Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It Worked

Well, the bread turned out yummy!!
And in the left hand corner of the photo, you can see the blackberry jam I made as part of my winter canning spree which I'll tell you about tomorrow.
I won't mislead you, the bread didn't turn out how I thought it would when I started out but none the less a success.
You see I had planned on putting more wheat flour in but I made the mistake of adding too much water in the beginning and something had to absorb all that moisture. It wasn't going to be wheat flour at that point since I couldn't disguise it well enough I figured to get it past the kids so white was used instead.
My first move in making this rather unique bread was to put a cup of home-made buttermilk, a cup of wheat flour, and a cup of left over squash from a meal a few days before, all approximate measurements of course, (What would be the fun of accuracy?) in to a container to sit overnight in the refrigerator. The theory was to allow the flavors to meld, much like I've learned that leaving my graham cracker dough in the refrigerator overnight gets rid of the strong wheaty taste.
Then the next morning I added two cups of warm water and a scant tablespoon of yeast to my kitchen aid mixture. When that had proofed, I put in the squash mixture, about a third of a cup of ghee, a cap of salt - probably a tablespoon, and about a fourth of a cup of sugar. My honey needs melted down or I'd of added that instead. I mixed the dough thoroughly and then started adding white flour, and more white flour, and more white flour. Then I let it raise and I added more white flour and let it raise again. The dough was still quite sticky but I didn't want to add more flour being afraid it would become dry when baked. So I just let the dough raise for a total of four times to develop the dough like in a no knead type. The last raise being inside a well floured white cotton flour sack dish cloth. Just as in my favorite European style no knead bread, the dough raised more rapidly with each rise as the yeast fed off the sugars in the flour in different locations.
Meanwhile, as the final rise was completing, I put my cast iron dutch oven in the oven at 400 F to get real hot (about 20 to 30 minutes). Then I dumped the raised dough shaking it lightly to spread it across the bottom more evenly. I kept the temperature on high for 20 minutes or so to get the maximum rise out of the bread. In bread pans I do this at 375F and then lower the temperature to 350F.
The squash and buttermilk added wonderful new flavors along with additional nutrition so don't be afraid to try your own experiment with leftovers and don't forget to let me in on your success.
Our youngest rather upset that Grandma didn't understand what she was saying.
And don't cry if it doesn't turn out just as you planned. Our oldest grand daughters first snowman. It was built last night.
You never know, your creation might not have the traditional look but be something quite unique and wonderful.
My other experiment incompaces buttermilk. I placed it in my yogurt maker to culture. Our house is just a bit too cold and the buttermilk doesn't want to make new buttermilk since the weather turned cold. This works wonderful and in far less time. The product is thicker also.

Fire up those creative juices, something wonderful might just happen.

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