Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bread and Salsa

There is a hurricane headed into the Gulf. Fortunately for us, it is not headed this way. But we are praying for those who will be impacted. Hurricanes are no fun.

We will probably end up with some rain and wind and no more. But there is always the chance the hurricane will surprise the weather people and take a turn different than expected and end up in Alabama. So we are getting ready, just in case.

When you may have to do without electricity for an extended period of time, it is good to have food on hand that doesn't need cooking. So I spent this morning baking bread. I also made salsa while my dough was rising. I'd been given some yellow tomatoes and hot peppers from a friend's garden. I thought I'd try some peach salsa this time. It turned out great. The bread was delicious too.

I adapted a bread recipe posted in an online group. I use sprouted wheat flour because it is lower in gluten and can be eaten by my gluten intolerant boys. I make my own.

I start with a large bowl and fill it with as many wheat berries as I want to sprout - usually around 25 cups. I cover the wheat berries by a couple of inches with purified water. We have a reverse osmosis system. Then I cover the bowl with plastic wrap. I generally soak the wheat berries for at least 12 hours, adding more water as necessary. I pour off the water (the plastic wrap is quite handy for this) and let the wet wheat sit for another 12 or so hours until sprouted.

You can see the little sprouts looking like tails sticking out of the wheat berries. When the wheat looks like this, you are ready to dry them for storage or grinding. I simply take a large spoon with small holes for drainage of any remaining water and scoop the wheat berries onto fruit leather roll-up sheets placed in my dehydrator.

I turn my dehydrator to 105º and dry the wheat berries until completely dry. (I understand you can also use your oven, but I have never tried it.) They will no longer clump together when done.

To make bread, I start by grinding 4 cups of sprouted wheat berries into fine flour. Mix the resulting flour with 4 cups lukewarm water and 3 tablespoons of yeast to make a "sponge." Allow this mixture to sit until doubled, from 15 to 30 minutes generally.

Grind another 7 to 8 cups of sprouted wheat berries into flour. Add this to the sponge along with 1/2 cup (one cube) of melted butter, 2/3 cup molasses (or honey) and 3 teaspoons of salt. Knead the resulting dough until elastic. I generally start the kneading process in my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer and finish kneading by hand on the counter.

Turn the bread dough into an oiled bowl (I use olive oil), turning to coat the top of the dough with oil. Cover with a clean towel. Let rise until double, about 30 minutes.

Butter 3 or 4 bread pans, depending on how big you like your loaves. Punch down the risen dough, divide the dough and place in the bottom of each bread pan. Cover with a clean towel. Let rise another 30 minutes.

Bake in an oven preheated to 350º for 30 minutes. Brush tops with oil if desired.

Yesterday I picked up a basket of peaches to go with the tomatoes and peppers Darlene brought over from Mabel's garden. (Mabel is out of town and Darlene was left in charge of harvesting while she is gone.)

In between waiting for the dough to rise and the bread to bake, I washed and processed peaches and vegetables for salsa.

[Peaches ready to be processed in my food processor.]

Right before pulling my bread out of the oven, I stashed a full gallon of the most delicious peach salsa in my refrigerator. I really wish I had written down what I did. It is so yummy.


The Gingerbread House said...

The bread looks delicious....I loved the detailed explanation of making it.Nothing like homemade bread.:o)
....Also the peaches looked like they belonged in a jar for the winter pleasures...Enjoy the bounty. Ginny B.

Cary at Serenity Farms said...

Hi Deborah, I loved "catching up" with you all via your blog this morning. With all of the hurricane talk, you guys are on my mind and I am grateful that you are not in a direct path (and praying for those who are!)

Your yarns are beautiful as always, so is the new blanket and Michael is adorable! How are Gregory and Gabrielle? Give them a squeeze from me,

Hugs from your northern Sister ;) Who can't access the group again - WAH!!!

Theresa said...

Your bread looks great. This fall when things settle down, I will have to try sprouting and making it that way.

Theresa said...

PS... I gave you a blog award, see my 9/6 post!

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm so excited to try this recipe. One this white or red wheat? Thanks!

Deborah said...

This is red wheat. I use hard, white now and use 5 cups of water instead of 4 for the original sponge.