Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Store what you will use, use what you store

Latter Day Saints have been counseled for years to have a food storage. I've made attempts, but never really been very good at it. When I decided to try harder was when I decided to start baking bread. The first thing I needed to make bread was, of course, the wheat. I went to my sister in law, Heather, to get some advice on where to buy it. I won't go into all the details, if you want to know more, you should go visit her blog. She has lots of posts about subjects like this. I'm also sure she would be willing to answer an questions. I then needed a way to grind the wheat into flour. I'm lucky in that my parents have a grain mill and allow me to come and use it anytime. I usually grind enough to make around 6-8 loaves of bread. I would say that's around 10-15 cups of wheat. I've never measured exactly how much I do. Once the wheat is ground, it starts to lose its nutritional value and you can only store it for a couple of weeks. However, if you put it into freezer bags and then store it in the freezer, you can extend it's shelf life. That's what I do. This is a link to the grain mill Heather has. I plan on getting one of my own someday, but will keep using my parents for now. It's the first necessary tool to be able to use the wheat you have stored.

This is the recipe, in its original form, I've been using to make whole wheat bread. I had to tweak it a little bit because I have a smaller mixer and the amount of bread dough this makes doesn't really fit. In Utah, you can purchase the dough enhancer and vital wheat gluten from Harmons, or from Kitchen Kneads in West Jordan. I found the lecithin at Kitchen Kneads. Outside of Utah, I'm not sure where you would go. I've been using Fleischmann's Bread Machine Yeast because it works well for rapid rising recipes. That's exactly what this recipe is.

Whole Wheat Bread

4 cups lukewarm water
1 T salt
2 T dough enhancer
1/2 C vital wheat gluten
1/2 C honey
3 T yeast
2 T lecithin
3 T lemon juice
1/2 C oil
8-10 C whole wheat flour

Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. You can remove the dough and knead by hand for 5 minutes, or allow it to continue mixing and knead in the mixer. Separate into 3 sections. Roll out each into a ball to remove bubbles. Roll balls into loaves and place in greased loaf pans. This is a link to the type of pans I've been using. I have a larger size than the 8 inch ones shown. I think that mine are 10.5 in. long. They're great because they force your bread to have height. I let it rise for a couple of hours, while sitting on my stove top above the oven that has been preheated. The heat from the oven keeps the bread warm enough and encourages it to rise. If you are using the rapid rise yeast, it will be ready really fast. I still just like to give it some time. Place into a preheated 350 oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.

These are the changes I've made to the recipe. They work for my size mixer and for the area I live in. Bread is kind of a fickle thing and environment seems to play a big part in how well a recipe works.

2 1/2 C lukewarm water
1 T salt
2 T dough enhancer
1/2 C vital wheat gluten
1/2 C honey
4 T sugar
1 1/2 - 2 T yeast
1 T lecithin
1 1/2 - 2 T lemon juice
1/2 C oil
6 cups whole wheat flour

You'll notice that I didn't cut all of the ingredients in half. I tried that and it didn't work very well. The bread was really bland and flat. So, I kept the salt, dough enhancer, vital wheat gluten, honey and oil the same. I also added the sugar. It helps a lot. I get two large loaves out of this recipe. I hope this has been helpful.

10 comments:

Jillene said...

You have WAY more patience than I do. I don't know if I could do it just on the sheer patience of the whole thing. Maybe I will have to give it a try and see....

Lisa said...

I have a really stupid question k?
Why would you grind your wheat when you can buy flour? Does it taste that much different?

When you stop laughing at me feel free to fill me in. ;-)

I'm starting to feel the motivation.

Rebecca said...

I would love to have you teach me sometime. Or you know what? The Bishop's storehouse has a kitchen that we can cook in. Colleen Hughes from the Harvest Park ward is in charge of scheduling it. We could get a group of ladies from R.S. and you could teach us. And then we could eat it! That would be so fun!!

Christa said...

Lisa - there are several reasons why I decided to grind my own flour. The first one being that I would use wheat that I store. Sure it will last for 30+ years, but it's good to continually cycle it out. Also, if there ever comes a time when I am faced with the need to use stored food, I'll actually know what to do with it. The second answer is: Yes. It really does taste better. Somehow, it just tastes a little more fresh. Plus, as soon as you grind wheat, it starts to lose its nutritional value. After just 24 hours it has lost 45%. 90% after 72 hours. So, basically, that would mean that what you can buy bagged has a nutritional value of 0%. You can extend the shelf life and nutritional value by freezing after grinding. Other benefits that I see are I know exactly what goes into it. It's not loaded with preservatives, artifical flavors or fillers.

Rebecca - I'm still just a novice at this, but I would be happy to show you my method. So far, it's working for me.

Holly said...

Your post made me so hungry for bread I wish I wasn't eating gluten-free!

Amy said...

I love that you are making your own bread. I have been making mine on and off for about 4 years. It is a lot of work but worth it. I have a Nutrimill and LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! P.S. Thanks for your comment on my blog I was beginning to think no one even read it!

A note from Grandma K said...

Thank you for sharing. I love making bread and appreciate the recipe. There is just something about the smell of bread from the oven that makes heaven touch earth for a few minutes!!! ;)

At least I remember opening the front door from a long day at school and wandering into the smell of oven-born bread and feeling that the whole world made sense.

Lisa said...

Geesh Christa! I had no idea. Thank you so much for clearing that up and it certainly makes me want to buy a grinder/mill thingy.

I got an education today!

Bobie said...

I really want to start doing this, because I know it is so much healthier for my kids. Also, less expensive. First I will need a grinder, and second, I will need a LARGE mixer. Hmmm... Birthday presents maybe???

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