Doughn't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow
Fleetwood Mac came on the radio; thoughts of the first Clinton inauguration came to mind. Sunday I baked three loaves for fun, two wheat, one honey-mustard oatmeal. The recipes are similar enough to the white bread that I decided against a play-by-play.
The influence of bread extends to our very language of rank. The English word “lord” comes from the Anglo-Saxon hlaford, or “loaf-ward”: the master is he who supplies food. “Lady” derives from hlaefdige, or “loaf-kneader”; she, or her retinue, produces what her husband distributes. And on the Latin side of our linguistic inheritance, the word “companion,” “company,” and variations thereon come from the Latin companio, or “one who shares bread.” Our social vocabulary has been shaped, in part, by this special food, which is the contemporary of civilization itself.
Classic Wheat Bread
- 3 cups stone ground whole wheat or graham flour
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 packages yeast
- 2 1/4 cups very warm water (120–130F)
- 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
- Margarine or butter, melted, if desired
- Mix whole wheat flour, honey, shortening, salt, and yeast in large bowl. Add warm water. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough all-purpose flour, 1 cup at a time, to make dough easy to handle.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl and turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place 40 to 60 minutes or until double. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
- Grease bottoms and sides of 2 loaf pans with shortening.
- Punch down dough and divide in half. Flatten each half with hands or rolling pin on lightly floured surface. Roll dough up tightly, beginning with 9-inch side, to form a loaf. Press with thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Press each end with side of hand to seal. Fold ends under the loaf. Place seam side down in pan. Brush loaves lightly with butter. Cover and let rise in warm place 35 to 50 minutes or until double.
- Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 375F.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes until loaves are deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire rack. Brush loaves with butter; cool.
One quickly notices that in contrast to the white bread recipe I used this one bakes longer at a lower temperature. The ingredients are identical except that three cups of whole wheat flour are substituted for the first three cups of white flour in the other recipe. If properly kneaded and rolled into loaves this bread has a consistent texture and is suitable for sandwiches.
Honey-Mustard Oatmeal Bread
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 package regular or quick active dry yeast
- 1 cup very warm water (120–130F)
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg white, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- Quick-cooking oats
- Mix 1 1/2 cups of the flour, 1/2 cup oats, the salt, honey, mustard and yeast in a large bowl. Add 1 cup warm water. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat in egg. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1/2 cups at a time, to make dough easy to handle.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl and turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place about 1 hour or until double. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
- Grease bottom and sides of pie plate with shortening.
- Punch down dough. Shape dough into a ball. Place in pie plate; flatten slightly. Mix egg white and 1 tablespoon water; brush on loaf. Sprinkle with oats. Cover and let rise in warm place 45 to 60 minutes or until double.
- Heat oven to 375F.
- Bake about 35 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped and is deep golden brown. Remove from pan to wire rack; cool.
This is a tasty and simple bread. The egg white serves both to help the crust brown and as a glue for the oats one sprinkles on. I don't have quick-cooking oats, but regular ones (a/the generic brand is fine) are great. The texture is chewy without being tough and it almost melts in your mouth. While not too heavy, this bread still feels like a proper meal because it tastes like food, not like filling or something to keep one's hands non-sticky when eating peanut butter, for example.
Word/Object of the Day: Stopcock—a valve used to restrict or isolate the flow of a liquid or gas through a pipe [ source ]. “There are usually two stopcocks for a home. One is usually found just outside the property boundary and can be used to isolate the building from the water supply. The other is inside the property where the supply enters the property. These valves are provided to allow maintenance and prevent flooding if the domestic water system is pierced” and “Laboratory glassware items sometimes have plug valves with conically-tapered plugs called stopcocks.”
Not to be confused with nestcock, another word for “househusband.” Define nestbox as you will; laughter allowed.
—January 23 2007