Sunday, August 10, 2008

CrackedWheat-Honey Bread

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A few weeks ago, my faithful reader Jini and I went to an Edesia cookbook review featuring whole grains. I don't know about Jini, but I went away a chastened woman, a little ashamed of my taste for unhealthy, decadent white flour, and determined to put more fiber into my life. So this week's bread had to meet two criteria: all or part whole wheat flour and buttermilk (on account of the quart minus six ounces of buttermilk in the refrigerator).
This recipe, from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison, met this requirements. It also had cracked wheat (or bulgur) in it, which must be fiberiffic. And I also substituted one cup of white whole-wheat flour for the white flour, which further upped the whole graininess of the bread.

Despite the fact that this bread came about because of my desire to be virtuous, bread-wise, I'll have to admit it was quite delicious. (The virtue will be short-lived, however; our next Lazy Bakers project is a rum custard pie).
I started making this bread after only one cup of coffee this morning, so I didn't translate the measurements into weights, so I had to use a lot of measuring cups, including the one I had to scrape the honey out of; weighing is so much easier!). Even with that annoyance, it's a very easy bread to put together). It makes two loaves--again I had to ask myself why I don't have two matching loaf pans.
Loaf #1, the one I made in the large loaf pan, looked pretty good, but didn't really get high enough. Loaf #2, the one in the standard-sized pan, would have been perfect, but it developed a huge air bubble when I put it in the oven. I could see the bubble expanding in the oven, looking like some kid's huge pink bubble just before it exploded on his face, and so I quickly opened the door and pricked the bubble, which then collapsed in slow motion. It also left unsightly wrinkles on the top of the bread, but who cares, really.

I used bulgur from the Bob's Red Mill section of the supermarket--a brand recommended by the whole grain gurus at the cookbook review. When I first bit into a piece of bread, I thought that the bulgur was too crunchy for the bread, and that I should have ground it first. After a few
bites, however, I decided that it was okay, and Jim loved the crunchiness.

At the Farmer's Market this morning, I got the first-of-the-season red, ripe tomatoes and some gorgeous butter lettuce. It sounds like it's time for BLT's for dinner. With organic tomatoes and lettuce and with virtuous whole-grain bread, the bacon and mayo are, at most, venial sins.


Anonymous said...

First poster? Do I get a prize? :-)

Marie, as usual, the bread looks great. I think the textured look of the crust is really appealing.

You definitely get a star from me.

Laura Lee

PS: Fiberiffic, eh? I might steal that word sometime.

jini said...

well marie, it looks delicious. i have to admit that i have NOT done a fibery thing as yet. however, months before i went to the edesia meeting i had made that cafe latte' dakota bread and i am thinking that counts....retrospect counts in MY book! :)
i have been harvesting fresh cherry tomatoes and cucumbers from my mini garden, but bought tomatoes at the farmers market for the blt's.
guess i have to buy some more grains and try to keep up!

Chavi said...

Thats a really nice looking bread you've got there. Hope you dont fall off the grainy bandwagon, they are so worth it! You have to update your blog more often!!!

Melinda said...

Oh, your loaf looks so healthy and grainy! I am sure you put a bean stew on to go with the bread...after the BLT's! (which sound so good...bacon, the downfall of a many vegetarian and a low fat dieter!)
Bob's Red Mill is from Oregon! Yeah!

Anonymous said...

What a healthy looking loaf of bread! Those slices look just like the ones my husband cuts and enjoys, I always say a loaf would last a lot longer if he cut daintier slices but he says he wouldn't be able to taste the bread then and that is what he enjoys the most! Jeannette.

breadbasketcase said...

Laura Lee,
Thanks for the star--and you get a star from me for being the first poster.

I am a big fan of retrospective virtue. Anything you've done in the last year definitely counts.

More often? I think I'm doing quite well if I write once a week. I do like whole grains, but I know I'll eventually be untrue.

Anything from Oregon, including Melinda--Yeah!

Yes, you might say they're more slabs than slices. But dainty is for wimps!

Chavi said...

I check back here very often to check out your latest bread ventures. Im bread thirsty what can I say. But I guess once a week will have to suffice! See ya next week!

Ethan said...

Good looking loaf. That's one of my favorite cookbooks, so I'll have to give this a try. My one "made-up" attemptat healthy bread was only so so. On a random note - I have the exact same granite countertops that show up in all my photos.

breadbasketcase said...

What pressure, Chavi! And I was thinking that since I made two loaves of bread, maybe I could just skip next week's baking, but I will try to be a martyr for bread.

Thanks--I like the looks of your made-up bread. I admire people who are willing to just make up recipes. I love the granite countertops for bread, don't you?

Chavi said...

Good, I'm glad because I anxiously await the days when my blog tells me you've updated yours. Keep the bread coming!

pinknest said...

i think the wrinkles are cute!

Doughadear said...

When I see bread like this the first I think of is how wonderful it would be toasted with butter and jam for breakfast. It really does look very healthful.

Also I hope "fiberiffic" will be inducted as a new word in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

evil cake lady said...

hooray for fiberiffic bread! it makes the thick layer of nutella i spread on it seem a little less unhealthy :)

breadbasketcase said...

Wrinkles are cuter on bread than on my face--someday you'll understand.

That's what I had for breakfast today, along with yogurt and blueberries. You're right--it was delicious.

Isn't nutella practically a health food?

Jude said...

I bet that crusty wrinkly area is the best part of the bread :) Looks good to me.

breadbasketcase said...

Yes, I love crust--it's hard to believe I used to make my mother cut off the crusts before I'd eat a sandwich.