International Bake Bread Weekend Number 6

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This weekend is the Super Bowl. You know, that football game. Some of us think of it as Puppy Bowl Weekend! But what about next weekend? How do you spend the weekend after the big weekend? Well, this year you can spend it participating in the 6th International Bake Bread Weekend–The Enabling Cook Edition. Yes, February 11-12, 2016, we celebrate bread!

The rules are simple. Actually, there’s only one rule: bake some sort of bread product. A loaf or boule is fine, of course. But so are biscuits, rolls, buns, breadsticks; you get the idea. Gluten or nongluten–your choice. And although it hurts me to say this, yes, you can use a mix.

But before you run for the mix department at your grocery store, let me argue on behalf of making your own. A lot of people go the mix or even frozen loaf route because they think it takes a long time to make bread. Now I’ve described my procedure many times. And if you don’t have a lot of time for hands-on work, it’s a good one for you. It does require planning as it involves a slow fermentation. But your involvement is minimal. Mix the ingredients in a bowl, cover, place in a warm location, and let it do its bulk fermentation for 12 hours or more. How long it takes depends on the ambient temperature. My house is always cold, which is great to keep summer cooling costs down but not so great in the winter. At times, I use my proofing box to hurry things along a bit, but I let it work on its own for at least 12 hours.

After the initial stage, shape as you like, cover, and let rise. This one is a shorter rise; again it depends partially on temperature. I usually let mine go 2-4 hours. Then bake. See, you really can ignore it during most of the process.

As always, I encourage you to use this upcoming weekend to try something new. I made the above bread from homemilled turkey red wheat and bread flour. But to make it a bit different, I added seeds. I’ve been using flaxseeds and chia seeds a lot, but this time I also used poppy seeds and caraway seeds, too. Yes, it’s a seedy bread. And it’s very good. I’ve not quite decided what I’ll be making next weekend, but I’m keeping my options open. I love pumpernickel, so I’m leaning in that direction. I may try it with sprouted rye. Of course, that means I need to get my rye berries in the sprouter.

I hope you’ll join us this year. Whether it’s loaf 1 or loaf 100, it’s a great way to spend part of the weekend.

© Copyright 2017 Ida Walker, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Enabling Cook
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