Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Pioneer Kate Cooking Show

Did I mention my sister Katie is a Pioneer woman? Somehow she retained more of the homemaking skills from our mother than I did. I don't think she cooks anything from a box, she cooks almost entirely from scratch, so she's organic by default, and she can do anything she tries to perfection. I'm not jealous or anything. Sheesh! And did I mention how skinny she is? It kills me. So anyway when she's not working on her garden, tending to her three boys, or filling out orders for her baby business Puj, she's making bread from scratch. I mean from wheat, literal wheat. She grinds her very own wheat to make her very own wheat flour and makes the best bread out of those tiny little wheat kernels. I needed to learn how to do this, so while we were there Katie did a bread making class for us, I thought I'd share it with you too.

First you start with wheat kernels. Katie uses white wheat (as opposed to red).

Pour your wheat into your wheat mill and let her go. Katie says it takes about 7 cups of wheat to make about 10 cups of wheat flour. She uses her mill outside because it tends to be a bit messy, and noisy.

The end result is pure fresh whole wheat flour. Now it's time to make the bread.

One of Katie's secrets is she uses pure, natural honey that she buys from a farmer of course. She says the stuff in the store is watered down so that it won't crystallize. But if your pure, natural honey ever crystallizes all you have to do is microwave it for a little while and it will go back to it's gooey, runny state.

First you put the honey into the water to dissolve it, then you pour the honey and water into your bosch or kitchenaid. Then you add the oil, salt, and yeast in too. Put your first 3 cups of flour and the gluten in (if you're like me and you're wondering where to buy gluten Katie says you find it in the baking aisle of the grocery store) and mix one minute on low.

Keep putting your flour into your mixer one cup at at time and mix each added cup another minute. Keep adding your flour until you get to 10-13 cups or until your dough pulls entirely away from the sides of your mixer.

Then when your dough has pulled away from the sides you will need to turn your mixer on high to knead for 12 minutes. Katie puts her mixer on the floor at this point because it tends to dance around (it has actually fallen off the counter before, oops!).

Then divide your dough into four medium sized bread pans and let them rise for an hour to an hour and a half. You want the dough to rise above the top of the pan. Then you bake at 325 for 35-40 minutes, and let cool on a rack. Katie then bags and freezes three loaves to be used whenever, but the first loaf will surely be devoured while still warm, especially when you have three sisters in town! I couldn't even get a picture of a piece before I ate half of it. Delicious!

Hungry yet? Good, now go make some bread, I'm trying my first batch this week. I just need to borrow my sweet mother-in-laws wheat grinder first. If you're like me and you don't yet own a wheat grinder you can buy whole wheat flour, I give you permission, the recipe will work just as well with store bought wheat flour, you might just have a teensy bit less satisfaction and feel a little bit less pioneerish. But that's okay. Here's the recipe!

Katie's Honey Whole Wheat Bread

4 cups warm water
1 cup honey
1/3 cup oil (olive or canola)
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 c gluten
10-13 cups whole wheat flour

Put honey in water to dissolve. Pour water and honey into your mixer. Put oil, salt and yeast in too. Then put 3 cups of flour and your gluten in and mix on low one minute. Keep putting flour in one cup at a time and mix for one minute in between each cup until dough pulls entirely away from the sides of your mixer. Then knead in mixer for 12 minutes on high. Divide dough into four rolled logs and put into 4 medium sized greased bread pans. Let dough rise above the top of the pan, this should take an hour to an hour and a half. Then bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Enjoy!


Toria said...

great tutorial nancy and katie!
the bread looks yummy- this sounds like living with my mother-in-law (the homemade bread, garden etc.) Can't wait to hear how you're loaf turns out. I can see you being converted!

Mike and Joy said...

I am *this* close to licking my moniter right now, that bread looks sooooooo unbelievably good.

Jen Rutter said...

wow, I am so impressed. ( And feeling lazy for getting all my bread at costco.) Thanks for the lesson!

pam said...

Great pictures! and I know the bread is great too as we had some when we were there. My only problem is that I have lost my wheat grinder, that's my excuse amyways for not making any whole wheat bread from scratch. It's probably in a box somewhere, I just have never found it.

Liz said...

I too am impressed! How does Katie have time to make her own bread with her boys and the business! I am really feel bad about myself now!

MarySue said...

Well done!!!!