Is it Sick to Love A Loaf?

I wrote here about my quest to make a healthy, protein packed loaf of artisan bread. I thought I would report after a year of experimenting and eating…

If you recall, I was looking for the right pan, the right flour, and the right recipe. I researched and didn’t want an enameled pan made in China because their manufacturing processes aren’t as well regulated. I wanted a Le Creuset pot, but not the hefty price tag. I found my first 4.5 quart pan on eBay, and after our first loaf, we bought another one in early March. When the pandemic started, and people were home baking, the prices for Le Crueset pans on Ebay doubled. I wanted to use flour that was organic and non-GMO, because I didn’t want the nutrients taken out. I found Kamut flour, an ancient grain, called “Pharoah’s wheat”. I also finally found the easiest recipe for me on Youtube. I was off to the races!

A year later, we have eaten through seven bags of 25lb. Kamut flour. We eight times the recipe, making two huge bowls of four times each. I make it and let it sit for one or two days, and then my husband takes over. He adds the raisins and walnuts, without chopping the walnuts , and divides and bakes the bread. We like it better with the added nuts and raisins. I also made a fabulous loaf with rosemary and garlic cloves, roasting the cloves for 20 minutes before adding them. When our adult children were living here working remotely, we did this every week. Now we do it twice a month to keep us in bread and pizza.

Faster No Knead Bread from Jenny Can Cook on Youtube

(I recommend you watch the seven minute video, and also the video where she shows you how to aerate the flour. I buy Kamut flour from “The Food Nanny” warehouse in Salt Lake. It will look like white flour but it has 16 grams of protein a cup. So a couple of pieces fill you up.)

Back to Jenny can cook’s recipe:

You’ll need a 4 or 5-quart Dutch oven with an oven-safe handle. ALWAYS AERATE (not sift, but stir and lift it with the spoon for a couple of minutes) YOUR FLOUR BEFORE MEASURING! – Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 25 minutes

Makes: One loaf

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (390 gms) all-purpose or bread flour (aerate flour before measuring)
  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast, active dry or instant (1 gm)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (6 gms)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil ( Susan note: This is not in the original recipe but I added it)
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water, not boiling (354 mL) – I use hot tap water – about 125-130° F (Susan note: If using Kamut flour, I use 2 cups of warm water– we like a wet sticky dough)
  • (about 2 Tablespoons extra flour for shaping)

Instructions from Jenny Can Cook:

  1. Combine flour, yeast, (oil), and salt in a large bowl. Stir in water until it’s well combined.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 3 hours (Susan note: from three hours up to two days)
  3. After 3 hours dough will become puffy and dotted with bubbles. (Susan note: We add the raisins and nuts here.) Transfer it to a well-floured surface and sprinkle dough with a little flour. Using a scraper fold dough over 10-12 times & shape into a rough ball. (Susan note: After the first rising, we have learned to skip this step. It still needs the next step of a 35 minute rise. We just grab the dough and plop it on the parchment and place in a bowl without the shaping.)
  4. Place in a parchment paper-lined bowl (not wax paper) and cover with a towel. Let stand on counter top for about 35 minutes.
  5. Meantime place Dutch oven with lid in a cold oven and preheat to 450° F. My oven takes 35 minutes to reach 450°.
  6. When oven reaches 450° carefully, using oven gloves, lift the parchment paper and dough from the bowl and place gently into the hot pot. (parchment paper goes in the pot too) Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove lid and parchment paper. Return, uncovered, to oven and bake 10 – 15 more minutes. Let it cool at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Susan note: I now quadruple the recipe and we make pizza for dinner and then the rest can sit on the counter until the morning or early afternoon and my husband makes what is left into bread.

To 4 X the recipe follow the recipe below. We do this twice in 2 large bowls:

12 cups of Flour-aerate flour before measuring. That means you need to stir it up because it has settled, for about 2 minutes.

1  teaspoon of yeast

4 teaspoons of salt

4 Tablespoons of Olive oil.

8 cups of warm water.

Follow Jenny can cook’s instructions above after your dough has risen from three hours to two days. We add raisins and walnuts, 1 to 11/2 cup each of raisins and walnuts to each large bowl after it has risen and we are ready . We realized the walnuts don’t have to be chopped before because we use an electric knife to cut the bread, so the walnuts get cut in that process.

The end. Feast and enjoy!

People these days are on low carb diets, so bread which is a starch, and thus a carbohydrate, is out. Bread is taboo, because it has been deprived of all of its nutrients, which turns it into a simple carb. I like to eat complex carbs, which whole grain bread is one, because they take longer to digest and offer a stable source of energy. In section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants it says:

14 All agrain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;

Grain, which bread comes from, is supposed to be the main part of our diet! My children used to love Grandma Sycamore’s white bread. That stripped down version of what is supposed to be the staff of life, would never be something we could live off of. This crusty loaf that we have made through this year, has filled our home with mouth-watering smells, kept us full for three to four hours after eating two delicious slices and also can be made, by rolling its dough out thinly, into delicious pizza. I can eat it with or without our homemade peach jam, never butter for me, and it acts as a protein bar, when toasted.

I love what Michael Pollan says about what we are supposed to eat. “Eat anything you want, just cook it yourself”. As we try to stay healthy, despite being surrounded everywhere by food that isn’t good for us, this simple loaf made with an ancient grain, does the trick.

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