DateMay 29, 2010

BLACK PEASANT BREAD

BLACK PEASANT BREAD

2 c. hot water
2 tbsp. grated bitter chocolate
3 tbsp. oil
3 tbsp. caramel
1 tbsp. salt
3 tbsp. molasses
1/4 to 3/4 tsp. cumin seed, crushed
2 tbsp. yeast, dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water with 1/2 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 c. unbleached white flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. dark rye flour
1/3 c. cornmeal
1/3 c. bran

In a large bowl mix together the hot water, chocolate, oil, caramel, salt, molasses and cumin. Add the dissolved and foaming yeast. Beat in 2 cups of white flour for 1 minute, to blend, then 2 minutes to develop the gluten. Mix the whole wheat, rye, cornmeal, and bran together thoroughly and stir in by hand. The dough should be rather stiff. If necessary, add a little more white flour. Turn onto a floured board and knead for 15 minutes. The bread needs a lot of kneading.

Place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise in a warm, draft free place until double in bulk, about an hour. Knead again, for 10 minutes. Divide into two balls and place in 8 inch pie pans that have been greased and dusted with cornmeal. Rise again. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes. After 25 minutes, brush with beaten egg white and return to oven.

CARAMEL:

1 c. sugar
1 tbsp. water

Cook in a heavy skillet over medium heat until it turns black and frothy. Add enough boiling water to make a heavy syrup. It will spatter when you add the water, so watch carefully. The sugar will coagulate into a small ball when the water is added and must be melted over moderate heat until the syrup is smooth and of the right consistency. Cool and use what you need, bottling the rest for the next batch of dark bread. It will keep indefinitely.

WHOLE WHEAT CRACKERS

WHOLE WHEAT CRACKERS

1 cup whole wheat or unbleached flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. softened butter
1/8 tsp. baking soda
ice cold water

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sift together dry ingredients; add butter and work in with your fingers. Add just enough water to make a dough that’s not too sticky. If dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.

Place dough on lightly floured surface and knead until it has a soft, smooth texture.

Roll dough as thinly as possible using a rolling pin. Poke a few holes in the center of the crackers using a fork so that they will not puff up. Cut into 2″ squares and place on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake until crisp and brown. Dough may be flavored with honey, cinnamon, garlic or onion powder, grated cheese (especially Parmesan or crumbled blue cheese), minced onions, minced sunflower seeds, slivered almonds or other nuts, cracked wheat, poppy or sesame seeds! Nuts and seeds add greatly to the nutritional value of these crackers.

BLACK PEPPER CHEESE BREAD

BLACK PEPPER CHEESE BREAD

1/2 tsp. powdered mustard
1/2 tsp. warm water
6 to 6 1/2 c. flour, divided
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. coarse ground black pepper, divided
1 3/4 c. warm milk
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
Milk

Combine mustard and water; set aside or 10 minutes for flavor to develop. Combine 3 cups flour with salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper; set aside.

In bowl of electric mixer place warm milk and yeast; stir until dissolved. Mix in sugar, oil, eggs and reserved mustard mixture. Gradually beat in reserved flour mixture. Increase speed to medium, and beat 2 minutes. Stir in cheese. With wooden spoon, stir in 3 cups flour or enough to make stiff dough.

Turn dough onto floured board knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding more flour if needed.

Place in lightly greased bowl turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down dough; divide into 2 equal pieces. Knead until smooth. Place each piece in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Cover with light damp towel; allow to rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Brush loaves with milk; sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon black pepper. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven until bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped, about 50 to 55 minutes. (Cover tightly with foil after about 30 minutes to prevent excess browning.) Turn out of pans; cool on wire rack. Makes two pound loaves.

Oatmeal Bread

1-1/2 cups warm tap water
* 2 tablespoon margarine
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
* 3-1/2 cups bread flour or all purpose flour
* 2 tablespoon instant nonfat dry milk powder
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1 cup dry oatmeal
* 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Measure the ingredients into the bread pan in the order listed. Make a well in the flour and sprinkle the yeast into it. Set the machine to it’s Basic Cycle. On my machine this lasts for 3 hours. Press Start, and let the machine work it’s magic. Remove the cooked bread from the pan after baking and allow it to cool before slicing.

The top of this bread will sometimes cave in a little during baking. That is all right. The bread still tastes very good. It has a moist, chewy texture which I like with salads. The oats act as a natural preservative, giving this loaf better keeping qualities than plain white bread.