I’ve been a fan of King Arthur products for some time now, but it has only been in the past year or so that I have jumped head-first into the King Arthur world of bread baking. Yes, the real deal. Kneading, rising, shaping, rising and, finally, baking. Although, I admit I often utilize my bread machine for the mixing/kneading/first rise process, I’m pretty excited about these “hands-on” creations that come out of the kitchen.
I’ve played with dinner rolls, cheese breads, baguettes, and artisan sourdough loaves, but my favorite Go-To recipe right now is for this great multi-grain, sourdough bread.
I make this bread almost once a week. The other day, as I was popping the last scrawny heel into the toaster, I decided it was time to get out the ingredients and whip up a new loaf…
So, here you have it; everything you need to bake the PERFECT loaf of bread. Notice my bread machine pan in the background, this is one of the recipes that does exceptionally well in the bread machine for the mixing/kneading process. My King Arthur crock in the foreground houses my sourdough starter; purchased about eight months ago. The folks at King Arthur state that this starter is from a strand that is over 250 years old! And I really do find a way to use my starter and then, feed it, at least once a week.
So, everybody in the bread machine pan, set it for bread dough and walk away. Easy, huh? Ok, we’re not quite done yet.
For this recipe, I like to do the first rise in a large ceramic bowl. My husband’s favorite popcorn bowl is just perfect! And here is our work-in-progress so far…
See all those grains and seeds and whatnot? Yeah, it’s the whatnot that is the secret. Actually, the real secret is the spot I have discovered that is the best draft-free, warm, but not hot, place for the bread to rise; get this…on top of our aquarium!
Yes, it’s true! With the lights in the acquarium turned on, the oak cabinet top of the acquarium is the perfect spot for all the yeast and whatnot to do their magic work!
After the first rise, the risen dough gets a little shape-up and into the bread pan it goes. It is starting to look like a loaf of bread at this point.You can still see all those lovely grains and whatnot! Time to cover it up and let the second rise begin!
And, voila! Isn’t yeast amazing? That ugly little lump of dough has risen above the edge of the bread pan and is now ready to go in the oven. Yum! My mouth is watering a little bit as I draft this blog!
And here we have it…the finished product! The tough part is waiting for it to cool enough to slice into! This bread is great for sandwiches, toast, or thick sliced and served alongside a great bowl of soup, stew or chili. Or…maybe even a great summer salad. Rumor has it there may be an upcoming blog post featuring just that.
Anyway, if you’ve been intimidated to try yeast bread, poke around the King Arthur Flour (KAF) website. Their products and recipes are incredible and their blog posts and comments by the KAF community are extremely helpful. Now, I think I need to make some more bread! Bon appetit!