okay, i skipped week two of meg paska’s fall/winter bread challenge. week two fell smack in the middle of thanksgiving and, since thanksgiving in my family’s house starts with two loaves of white bread, if there’s anything i need less during thanksgiving, it’s more bread.
but i’m back in the saddle again. i started with the basic yeast bread recipe from farmer woob’s vintage copy of james beard’s ‘american cookery,’ but modified it a fair bit. i added a third of a cup each of wheat bran and oat bran and used four and a third cups of white whole wheat flour. added more water than the recipe called for and used the autolyse method – mixing the yeast, water and flour together and letting it rest for 30 minutes before kneading. it allows the flour to absorb the water better and makes for a nicer crumb in the final bread. then i added a bit of salt and kneaded until smooth and ready to rise.
even with the minor inconvenience of the multiple rises and kneading, i love this way of baking bread. i’m going to stick with this recipe for a while, i think. it’s hearty without being too heavy, filled with bran-y goodness, but with a light taste and good crumb. i may increase the amount of flour, though, to make slightly larger loaves. maybe i’ll add sesame seeds to the batch, too – yum!
saturday was quite the homesteading day. in addition to the bread, i put up two heads of cabbage for sauerkraut. which was meant to be a birthday present for my pop (november 24, often falls on thanksgiving) but i’m pretty sure he’ll be happy with a double batch at christmas. man does love his kraut.