Note to Self:

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Two Loaves of Ezekiel Bread, a Spinach Pizza, and a Mechanical Malfunction


I haven't posted a recipe for Ezekiel Bread in a while, but it is my favorite bread. The picture of the pizza above and the bread below were both made using the recipe that follows. Interestingly, Ezekiel Bread recipes are still one of the number 1 ways that new visitors find there way to this blog. I'm not sure how these recipes (all variations on a theme) became so popular, but if you Google it you'll see why this is. Likely, I think people are looking for a recipe that is not complicated, and also one that works. I really believe this is one of the most misunderstood bread recipes there is. If you'd like to read my interpretation of it--with additional pictures and step-by-step instructions--click here. If you want to read why I adjusted the liquid content in the recipe (which is the same recipe included in this page), click here. If you want to see the original post on this recipe--which includes white flour and the most comments any other post on this blog has ever received--click here.


Whole Wheat Ezekiel Bread
Makes 2 or 3 loaves
12 cups water
2 tablespoons white beans
2 tablespoons red beans
2 tablespoons spelt berries
2 tablespoons lentils
2 tablespoons barley
2 tablespoons millet
2 tablespoons bulgur wheat
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cooked beans and grains
½ cup cooking water
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
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4 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
2 cups cooking liquid
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1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
3 teaspoons kosher
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Boil the grains in the water in logical succession according to cooking times: first the white and red beans (about 60 minutes), when they are soft add the, spelt berries, lentils, and barley (about 30 minutes); lastly, add the millet and bulgar (about 10 minutes). The key is that after each addition the previous grain must be soft enough so that when all of the grains are in the pot they will all be equally soft; undercooked grains (especially the beans) can really ruin this bread. And as the grains cook add more water to the pot as necessary because the cooking liquid, which is full of nutrients, will become part of the recipe (keeping a lid on the pot will slow it's evaporation). After the grains are cooked allow them to cool in the liquid to room temperature, refrigerating if necessary. After the grains are cooled drain them, squeezing them with your hands or the back of a spoon, reserving the cooking liquid.
Place two bowls side-by-side; one will hold the pre-ferment, the other autolyse. In one bowl combine the cooked and drained grains with ½ cup of the cooking liquid, 2 cups whole wheat flour, and 2 teaspoons instant yeast. Stir it just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap. In the other bowl combine 4 cups whole wheat flour, 3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten, and 2 cups cooking liquid; stir it just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap (take care not to get yeast into this bowl). Allow the bowls to rest at room temperature for about an hour, during which time the preferment will begin it's job multiplying yeast and fermenting flour, and the autolyse will soak liquid, swelling the gluten.
After an hour or so, combine the ingredients from both bowls into the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the honey, olive oil, salt, and 3 teaspoons of yeast (add the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover it loosely, and allow to ferment for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Deflate the dough and allow it to ferment an additional 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 2 or 3 pieces. Shape into loaves and place into lightly oiled pans. Loosely cover the loaves with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 30-60 minutes, or until double in size and when gently touched with a fingertip an indentation remains.

Bake the breads for about 30-40 minutes, adding steam to the oven a few times (either with ice cubes or a spray bottle) and rotating the breads every ten minutes. The breads are done when they are dark brown and sound hollow when tapped upon. Remove the breads from their pans and allow them to cook on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
 
 
And here's the quick story of a mechanical malfunction. I was about 4 or 5 minutes into kneading the above recipe and was washing dishes when I heard a loud grinding sound coming from my mixer. I look over to see that, while the motor is running and making very loud sounds, the dough hook is not moving. To make a long story short, it broke. I believe it is something with the gears...sounds like one either broke or came off its shaft. I took it over to the local Sears to have it sent out for repair. I could not find a single small business who would repair it locally. It is only two years old but only had a one year warranty and it would have cost me more to have Kitchen Aid ship it than Sears. Whatever...very frustrating. I have no idea how much it will cost to repair, nor do I know when it will return...the confused man in the repair department at sears said possibly 6 weeks (what?). Anyhow, I have to admit that this is a more than frustrating to me...it's a bit scary. I haven't been sans upright mixer in many years...you can see its empty spot waiting its return below. Looks like I'll be going "old school" for a while...mixing by hand. Egads!
  
 

2 comments:

Jeannine E. G. Fallon, Esq. said...

Your poor mixer! I had to go give mine a hug when I read about yours breaking. Fingers crossed, you'll get it back soon. (In the meantime, you could always lift the one from work..)

Joe said...

Yes Jeanine it sucks...looks like I'll be kneading by hand for a while.