Mix-in’

It’s 55 degrees in PA in February and I’m way over due for some Vitamin D!  It’s too nice to not get out, so Steve and I took a jog.  Since we saved time by not needing to drive to the gym (big time suck, but in my opinion totally necessary) I thought I deserved some fun time in the kitchen.  The kitchen can really lose all it’s glamor and fun when we get home from work and are immediately HUUUNGRY.  But tonight the glamour is back…

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Can’t you see it?  My freshman year Pitt Start shirt just screams glamour!

Just kidding!  The glamour comes in the form of chemistry!  You heard me right…chemistry.  Can you tell I’m a big nerd yet?  One of my favorite classes in undergrad nutrition was food science.  And there’s no better food to epitomize science than bread!  So I baked some.

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I’ve never made bread before, but have always wanted to.  Really is there anything better than warm bread fresh from the oven?  I think not!  And to make it yourself and know every ingredient added is wholesome and good; it really doesn’t get any better.  Whoever says carbs are bad needs to be smacked up side the head!

I did my best to follow the directions to a tea…

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Yeast in warm water. 111 degrees to be exact.

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Dough coming together.  Mmm dates and pecans.

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And then wait.

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And wait…

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And wait some more…

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The whole family is patiently waiting.

1 1/2 hours later I punched the dough ball and put it in the loaf pan.  And guess what?  Waited some more!

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45 minutes later I brushed the loaf with milk.  It was looking good enough to eat already!

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Victory!  Doughy and piping hot.  I never shoved something in my mouth so fast!  Aside from the top getting a bit to dark, it was devine!  I’ll certainly be taking a crack at this and other breads in the very near future!  You should give it a try too…

Mix-in’ Multi-Grain Date and Pecan Loaf

1 packet active dry yeast

¾ cup warm water (110-115 degrees)

3 Tablespoons honey

2 Tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 egg

1 ½ cup all purpose flour, divided (½ cup and 1 cup)

½ cup buckwheat flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup dried dates

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

2 Tablespoons fat free milk

· Mix yeast, warm water, and honey in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes.

· Mix in salt, butter, egg, barley flour, whole wheat flour and ½ cup all purpose flour.

· Mix in dates and pecans.

· Mix in all purpose flour until dough is smooth.

· Knead dough on floured surface until elastic; about 5 minutes.

· Place in a greased bowl, covered, in a warm place and wait for it to double in size, about 1-1 ½ hours.

· Use some energy…punch that dough.

· Shape dough into a loaf and place into a greased 9 x 5” loaf pan. (I love my pampered chef stoneware)

· Wait again, until doubled in size, this time only about 45 minutes.

· Brush loaf with milk.

· Bake at 375° F until loaf sounds hollow and is golden brown, 35-40 minutes.  I left mine in for 35 minutes and it got too brown.  I’d try 25-30 minutes and then check.

· Remove from pan and cool on a rack.

· Enjoy with butter! You’ve earned it. Bread really is a labor of love and a test of patience. But it makes eating it that much better!

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