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.