It's hot here. The past two days have been 105* with the heat index even hotter. Outside is completely unbearable. I'm to the point where I'd rather have the dog pee on the carpet than take the dog outside for 30 seconds.
I practically roasted yesterday as Little B and I went out to do our trading in Manhattan. School supplies, groceries and the like. We raced through each store like our pants were on fire, which they practically were. I'm sure that sweatiness was the only thing that prevented combustion.
One item on our shopping list was bread. As much as I prefer not to subject myself to the black hole that is Big Box Mart, I needed to search the wall of bread to see if I could find one lousy loaf that did not contain milk products.
How fun do you think that was?
I'd checked things out at the not-so-stressful health food store a while back. Their gluten-free loaves didn't have milk, but it seemed silly to spend $6 on a loaf of bread with 12 silces when wheat doesn't seem to be our problem.
I showed Little B where to look on a label to see if there was milk.
She has definitely added contains, wheat, soy, and milk to her sight word vocabulary.
After checking TONS of labels, we ended up with this...
Manufactured by Sara Lee, it is full of enriched chemicals, day-glo white and smooshy. I have to say that when I read the ingredients, I thought they were less than stellar, despite the lack of moo. I threw the loaf in the cart and proceeded to check out other carbohydrate delights. Luckily for my sanity, I found some 100% whole wheat mini-bagels and sandwich thins that were sans dairy.
Little B hadn't had a sandwich in three weeks. All she wanted for dinner was a PB&J on bread. It was like Christmas. As she chowed down on her refined sammy, I stared at that evil oven. Too many weird ingredients on that bread label, not enough fiber. Watching her eat that bread made me a little uneasy. I hate to even type the words...
I'm going to have to bake my own bread.
Hey - it's only 94* today. The heat index is still under 100, I think. Let's fire that oven up!
1 t. agave nectar (or honey)
1/2 c. warm water
1 packet of yeast
Mix and let sit for 10 minutes or so, then mix in...
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 t. salt
3 T agave nectar (or honey)
2 1/2 T. pure maple syrup
Once mixed well, slowly add...
1/2 c. ground flaxseed
2 T. Vital Wheat Gluten
1 c. soy flour
3-4 c. whole wheat flour
Once it is pulling away from the sides of the bowl, let it rise for 1 hour in a warm spot or preheat your oven as low as it will go (170*), put the dough in and turn the oven off.
After an hour, separate into to loaves, then let rise another hour or so.
NOTE: make sure you have loaf pans before you start. Or you'll have to do this:
I should have just told you I was going for something a little more rustic, but I digress...
After the second hour, bake at 400* for 10-15 minutes, then 350* for about 20 more.
Cathe Freidrich was kicking my butt during this hour...so the details are hazy.
You can use whatever combination of flour you may have and you do not have to use the gluten. Gluten is supposed to help it rise a little more. I also sifted it all together, hoping for more fluffyness.
The result was, like the Rainbo, less than stellar.
Now, this bread is huge - if you are a Princess Tiana Polly Pocket (who happens to be missing an arm).
So my vain attempts at height were as feeble in the world of bread as they are in real life. However, I heard no complaints...
Mr. B even said it tasted like a loaf I bought at the store.
Watch out Earth Grains - I'm coming for you!
(And friends, don't use this bread recipe - not yet, anyway!)