Whew! It's been a virtual labouratory around here lately what with the experimental gardening, experimental baking, and the like.
We are bread baking fools here. I've got the recipe and the process down in my head, so of course you know what that means: time to experiment! 'Cause who would be happy with just plain old easy bread recipe they could make simply over and over again? I'll be leaving my results on this post--easy reference.
I read in Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle that making simple changes to the flavour of your bread is as simple as trading out 1/3 to 1/4c. of flours. Simple enough. But not to get too carried away, i am only letting myself get a couple of cups of a new type of flour once a month. Otherwise, i'd need a storage unit just for the bags of flour i'd acquire. :o)
In May, i tried buckwheat. Safe, right? I know. It was really delicious; earthy...even C.monster liked it.
One day, we were even too tired to make dinner, but i had the dough rising for bread. I had added some sunflower seeds before it was left to rise. But we needed something for dinner fast--hey, pizza dough is just like bread dough. So we used the buckwheat/sunflower seed wheat bread dough for pizza crusts. With goat cheese monteray jack. Yummy!
In June, i have tried garbonzo flour. Eeh, not so good. It's too pungent. A flavour in your bread that makes one say, "What. is. that?" If they don't just spit it into their napkin first and say, "Mmmm, yeah. That's nice. Bless your heart." Not the kind of feedback that you would like people to say about your cooking. :o) I threw a few sunflower seeds and extra sugar and salt, but that still hasn't helped. It's like eating garbonzo beans that have been soaking in water waiting to cook. Gaaah!
July brought us emmer. It's really a different flavour from straight wheat--richer, more satisfying for the taste buds, i think. We'll be adding emmer into the rotation along with buckwheat.
Also, July brought us the definitive results of a two month long survey of best wheat flours: hard red or hard white whole wheat flours. We purchased our flour from Azure Standard, which is a co-op from Dufur, OR that provides many organic or natural foods, a lot of them grown right in Oregon's Fruit Loop region. The family has spoken and decided that they favour the hard white whole wheat.
A friend of mine also pointed out a great book the other day. Don't know if you have heard about the "River Cottage" cookbook series, but Daniel Stevens is quickly becoming one of my favourite cookbook authours, right up there with Nigella. He just released a book about bread and makes the trials and tribs of bread making crystal clear.