Well, this weekend was full. In part, to some new adventures in an effort to cook more whole and natural foods. We had one large success and one sad catastrophe. Today I will let you in on the bad news.
Thursday evening I began a homemade starter for bread. The convenient active yeast we have all come so accustomed to using is really not that great for us after all....go figure, a new food invention is not all that healthy of an idea. Thus, using primarily the information on Sourdough Home I attempted to make my own whole grain starter. The name implies sourdough, but that is only because this form of starter is most commonly used, these days, in sourdough bread. It can be used in many healthy homemade breads.
I fed my starter, as instructed, every 12 hours until this morning. I was reaching the fourth day and was very pleased with the activity I was seeing in my 'science experiment' (as we called it). For those who are more unfamiliar with this method, you are simply growing your own active and live bacteria with flour and water which after a week should be able to rise your bread. This may sound odd, but it is the way it was done for a loooong time, before active yeast packets came into existence. Back to the growing project: I kept it in the oven, with the light on, overnight as the temp in our house is a little low at night for optimal growth. Can you see where this is going????
Yup, I preheated the oven this morning to make a batch of bread to go with our dinner. With loaf pans in hand, I opened the door to the preheated oven....bummer!!! Plastic wrap and 400 degrees....need I say more? On to our second try. Until then...the batter bread, with good oll yeast in it, was pretty darn good today....
It is a slightly sweeter bread than most other dinner breads, but very yummy.
Batter Bread (adapted from a recipe out of Hot Providence):
1 Large Tbs Yeast
3/4 C Warm Water
1 1/4 C Warm Milk
1/2 C softened butter
1/4 C sugar
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 1/2 C all purpose flour (maybe more)
In warmed mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add all ingredients other than flour and butter. Whisk just slightly until mixed. Add 3 C Flour and butter, mix with dough hook until smooth. Add remaining flour and knead until smooth. This dough is not one that will clean the sides of the bowl completely, but you don't want it extra sticky, either. Cover and let rise about an hour. Punch down. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Tip out onto wire rack to cool. Serve with honey butter (equal parts honey and very soft butter whisked together).