Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bread, and other grain-ish things...

Today was bread-baking day. A bread baker, I am not. At least not yet! Yeast doesn't like me. It doesn't like to grow in my kitchen. The first batch of bread I tried to make was completely dead. Didn't rise a bit! The second batch rose, but not as much as it should, and it took twice as long as it should have. This is the recipe I chose today. I'm looking for *MY* bread recipe--the one I'll keep making over and over because it tastes good and turns out well. 39 people said this recipe was easy and delicious. I don't know...I've just got to make friends with the yeast somehow! It isn't as tall as I'd like, but these loaves do look pretty, and Eric really liked the taste. [I think it needs less salt!]In other food news, we ate our first grass-fed beef tonight. To us, it tasted VERY different from the stuff at the grocery store. More accurately, it HAD a taste. Through our spaghetti sauce you could definitely taste the beef. Or rather, we could taste the GRASS through our beef! I know you think I'm kidding, but I'm not. There was definitely a sort of grassy flavor to the beef. Eric commented that he wasn't sure he liked it. I told him THIS is beef like God created it to taste! Get used to it! LOL! [I really liked the taste.] A pound of grass-fed beef straight from the farmer cost us $4.00. That's not much more than I would pay for a low fat pound of beef at the grocery store.

We ate really poorly over Mother's Day weekend (brownies, ice cream, cake, mexican food, KFC, etc). On Sunday evening the big kids were complaining that their stomachs were bothering them. Only a few weeks in to eating more natural foods they could tell the difference in the response in their tummies. Eric and I could as well--both with very bloated stomachs by Sunday night. So the more natural diet is going well. I just wish it would result in weight loss! So far, that is a no go! Natural foods can be just as fatty! ;-)
Onward and upward!


*Given Much Mom* 6:46 AM  

We, too, are trying to eat (and live) more naturally (and frugally). Good luck and God bless!

Leanne 6:58 AM  

I TOTALLY know what you mean about the difference in taste for the beef - we just got some from my uncle and it has a lot more flavor - it will take some getting used to for sure - but we also said - this is how it is supposed to taste - we'll adjust! :)

Sister Beta 8:57 AM  

Four bucks a pound?!? I am SO JEALOUS!! It's $6 or more here. I keep yeast in the freezer 'til I'm ready to use it, maybe that would help? Yay you for being natural!

The Hullingers 6:40 PM  

You can try this one:

(makes four loaves)
5 c. Hot water
1 c. sugar
3 T. yeast (Costco least expensive--keep in the freezer so it will last longer)
2/3 c. oil (watch for it to go on sale for $2/48 oz.)
2 T. salt (Costco 25lbs. around $3)
3 T. lemon juice (Costco least expensive)
1/3 c. vital wheat gluten (if you don't have it, it will still be great, just not as soft & pliable)
10-12 c. flour (white or wheat)

In a bowl, place hot water, sugar and yeast. Mix and let stand for 5 minutes to grow. Add oil, lemon juice and salt. Slowly mix in flour 1 cup at a time. Once flour is mixed in, knead for 5 minutes (4 min. if white). If the dough is too sticky, add another 1/2 c. until dough is sticky, but manageable. Don't add too much flour. If your dough has too much flour it will be hard and dry. Cover bowl and let rise to the top. Spread a thin layer of shortening or oil on the counter to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. This also helps to keep your dough moist--flour on the counter can make your dough tough. Cut the dough into four equal parts. Put in four loaf pans and push down all sides of the dough into the four corners of the pan equally. This makes your bread cook evenly and not have any high or low parts of the bread that can burn. Put the 4 loaf pans in the oven at 170 degrees. Let the dough rise in the oven until it is the size you would like it to be when you cook it (about 1 inch above the pan). Once the dough has risen, turn the oven to 350 degrees. Don’t take the dough out of the oven when raising the temperature, or open the oven door during this process. Cook until bread is golden brown (around 30 minutes).