Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Four Grain Batter Bread
I wanted to make some bread today, but I had a huge list of requirements that needed to be met. I wanted it done before lunch. I didn't want a recipe that included a bunch of kneading, shaping, rising, and all that stuff. But I didn't want to just throw the ingredients into the bread machine. You know, sometimes I'm just not in a "bread machine" mood. But I wanted a bread that was bigger and more filling than my oft-favored, very fast and easy yeastless focaccia. Boy, was I hard to please this morning, or what!
Luckily, one of my blogging buddies, Jeanette, happened to post a delicious batter bread recipe just this morning. I knew when I read her description that this was the recipe I wanted to make: "This is one of my favorite breads to make because it is quick and easy. It only takes about 1 1/2 hour from start to finish." Sounds good to me!
A batter bread is a yeast bread that does not use kneading or lots of rising time. The gluten in the flour is developed by stirring or beating the dough instead of kneading it. The dough rises in the pan and then you bake it. For a yeast bread, this makes it very simple and quick.
Four Grain Batter Bread
4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups all purpose flour or bread flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast (2 packets)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ (I used wheat bran, because that's what I had on hand)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
Grease bottoms and sides of two 8x4 inch loaf pans and sprinkle with cornmeal.
In a large bowl, mix 3 1/2 cups of the all purpose flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and yeast.
Heat milk and water until very warm (120-130 degrees). Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Beat with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
Stir in whole wheat flour, wheat germ, oats and enough remaining all purpose flour to make a stiff batter. Divide batter evenly between pans. Round tops of loaves by patting with floured hands. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes or until batter is about 1 inch below tops of pans (I either let mine rise too long or used a bit too much yeast - mine ended up rising about an inch above the tops of the pans - whatever, it still worked out great).
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake about 25 minutes or until tops of loaves are light brown.
I'm glad I chose to make this recipe. It turned out very delicious, and I'm sure I'll make it again and again.
P.S. This is a very healthy bread, with the wheat germ, whole wheat flour, and oats. And an added bonus is that, besides greasing the pans, there's no added fat. Hooray! (although of course, that benefit is reduced somewhat when I spread about an inch of butter on the fresh-from-the-oven slices...)