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Thursday, February 26, 2015

MAKE LUSCIOUS,VELVETY DRINKING CHOCOLATE WITH THIS HOMEMADE MIX

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In 2010, I wrote a blog post about a new (to me) discovery-- drinking chocolate.
"Technically speaking, hot cocoa and hot chocolate are two very different beverages. Hot cocoa comes from a powder, while hot chocolate is (once again, technically speaking) what many call "drinking chocolate" or "sipping chocolate" - it's made from chopped bits of chocolate or small chocolate pellets that are melted (slowly and painstakingly) and then blended with milk, cream and/or  water. True hot chocolate tends to be much denser and richer than its powdery relative. 


Interestingly enough, some Americans are repulsed by this more European beverage because it is so rich. However, I think this has more to do with American ideas of beverage sizes. Europeans tend to drink hot chocolate in small mugs or demitasse cups, while Americans are accustomed to over-sized mugs for their hot drinks. I, too, would be disgusted by the idea of drinking a huge mug of (basically) melted chocolate, but I find that drinking chocolate is a wonderfully satisfying winter drink when served in smaller quantities."  From: http://coffeetea.about.com/b/2009/10/16/hot-cocoa-vs-drinking-chocolate.htm

There are several delicious brands commercially available, but I have a hard time obtaining them in my area, so I decided to make my own mix, combining cocoa powder and some dark chocolate.  It's easy, absolutely divine, and would make a lovely gift, too.  If you have never tasted "hot chocolate" made this way, you are in for a wonderful surprise.


Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S HOMEMADE DRINKING CHOCOLATE MIX
Servings: 16
Drinking chocolate provides a rich, velvety, not-too-sweet chocolate hit-- about 77 calories for an espresso cupful (using 1/4 cup non-dairy milk), which is small, but very satisfying.

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably fair trade, organic, Dutch-processed)
5 tablespoons good-quality semisweet chocolate chips (preferably fair trade, organic)
OR USE 2.3 oz./66g chopped or grated good quality semisweet chocolate (preferably fair trade, organic)
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons brown sugar, coconut sugar or Sucanat (dehydrated sugar cane juice)
4 teaspoons cornstarch (organic is available)
1 pinch salt
OPTIONAL: (Note: Add flavorings just before serving, for better flavor.)
pure vanilla extract, chili powder, cinnamon, grated orange rind or other flavoring of your choice, to taste
FOR EACH SERVING, ESPRESSO-STYLE:
1/4 cup non-dairy milk of choice, or water, if you prefer

To make the the Drinking Chocolate Mix:
1. In a very dry blender container, grind the cocoa, chocolate, sugar and cornstarch at high speed until there are no lumps in it. Store in a clean, dry jar, tightly covered.


Those lumps you see, BTW, are not chunks of chocolate-- they are clumps of the powder
For each serving: (You can prepare several servings at once, of course.)
1. Mix 2 tablespoons of the Drinking Chocolate Mix into 1/4 cup non-dairy milk, or water, if you prefer, for each serving. Blend with a hand-held immersion blender (or use a blender if you are making a large batch) until well mixed and quite frothy.

2. I heat the mixture in the microwave-- high power for 2 minutes for 3 or 4 servings is fine. For one serving, start with 30 seconds and add seconds as appropriate. The mixture should stay frothy and thicken. If you prefer the stovetop method, heat the mixture in an appropriately-sized saucepan over medium heat. Once the chocolate starts to melt, gently whisk the mixture to combine. Bring the mixture just to the boil-- keep an eye on it! If you are adding a flavoring, this is the time, but don't overdo it!

3. Serve in small espresso cups and enjoy immediately!

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 4 tsp. mix
Amount Per Serving
Calories 56.48, Calories From Fat (20%), 11.48, Total Fat 1.72g,
Saturated Fat 1.02g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 21.86mg, Potassium 105.72mg,Total Carbohydrates 12.3g, Fiber 1.98g, Sugar 6.71g, Protein 1.19g



Enjoy!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

SWEET AND SAVORY (INTERNATIONAL) VEGAN RECIPES FOR "PANCAKE TUESDAY"

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It's Pancake Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday)-- I almost forgot! 



What is Shrove Tuesday and what does it have to do with pancakes?  Here's a short history.  It's known as "Mardi Gras" in French-speaking regions (including New Orleans, as I'm sure you are aware). "Mardo Gras" means "Fat Tuesday", the day before Ash Wednesday, when Christian Lent begins.  It's referred to as "Fat Tuesday" because fat and eggs, etc. had to be used up before the Lenten fast. Cakes, rich breads and pastries, and pancakes were made in order to consume these foods and not let them go to waste, and also to let loose and celebrate before the fast. Pancakes seem to be a nearly universal way to celebrate.

I actually had pancakes for breakfast this morning, even though I had forgotten it was Shrove Tuesday. Yesterday I had made some batter for grain and bean-based Indian crepes called Adai.  These were made with soaked, split. skinned mung beans (mung dal), oatmeal and chickpea flour.  They were so easy to make and quick to cook, AND nutritious and delicious. I'll post the recipe soon. (There are two other Indian crepe recipes listed below.)

So, pancakes and crepes can be made out of all sorts of ingredients and they can be sweet or savory.  I've compiled a list (with links to the appropriate blog post) of all the pancake and crepe recipes currently on my blog.  They are all delightful for any meal of the day.  A few can only loosely be described as pancakes, being flat or flattish, but no matter, they are all good!

Of course, being vegan and often low-fat, these recipes are not necessarily the best way to use up fat (and certainly not eggs and milk), but you can always slather them with vegan butter to keep the spirit of the day! And, vegans don't have to "give up" meat, eggs, dairy products and animal fat, but any excuse to eat pancakes!

NORTH AMERICAN-STYLE PANCAKES (or pancakes that are normally eaten with sweet toppings or fillings):


VEGAN ALL-AMERICAN "BUTTERMILK" PANCAKE MIX

"I wanted a healthful vegan mix that produced a light, fluffy, white pancake (it's full of whole grains, but it looks white!). I also wanted it to have very few additions, so that it was really quick and easy. You only have to add water and a little lemon juice to this mix, and it produces pancakes you can be proud to serve to children, picky eaters, omnis, anybody!"


MULTI-GRAIN, HEMP PROTEIN PANCAKE MIX (There are some options if you don't want to use hemp.)

"Why a hemp pancake mix?
This is a multi-grain vegan pancake mix that I originally devised for a proposed hemp book. That deal fell through, but it's a good mix, and a fun way to add some hemp to your diet. You can read about the ecological benefits of hemp here. Hemp can play a role in an anti-inflammatory diet, since it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp is a good source of fiber and protein, and it is a very sustainable, versatile crop that can grow in North America without pesticides! It is grown in many countries, including Canada, and is considered a good crop to replace tobacco."

                   WHOLE GRAIN VEGAN SOURDOUGH PANCAKES

"Here is my vegan version [of sourdough pancakes, using whole grain flours. It turned out beautifully! BTW, sourdough pancakes have a slightly different texture from regular pancakes-- fluffy, but a little more "bready". And, of course, with that sourdough tang that I love."


         VEGAN ORANGE-CRANBERRY-PECAN MULTIGRAIN 
        "BUTTERMILK" PANCAKES (Can be GF and SF)

"Light, fluffy ALL-whole-grain vegan pancakes with the added fiber and antioxidants of flax, cranberries, and pecans. You can use this recipe as a template for plain multi-grain pancakes or pancakes with other flavors, fruits and nuts or seeds...They contain four different kinds of whole grain flour, a combo that makes a very light pancake.  I like to keep all of these flours together in the freezer to have at a moment's notice when we feel like having pancakes, without scrambling around to find everything."


                              BLUEBERRY-OAT PANCAKES (No-Fat)

"This is a great basic high-fiber, but very light and tender pancake recipe, due to the oat flour and wholewheat pastry flour."


                         FAT-FREE WHOLE GRAIN VEGAN CREPES

"When I was at the McDougall Celebrity Weekend in Santa Rosa in June [2008] , we were not supposed to use any added fat or oil, even pan-spray on the pans. I was planning to make no-fat crepes made with whole wheat pastry flour, chickpea flour and oat flour. In the nonstick pans Mary [McDougall] provided, I made about 50 crepes for audience tasting, and then, in the workshop, I made several in front of the audience, with no mishaps. They were very impressed, and Chef Kevin Dunn told me he never would have tried that! This is the crepe recipe I made at that McDougall event."

SAVORY PANCAKES, CREPES, ETC.:

                      MOONG DAL ADAI OR PESARATTU (INDIAN CREPES )

"These crepes are a type of dosa that is made only from dal and is unfermented. These are actually a bit sturdier than the crepes we're used to, but they fold and roll nicely. You can just eat them with chutney or an Indian-style vegetable stir-fry, or with a more elaborate vegetable curry, if you like. They can be eaten for breakfast, as a snack, or for a lunch or supper dish. (They would be great for a gluten-free diet, too.)... this simple, delicious, nourishing, and filling meal was so inexpensive to make!"



"I've worked on this recipe on-and-off for a little while. Besides making them vegan, I wanted to use ingredients that most North Americans would be able to obtain easily. These vegan savory omelets or pancakes, however you choose to think of them, are so simple, cheap and quick to make, but absolutely addictive!  They originated as frugal street food and were eaten often in the days of reconstruction after WWII."



"So what is this mysterious “pancake”? It’s a delicious and nourishing snack food, a flatbread, really. In Nice, their version, Socca, is a street food, cooked huge copper pans over wood burners (rather than baked), pieces eaten out of hand like French fries in a cone of paper with lots of pepper. In Italy, it is eaten at home, with a knife and fork, or at a bar. In Genoa, there are farinata bakeries everywhere. In Argentina, they eat it on pizza! Both Italians and Niçois will tell you that it should not be made at home and it won’t taste the same if it’s not made over a wood-fired stove or in a wood-fired oven, but, trust me, a very reasonable approximation can be made and enjoyed at home!...This from my book Nonna's Italian Kitchen.
This is a thin version, which I prefer. You can sprinkle the top with chopped garlic and rosemary, thyme or sage before baking, if you like. Ligurians, who eat it with a knife and fork, sometimes also top it with thinly sliced onions or green onions, or even slices of baby artichoke. I like the leftovers cold, too. (UPDATE: Here's another great way to serve farinata.)"



"For some reason, I've always been fascinated with recipes using plain beans and whole grains that are soaked and ground and used to make delicious, simple and healthful breakfast treats, breads and snacks. We need more recipes like this under our belts, so to speak, to get through hard financial times in good health and spirits... I used to make this type of dosa years ago for my children for breakfast.  They loved it and I still do!"



In Arabic and Persian cuisines there is a type of thick baked omelet or fritatta that can utilize almost any vegetable (but always contains some green herbs).  It can be eaten hot or cold and is often used as a picnic food.  In Arabic it is called "eggah" ( عجة ʻaggah or ʻajjah) and in Perisan it is called "kuku" (کوکو).  According to food historian Alan Davidson, these are most probably the origin of Italian fritattas and Spanish tortillas (not the Mexican corn variety)... Sometimes the mixture is made into small "pancakes" or "patties" and is shallow-fried in oil or clarified butter instead of baked.  This is the type of thing I wanted to try, but, of course, egg-free and made with only a little oil.  I also wanted to make the potato variety because it sounded nicely substantial and I thought the potato would help hold things together. (It can be made with eggplant, parsley and green onions, leeks, broad beans, spinach and other greens, cauliflower, squash...)  I decided to try a mixture of mashed tofu and chickpea flour instead of the egg....It was super simple to make and very tasty—open to alot of variation, too, so I will be playing with it further. I think the potato did help, but you could probably use less if it was baked—something for further experimentation."

Enjoy!





Sunday, February 15, 2015

DARK CHOCOLATE-COATED PEANUT BUTTER, MARMALADE & SINGLE-MALT SCOTCH TRUFFLES WITH SEA SALT FLAKES

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This is what I made for my husband for Valentine's Day yesterday, and we brought some for dessert to some friends who invited us for dinner.  They were a big hit!

This recipe is a variation on my nut-butter-based truffle recipe at an older blog post here. I wanted to make a salted chocolate truffle this time--  if you've never tried this, you're in for a treat!  The tiny portion of  salt flakes crunch and then melt and create the perfect contrast and balance to the dark chocolate coating and sweet truffle inside.

BTW, I have never coated truffles with melted chocolate before-- I usually roll my truffles in nuts, cocoa, cocoa nibs, drinking chocolate, etc. I was also in a hurry this time because we were taking them to our friends' house for dessert, but I got caught up with another project and left it a bit late. So, lacking time, I didn't temper the chocolate for the coating, which makes the coating shiny and more smooth.

So, my coated truffles don't look perfect like the ones you buy in chocolate boutiques. (Actually, I don't think truffles are 
supposed to look perfect-- originally they were supposed to resemble the dirty brown fungus-type of truffles.) If you want yours to look perfect and round, here's some good advice online:
http://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/45977/how-do-you-coat-perfectly-round-truffles-with-melted-chocolate


Otherwise, you can just follow my directions for a more simple version.  




BRYANNA’S DARK CHOCOLATE-COATED PEANUT BUTTER, MARMALADE AND SINGLE-MALT SCOTCH TRUFFLES WITH SEA SALT FLAKES (Margarine-free and soy-free)
Makes about 14 large truffles or 28 small ones -- you can easily double the recipe

Truffle Mixture:
1 cup (6 ounces) dairy-free dark chocolate (semi-sweet or bittersweet), chopped, or chocolate chips (preferably organic, fair trade)
1/4 cup peanut butter (ALLERGY NOTE: you could use any other nut butter instead)
1/4 cup good-quality orange marmalade
2 tablespoons single-malt Scotch whiskey
2 tablespoons nondairy milk or creamer
For Finishing:
1 cup (6 ounces) dairy-free dark chocolate (semi-sweet or bittersweet), chopped, or chocolate chips (preferably organic, fair trade)
flake sea salt (my preference is Maldon Sea Salt Flakes)


Directions:
Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, or you can melt it in a microwave-proof bowl or measuring pitcher in 30-second intervals at 50% or lower power until soft (it will actually finish melting completely when you stir it). Or you can melt it in a heat-proof bowl in a 200ºF oven (a toaster oven, perhaps?) for 5-10 minutes. Cook until just until the chocolate melts, stirring often.  Do not overheat.

With an electric hand mixer or immersion blender, beat in the nut butter. Gradually beat in the marmalade, Scotch and non-dairy milk, beating constantly to keep the mixture creamy and smooth.(There will be some tiny bits of orange rind from the marmalade.) Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours, until firm.

With your hands, roll the mixture into balls of whatever size you prefer. (I used a heaping teaspoon per truffle.) Place the balls on a plate and refrigerate while you prepare the chocolate coating.

Have ready a baking sheet or platter covered with a sheet of baking parchment or a silicone mat.

Finishing:
(See text above recipe.)
Melt the 2nd cup of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate in the same way as directed in the 1st paragraph of the Directions. Drop the truffles into the melted chocolate one at a time and roll them around to coat. Use a fork to remove them from the chocolate and place them (not touching) on the parchment or silicone mat. Sprinkle each truffle with a pinch of the sea salt flakes while the chocolate is still soft. When the coating has hardened, you can place the truffles in little foil candy cups, if you like-- gold foil ones are nice. Keep covered and refrigerated.


Enjoy!





Monday, February 2, 2015

SPICY TOFU & BRUSSELS SPROUT STIR-FRY WITH KOREAN-STYLE SAUCE

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I haven't been blogging alot-- this virus we are getting over is still making me cough at night, so I'm not sleeping as well as I should.  (Otherwise, I'm pretty well and back at work.)  Consequently, meals are simple.

But, the other night I had some Brussels sprouts to use up, so I used those as a starting point for a quick and yummy stir-fry.  I felt like using adding some tofu and I also had some of my Tofu "Bacon" marinating in the refrigerator and thought that might be a good addition to a simple stir-fry, to add more flavor.

 My Tofu "Bacon"-- recipe here

But I wanted something a little different, so I rummaged around in the condiment section of my fridge and spotted my supply of gochujang (spicy Korean bean paste/Korean red pepper paste-- a type of miso).  Just the thing!


  Gochujang (spicy Korean bean paste/Korean red pepper paste) 

According to Serious Eats: "...if you're looking for a sweeter, funkier flavor from your chiles, gochujang (pronounced go-choo-jong) is the thing for you. Gochujang is what gives Korean kimchi and tofu stews their sweet heat, bibimbap rice bowls their piquancy and rice cakes their sauce. You have to love a culture that uses chile as one of its mother sauces.

Gochujang is made from red chiles, glutinous rice* [sticky rice, gluten-free] and soy beans. It's a little hot, a little fermented funky, and more than a little sweet. What it lacks in chile fire it makes up in rounded meaty flavors and the ripe twang of a good stinky cheese. Unlike other chile pastes, gochujang adds as much meaty edge as spice, which makes it a go-to main ingredient, not just a condiment."


We loved this and it was quick and easy to make (even with slicing the sprouts!).  The vegan "bacon" definitely added to the dish with it's sweet/salty/smokey notes. This dish will definitely be a keeper. (AND I will be looking for more ways to use up my supply of gochujang.)


Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S TOFU & BRUSSELS SPROUT STIR-FRY WITH KOREAN-STYLE SAUCE
Servings: 3

14 oz. extra-firm tofu
1 1/3 cups thin strips of browned vegan "bacon" of your choice (I use my Tofu "Bacon": http://veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.ca/2010/10/revisiting-tofu-bacon.html )
1/2 to 1 tablespoon oil
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced into 3 or 4 slices each (about 1/4" thick)
Cooking Sauce:
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons gochujang (spicy Korean bean paste/Korean red pepper paste)
3/4 tablespoon soy sauce
1 large clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
a few sprinkles kosher or flake salt
freshly-ground black pepper
Garnish:
crushed or ground toasted sesame seeds


Pat the tofu to get rid of excess water and cut it into 1/2" cubes. Heat the oil in a stir-fry pan or heavy 10 to 12" skillet over high heat. Season with a bit of salt. Stir-fry until it is browned on at least two sides. Scoop out and set aside.





















Mix the Cooking Sauce ingredients together and set aside. Over high heat, add the sprout slices and garlic and stir-fry, add in squirts of water from a squeeze bottle as needed to keep the sprouts from sticking or drying out. Add about 2 tablespoon water and cover and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the sprouts are crisp-tender.





















Add the Cooking Sauce, browned tofu cubes and vegan "bacon" strips and stir-fry for about 4 minutes. If it looks too dry while you are cooking it, add a few squirts of water. Be careful not to overcook the sprouts. Season with a bit of salt and some freshly-ground black pepper and serve immediately over steamed brown rice.



Sprinkle each serving with ground or crushed roasted sesame seeds, if you like.


Nutrition Facts:

Nutrition (per serving): 315.4 calories; 46% calories from fat; 17.4g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 921.8mg sodium; 893.5mg potassium; 24.0g carbohydrates; 7.4g fiber; 7.7g sugar; 16.6g net carbs; 23.6g protein.

Enjoy!



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

MY RECIPE FOR SPROUTED WHEAT BREAD (WITH MINIMAL FLOUR)

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RECIPE UPDATED ON JAN. 23, 2015-- I added some photos and a few extra notes and corrected the size of the bread pans I use and the amount of water used in the recipe.  Sorry about that-- should not write recipes when I'm sick!

I'm sorry it's taken so long to get this post (or any post!) up-- I've been sick with the flu.  But, at last I'm finishing this post on how to make a delicious sprouted wheat bread (with minimal flour) that is not heavy, flat and/or overly moist, that has the texture and appearance of a good whole wheat loaf.

I started this journey because I was interested in making a bread with a lower glycemic index rating. I discovered that: "Since particle size influences the glycemic index (the smaller the size the higher the glycemic index), bread made from grain kernels have been shown to be lower GI. Not yet tested but probable, bread made from sprouted grains can be expected to have a similar effect." From http://tinyurl.com/ywve7 (And evidently, sourdough breads are lower on the glycemic index, too.) Eating lower on the glycemic index may have a positive influence on my husband's triglyceride levels, so we (both being bread bakers) thought it was worth some experimentation.

Many bakers are experimenting with sprouted wheat flour, but I prefer not to buy it-- it's very expensive, and it's time-consuming to make (you must sprout the grain, then dry it thoroughly, and then grind it-- which is why it is expensive to buy).  We grind our whole wheat flour, so we have lots of wheat kernels in the house at all times. So, the most practical solution seemed to be to experiment with the sprouted wheat itself. But I was aiming for a lighter loaf than most the sprouted wheat breads I'd seen, one with minimal flour, and one which did not need the addition of vital wheat gluten powder in order to rise (not that I object to it-- I use it to make seitan-- but I think it makes breads too chewy.)

My first experiment, using an adapted version of a recipe from "The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book: A Guide to Whole Grain Breadmaking" was a success-- the dough was easy to handle and rose beautifully, baked up nice and crusty. I used my husband's signature baking method-- 5 minutes at 485°F. and 25 more at 375°F-- and the bread tasted great, smelled heavenly (kind of nutty), and the crumb is lovely. It made delicious toast!

But what was NOT so positive with my first batch was that when I removed the initial ground sprout mixture from the food processor and the kneaded dough from the mixer bowl, I was left with a thin coating of sticky dough that stuck like glue, particularly to the blade (inside and out) of the processor. After soaking everything in warm water for a while, it took me about 20 minutes of scrubbing to clean everything, and the sponge had to go into the garbage can. But I let the dough rise in an oiled bowl and that bowl was easy to clean (thank goodness!).  When I cut and rolled the dough and shaped the loaves, I oiled my hands and had no problem with sticking. So, the next time, as I outlined in the final recipe, I oiled everything the dough was going to touch, and it went smoothly (not to make a pun).  After kneading, it's not o sticky and should feel like an ordinary bread dough.

So, here's the final recipe.  I hope it works as well for you as it has for us.  It's truly delicious and I have some more wheat kernels soaking right now for the next batch.



BRYANNA'S SPROUTED WHEAT BREAD (WITH MINIMAL FLOUR)
Yield: 3 loaves

You will need a large food processor to grind the soaked wheat kernels, a large colander, a large bowl for rising the dough, and, if you prefer not to hand-knead, a sturdy stand mixer than can knead 3-4 loaves-worth of whole grain dough. You will also need three 8 x 4.5-inch loaf pans. (We use these pans-- they are excellent and long-lasting and only need greasing once in a while.)

6 cups hard red wheat kernels 
1/4 cup warm water       
2 teaspoons instant baking yeast          
1/3 cup (packed) brown sugar, Sucanat or coconut sugar        
3 1/2 teaspoons salt    
3 cups whole wheat flour        
 OPTIONAL: 
3 tablespoons oil            

1          In a large bowl, cover the wheat kernels (by several inches) with warm water. Cover the bowl and let stand in a warm place (such as in the oven—turned off-- with the light on). Depending on the warmth in house, you may have to let the wheat soak for up to 3 whole days (which is what it takes me, usually), rinsing and changing the water twice a day. You don't want the wheat to sprout more than a tiny fraction-- just so you see the white sprout emerging. In my experience, some of the wheat may not sprout at all, but it still works just fine for this recipe. NOTE: If the water smells a bit fermented and gets a little frothy on top, the temperature where you are sprouting the wheat is too warm!  Thoroughly rinse the wheat in cold water, add new water and continue in a cooler place.  If you can't use the sprouts right away, rinse them, then store in a covered container in the refrigerator (for only a day or two) until you can make the bread. Rinse them with warm water and drain for 30 minutes before using.

IMPORTANT: If the wheat sprouts more than a tiny bit, the diastatic enzymes develop and make the bread dough very gooey and hard to bake.

3          When you are ready to make the dough, drain the wheat in a large colander and let drain for about 1/2 an hour.

4          Meanwhile, thoroughly oil ALL of the equipment that the dough will touch-- all of the inside of the food processor bowl and the inside of the lid, the blade, the inside of the blade, and the spindle for the blade; and then the inside of your mixer bowl, the inside of the mixer lid, and the  dough hook. Also oil the inside of the bowl you will use for rising the dough. This is VERY important. If you neglect the oiling procedure, the un-kneaded dough will stick like glue to everything it touches!

5          Grind the drained wheat kernels in the oiled food processor in 2 or 3 batches, depending on the size of your machine. Grind the kernels until they form a dough on the top of the blade. You will see the bran in the dough, by the way. Deposit each batch of dough into a large oiled bowl or the oiled bowl of the stand mixer you are using.



6          Soften the yeast in the warm water for a few minutes and scoop it into the dough (along with the optional oil, if you are using it). In a small dry mixing bowl, stir together 1 cup of the whole wheat flour, the sugar and salt. Add this mixture to the dough and begin kneading, by machine or with your hands on an oiled counter, or right in a large oiled bowl. Add the remaining flour as the kneading proceeds. You should use the entire 3 cups in order for the bread to rise nicely. This has worked for me with no adjustments after draining the wheat for about 30 minutes, but  if you drain the wheat for a longer time, you may have to add a bit of water until the dough feels right.  You do not want the dough to be very dry or stiff. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. It should feel like a normal, springy whole grain yeast dough. If you knead by hand, oil your hands and the kneading surface, rather than flouring them, so that the dough remains moist and springy.




7          Place the kneaded dough in the oiled bowl that you are using for rising, cover and let rise in a warm spot for about 2 hours.
















8          The dough should double in size and be springy.  To test for whether or not it has sufficiently risen, poke your finger into the dough and, if the hole does not start filling in, it’s ready.   If you would like to rise it once again before forming the loaves, punch it down and let it rise again for about 1 hour.


9            On an oiled surface, with oiled hands, divide the dough into three equal pieces.  You want each loaf to weigh approximately 1 lb. 12 oz., no more.  You may have some extra dough left over, which you could shape into small buns, a little baby loaf, to or make into tortilla-like flatbreads, if you like. 
              
             Pat each piece of dough into a rough rectangle and roll it up from one of the short sides.  Pinch dough on the “seam”.  




Place each loaf into greased or nonstick 8 x 4.5-inch loaf pan, press it down so that the top is even.  

















Cover the loaves with clean, warm, wet tea towels (non-textured), or canvas; OR place them inside of a new plastic bag that is big enough to puff up over and around the loaves, without touching the dough.  Secure it in place with a twist-tie.  Rise the loaves in a warm place for about another hour or so, checking after half an hour and every 10 minutes or so after that.

10         After 30 minutes rising, turn on your oven on to 485°F.


11          When the loaves have risen over the tops of the pans (see picture above), slash the top as pictured with a sharp serrated knife or a blade, squirt the tops with water from a spray bottle.  Place the loaves on a rack in the middle of the preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes.  Turn the oven down to 385°F and back for 25 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and crusty.

12         Remove from the pans and cool thoroughly on racks.   

  
       

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per slice [16 per loaf]): 110.1 calories; 4% calories from fat; 0.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 138.5mg sodium; 117.2mg potassium; 23.2g carbohydrates; 3.8g fiber; 1.6g sugar; 19.4g net carbs; 4.7g protein.

Nutrition Facts with Optional Oil:
Nutrition (per slice [16 per loaf]): 117.5 calories; 10% calories from fat; 1.4g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 138.6mg sodium; 117.2mg potassium; 23.2g carbohydrates; 3.8g fiber; 1.6g sugar; 19.4g net carbs; 4.7g protein.

Happy Baking!