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9.25.2011

Addendum re: Baking Bread

Actually, it's not an official addendum yet.  In my constant quest to make life as streamlined as possible, I'm doing an experiment today.  Because start to finish, to date, this is what bread making looks like at my house:
  • Day 1: Grind as much wheat as grinder will hold (about 7 cups of wheat which = about 10-11 cups of flour).  If possible, do this twice, but this requires doing one in the morning and one at night, as the mill needs about that long to cool down between grindings.
  • Day 2:  Mix dough and put in refridgerator.
  • Day 3: Bake.
None of these steps are terribly difficult or work intensive, but this 3 day process means that if we, for example, run out of bread today and I haven't started the three day process then we have to wait 2 days at least before we can have more bread.  To date I've already streamlined the original recipe by moving the pull and fold step to after the long ferment (meaning you have to pull and fold less, as the gluten has had a chance to develop already). 

So, keeping in mind that the long ferment is the most important part of the process so far as taste and improving nutrition via breaking down the phytates, I am trying to streamline the process further without loosing this important element.  A while back, while searching for an easy no knead recipe to send to a friend (I like to give them the easiest recipe first, like the New York Times version, because it's easy and almost always give good results, so it helps them develop confidence) and I stumbled across a 1 day version, which used less yeast and did a long room temp ferment instead of cold ferment.

Keeping that version in mind, I mixed my dough as usual using the sourdough addition and reducing the yeast to only 1 tsp.  Another big change for me- I did it in the morning.  Getting anything done regularly in the morning is a struggle for me (other than chicken chores) as my normal routine in the AM is feed chickens, feed kids and self, then sit on the computer and drink coffee for a while until I actually wake up, THEN I get to work.  But that's an area of my life I've been trying to work on, and between the broilers (who are on a feeding schedule and besides are huge pigs, so I start to feel super guilty if I don't have them fed by 7:30) and Izzy starting school the habit of getting up early and actually getting something done has started to develop.

Anyway- less yeast, mixed the dough in the morning (as per the instructions in this recipe up to the refrigeration part), and left it in the container on the counter.  Then, when I go to make dinner, I will do the pull and fold and shape the loafs.  Around the kids' bedtime it should be ready to go in the oven.

Now if only I could figure out a way to have fresh bread for breakfast that didn't involve me waking up 2 hours before the kids...

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