Monday, November 11, 2013

Good "ole" White Bread

Chef Brad's Mother.  
     This is my mother.  I miss her.  She passed away a couple of years ago, way to early for me.  We still had things to resolve and work out and things I wanted to share with her.  This picture is how I will always remember her.  It is not the best picture, but it is the best memory that I have of her.  She was beautiful,  the kind of woman that turned heads.   Not only was she beautiful, she was a really nice person.  Everyone loved her.

     She was a wonderful cook and baker.  I grew up back in the day were everything was made from scratch.  No box stuff for us.  Although we did eat TV dinners once in a while.  I do believe that they were not packed with chemicals like there are today and we heated them in the oven,  we did not even own a microwave.  I loved those days.  I loved the days before microwaves and all the packaged foods.  

     One of my fondest memories,  Ok my fondest memory of my mother is bread.  She was a great bread maker.  Her bread was fantastic.  It made the best toast ever and often we ate it just in a bowl with milk.  We called it bread and milk.   Bread and milk was a staple in our home.  Bread and milk plain, or bread and milk with a chunk of long horn cheese, or bread and milk with green onions.  I loved it.  Bread and milk for me was mom's bread, and it was white bread.  Good Ole White Bread.  

    Her bread was amazing.  It made the best toast ever.  We loved toast.  Our toaster was a gas broiler.  We put the bread under it and it toasted perfectly.  We did have to turn it over and watch it carefully or it would burn.  Our favorite was cinnamon toast.  We would toast the bread and butter it and cover it with about 1/4 of an inch of cinnamon and sugar and put it under the broiler again.  Oh it was heavenly. 

       Nothing can compare to Good Ole White Bread.  The tragic thing is in the name of nutrition and all that is good we don't eat it hardly ever.  At least the way my mother used to make it.  She used white sugar and Crisco and white flour.  Over the years I have changed the sugar to honey or Xagave and the Crisco to butter or healthy oil and the flour to fresh  ground wheat.  The bread is great and my family loves it, but it is not like mothers.  I crave her bread and I make so I make it and still try to make it healthier.  I use honey and butter with the white flour and we enjoy it, but it is not like moms Good Ole White Bread.   

     This morning I was talking to my sister about moms bread.  She didn't remember it so I told her the recipe and after I hung up the phone,  I  went to the kitchen and found the Crisco that I never use, the sugar, and white flour and I mixed up a batch of Good Ole White Bread.  Crisco and all,  It was amazing.   The texture was amazing.  I could hardly wait for it to come out of the oven.  That was my favorite memory of bread,  the loaf right out of the oven,  mother would slice it and we would smother it with butter, honey and or moms fresh made jams.  That was as good as it gets as a child.  Fresh baked bread right out of the oven.  My heart breaks with the thought that some children never get the chance to eat fresh baked bread.   

     So here is the recipe that my mother baked for me.  If you are totally against Crisco, step off your band wagon and experience life.  Don't do it all the time.  I don't, but there are some things in life worth experiencing.  And Good Ole White Bread is one of them.   Chef Brad~America's Grain Guy

     This is the dough right out of the Bosch Mixer.   My mother took hours to make this bread, but with the modern mixer I can have 6 loaves out of the oven in about one hour and ten minutes from start to finish.  My mom took 3 to 4 hours to bake her bread and it was a lot of hands on work.  Most of my time is rising and baking.

      I use a little oil on the table and fold the dough over to create a large wonderful dough ball.  This I will divide into pieces.

        With a dough divider I cut the dough into 2 pound pieces.  I have a scale to weigh the dough.   I get six two pounds loaves from my batch.

      Here are the doughs in two pounds of dough ready to shape into loaves.


       Here is the shaped loaf in the bread pan.  I spray the pan so the bread will not stick.

        Here are the six loaves of bread.  Notice they fill the pan about 3/4 full.  With room to let it grow double.

     I am really a flour snob.  I use only the best white flour I can find totally free of  chemicals.  Honeyville's artisan,  King Arthur's all purpose and Wheat Montana's Natural White.  I love these flours and only use them.

      I cover the bread with a cloth to keep it warm and to keep it from drying out.  It rises fast, from 25 to 25 minutes.

     I preheat at 400 degrees.  I do that so that the oven will be hot to give it a good rise.  Once I put the dough into the oven I drop the oven to 325 and bake it until it is done.

     The Bread is ready to place in the oven.  Perfect.
Good Ole White Bread

 Good Ole White Bread

8 cup hot water
1 cup sugar
1 cup Crisco
2 tablespoons salt
20 to 24 cups of white flour
1/2 cup yeast

Place water, Crisco, sugar, salt, and half the flour into the Bosch Mixer Bowl.  Turn on mixer and add flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Only add enough flour to pull dough away.  Do not add all the flour if not needed.  If you need more add more.  Mix for 6 minutes and remove from bowl and place on an oiled surface.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Homemade Biscuits

      There is nothing like a fresh baked biscuit,  slathered in butter and jam.  I love them.  They are really a comfort food.  Who does not love biscuits and gravy.  I don't know anyone that does not love them.

     My problem is that I don't like white flour or Crisco.  The two main ingredients in biscuits.  And I don't like whole wheat  biscuits.  I think whole wheat takes away from what a biscuit should be.  Light and fluffy and tender, that is what a biscuit should be.

      Over the years I have tired many recipes and a lot of grains  in search of a good biscuit that resembles what mom used to make. I have had great success.  My favorite grain is spelt.  It makes a really great biscuit.  I grind it on the finest setting on my mill and instead of Crisco I use butter.  These biscuits are just like I love them, light, fluffy, and tender.

The trick in making a biscuit is to not over work the dough.  I use the Bosch mixer to make my biscuits.  I use the wire whips to cut the butter into the flour.  I change out the wire whips for the dough hook and add the liquid until it just starts to pull together.  At that point I remove it from the bowl onto a floured surface.  I use fresh ground spelt.  I dust it with flour and roll it out.


Once it is rolled out I cut the biscuits.  I love to dip them into some melted butter after I cut them as I put them on the pan for baking.

   Don't they look great.  I love the rise and the flaky texture of a fresh baked biscuit.

Perfect.  I think the whole grain adds to the wonderful color, but note it does not take away from what a biscuit should be.

Sweet Potato Wonder Flour  Biscuits

2 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes.  or you can used mashed potatoes 
12 tablespoons chilled butter
2 tablespoons Xagave or sugar
4.5 cups fresh ground Spelt flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup heavy cream

In mixer bowl with whips,  add dry ingredients and mix.  Cut in butter until the size of peas.  Change to dough hook and add potatoes, Xagave,  and cream.. Mix until lightly mixed.  Take out and place on floured board.  Roll out dough and cut biscuits.  Place close together on cookie sheet.  Bake in a hot 400 degree oven until browned,  about 10 to 12 minutes.  

Spelt Gravy

4 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons fresh ground spelt flour
2 to 3 cups of soy or rice milk
Salt and pepper

Slightly toast spelt add oil and make a paste or roux.  Add 2 cups milk and mix well over medium heat.  Add more milk if needed, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over spelt biscuits. 

Biscuits are wonderful and easy to make.  We need to get over the need for white flour in our diets.  We have been taught for years that we have to have uses white flour in all our baking needs.  It is a pure falsehood and the design of conspiring men to get us to buy more white flour.  Try out spelt and I think you will be surprised at the end result.  When you grind the flour make sure you use the finest setting on your mill.  You want the flour to be fine and soft to produce flaky tender biscuits.   Enjoy your adventure in grains.  Chef Brad~America's Grain Guy