Cracked wheat bread

I’m no baker (or chef for that matter) so a lot of the terms like “cook until done,” “knead until ready,” or “let rise until doubled” frankly always baffled and annoyed me. I’ve included them here, but frankly I make this — and most of my bread recipes — strictly by the times. They may vary in your particular environment but once adjusted they should work pretty decently..

  • 1/2 cup (80gm) cracked wheat (you can use 7-grain cereal)
  • 2 cups (a smidge more actually) (500gm) boiling water
  • 2 1/4 tsp (8gm) active dry or instant yeast
  • 4 cups (650gm) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp (10gm) dark brown sugar or honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp (15gm) fine salt
  • 1 Tbsp neutral cooking oil or regular olive oil

Instructions

  • Pour boiling water over cracked wheat, then let stand until mixture cools to ~ 100°F (about 20 minutes).
  • Add yeast, 1 cup flour, oil, brown sugar and mix. Add salt. Gradually mix in remaining flour to form a smooth, moist dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest 15 minutes.
  • Knead until smooth and elastic, adding  more flour if it’s really sticky, about 8 minutes.
  • Oil a large bowl and add dough to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Grease one 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
  • Gently deflate dough by pressing down the dough, then turn out onto lightly floured surface. Stretch out into a rectangle — about 10 x 20 inches. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with the shortest side, then pinch seams together. Place roll seam-side down into loaf pan.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  • Bake in preheated oven until golden and crusty, up to 45 minutes. CHECK LOAF after 20 minutes and cover loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil if it’s already browned enough.

Let cool on rack.

No Knead Boule (Bread)

C’s recipe. I generally make a 2/3 batch which is good for two people. I also like to top it with coarse sea salt and Herbes de Provence.

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water (room temp or cold)

Put the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl. Add the water. Mix with a wooden spoon until incorporated and dough is shaggy. No need to knead.

Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 12 to 21 hours.

Use as-is for pizza dough.

  • For a boule, punch down the dough (use flour—it will be sticky), and form it into a ball. Roll the ball in flour. Cover loosely, and let rise until double (1 to 2 hours although you can get away with as little as 30 minutes).
  • Put a Dutch oven with a lid in the oven, and heat it to 425°F for a minimum of 30 minutes—longer is better.
  • Flop the risen dough into the hot Dutch oven; optionally top with coarse salt and a generous sprinkle of Herbes de Provence. A spritz of water will also make the crust a bit more crispy.
  • Cover and bake in oven for 30 min.
  • Remove the lid, and bake 15 minutes more.

Enjoy!

Mom’s Banana Bread

This recipe is subtitled Light in Color. I have no idea why…

1 1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Combine these dry ingredient and add:
3/4 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted margarine
1/3 cup milk
1 egg

Stir but do not over-mix. Batter will be lumpy.
Pour into greased loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.

The loaf is best after it has been left standing for a day. Freezes well.

Yet another recipe that means you never have to look otherwhere. I will admit that I use Michele’s Banana Muffin recipe for muffins but for a loaf, look no farther. I refuse to eat bananas just as an excuse to make this.