup parmesan cheese and 1 tsp. garlic powder or more to taste, and 1 tsp. of herb of choice (optional).

JALAPENO-RANCH SHARP CHEESE
Add 1/2 Cup grated sharp cheese, 2 TB ranch salad dressing mix, and 2 chopped fresh jalapeno peppers.

ONION HAMBURGER BUNS:
Add 1 TB onion powder. Roll to slightly less than 1/2 inch thickness and cut with a can about 4 inches diameter. (Cut out both ends for air to escape) If desired, moisten the top of buns and sprinkle with onion flakes before rising. Bake 18-20 minutes at 350.

ONION-DILL
For each loaf, add 2 slightly heaping tablespoons of dried onion flakes (or 1 TB onion powder) and 2 tsp. dill weed.

DRIED TOMATO AND ROSEMARY BREAD
For each loaf, add 3 TB snipped dried tomatoes, 1 tsp. crushed rosemary, and 1/4 tsp. paprika.

CINNAMON ROLLS WITH APPLE FILLING
In a medium mixing bowl, combine 2 C. finely chopped or grated apple, 1/2 C. raisins or dates, 2 T honey or brown sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon or apple pie spice, dash of salt. For each loaf of bread, roll out the dough into a 12 X 18 rectangle, spread the apple mixture over the dough, roll up tightly, seal the roll, and cut rolls into 3/4-1 inch slices with dental floss.

To download my free ecookbook Fast and Health Recipe for Busy Homeschooling Moms, click on this link.

To receive my free newsletter ON MY HEART which is published twice a month with information, product updates and reviews, delicious recipes and much more in the spirit of Titus Two, click here.

If you haven't tried my blue ribbon winning Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, here is the link to the recipe.

Complimentary copies of our 64 page catalog of products for homemakers is available here.

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