Our Daily Bread
by April Henry
.... Okay, well... so I should say that I would really like this to be our daily bread ....
Carmon's mom has been making homemade bread for over 20 years. She makes hers in the Kitchen-Aid and I have her recipe which I have made hundreds of times. In fact, I cried when I got my Kitchen-Aid for Christmas the second year Carmon and I were married because I was so happy; I wanted to make bread just like her! Her little loaves are beautiful and so, so yummy!
Another recipe for bread that I have is for a much, much larger batch. (There is a limit to those Kitchen-Aid bowls.) It came from Carmon's childhood friend's mother... we call her "Grandma Shirley". While both recipes I have are 'potato' breads, and the ingredients are nearly identical, the flavor of the hand-worked bread is quite different.
Furthermore, we've been quite intrigued with the idea of grinding our own flour. Yet, bread made with all whole wheat flour is usually very, very heavy - too heavy and likened to a door stop. So, when Carm's mom makes her bread with whole wheat, it's just a mixture of regular white flour with a few cups of whole wheat added in... but for a true whole wheat bread, that mixture doesn't quite count for the health-purist.
Having already had the experience of baking bread gave me more confidence, but being clueless to gluten and wheat proteins and the actual science of bread-baking necessities, I still felt intimidated. That is until yesterday when Carm found these very, very helpful sites here and here.
I really enjoyed the process of mixing a large batch of dough in my Great-Grandmother's antique Bauer bowl, because it was the exact same one she used to make her bread. (Although, I am told that she kneaded her bread in the air.) My mom also used this "big, yellow bowl" to make her bread recipes, biscuits, cinnamon rolls and even caramel popcorn!
So, here it is... our first batch of moist (I know, I was shocked, too! But, it really is super moist!!!), whole wheat and heavenly-tasting bread.
Oh, I need to add that the bread-making process takes about 6 hours. Therefore, it is not a good idea to start making bread at about 9pm.... that is unless you want a 3am snack of hot buttered bread.