This month, the luck of the draw paired me up with a blog that is new to me: Cara's Cravings. This cheerful blog has a little bit of everything. Cara has interesting categories like Less-Guilt Desserts (we could all use a few more of those!) and Stuff I Really Should Not Be Eating (we all do our own guilty pleasures, don't we?)
After a great deal of clicking and scrolling and book-marking, I settled on a recipe for Whole Wheat Honey Buttermilk Bread, which in turn is Cara's take on a Honey Buttermilk Bread from Baking Bites. I always enjoy trying new bread recipes, and I was excited to try this one because it would be my first buttermilk bread and the first that is made in a loaf pan. Besides, this fits in nicely with my theme this month of trying more whole-grain breakfast foods.
Today's Whole-Grain Tweak: Whole Wheat Bread. I tweaked Cara's recipe by making it 100% whole-wheat. A potential problem with all-whole-wheat breads can be that they don't rise as well as ones made with all-purpose flour or bread flour. To try and make a lighter loaf, I added vital wheat gluten to the bread. Wheat gluten is available as a packaged powder in health food stores and places like Whole Foods. For more information about using gluten in whole grain breads, please take a look at these posts.
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Bread
Sift together in a large bowl
4 C white whole-wheat flour
1 T vital wheat gluten
1 t fine salt
Mix together in a small bowl
1 t yeast
pinch of sugar
1/4 C warm (not hot!) water
Mix together in a medium bowl
1.5 C low-fat cultured buttermilk (warmed)
2 T honey
1. Let the yeast bloom in the warm water for 5-10 minutes.
2. Stir the yeast mixture into the buttermilk mixture.
3. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients gently, stirring with a wooden spoon. Knead everything together into a supple dough (takes about 10 minutes of vigorous kneading).
4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let it rise for 1.5-2 hours, until doubled in volume.
5. Knead the dough gently, fold into a rectangular loaf and place seam-side down in an oiled standard loaf pan.
6. Cover and let the dough rise for another 45 minutes or so. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F.
7. Brush the top of the loaf with beaten egg (optional) and bake for 45 minutes or until the top is browned and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
8. Let it cool on a rack before slicing.
Here is the loaf, fresh from the oven:
V took one look at it and said, "Wow, that looks like it has come from a factory". I was perplexed by that statement. I mean, I want to make bread that looks like it came from a *bakery*, not a factory! Poor guy, he explained that he meant that it looks so "perfect" (which has more to do with the loaf pan that my own skills, but I am happy anyway).
For ideas for sandwich stuffings, I turned to the ever-creative Musical, who is known for filling sandwiches with anything from beans palya to an eggplant-mushroom stir fry. For this lovely loaf, I chose this delicious chard-mushroom stir-fry). Now that's what I call a sandwich!
The magical addition to this simple chard-mushroom stir-fry is the Kerala-style garam masala that is added at the end of cooking. Musical divulges the secret formula for this masala in the ingredients section. I can tell you that it is a very special spice blend indeed. A few days ago, Musical surprised me with a goody bag filled with the most incredible foodie gifts and this Kerala-style garam masala was one of them. We fell in love with it right away. I have used this spice mixture in a simple egg and mushroom curry (we licked the saucepan clean) and a pulao of corn and fresh methi leaves (cooked in a little bit of coconut milk). It is heady stuff!
Cara made Spicy Cauliflower Soup from One Hot Stove. Many thanks to Myamii for hosting this enjoyable event.