Monday, June 11, 2007

Fresh bread!

The solar oven bread turned out perfect, nice chewy crust and a great texture. So, here's what I did - I mixed the dough up at about 1:30am and left it in the fridge. At 7:00am, Mr. Gaia punched it down and put it in the loaf pan (he suggests making a change and letting it do both rises in the loaf pan). Mr. Gaia set up the solar oven to start gathering some heat (but he had to set it up to face west, so it wasn't that hot at noon). I came home from work at noon, put the bread fresh from the fridge in the oven (it was about 150F at that point). I left the bread in the oven until I got home at about 5:30. So it had a little over 5 hours of cooking.

My reciped adapted to be only one loaf (I think in the new loaf pans, we can get 2 loaves in, but we couldn't in the stoneware pans):

1 7/8 c water (bottled water works best if you have hard water or lots of chlorine)
1 heaping T yeast
1.5 T oil
2 1/4 t honey
2 1/4 t molasses
2 1/4 t salt
1.5-2 T flax seeds (freshly ground in a coffee grinder)
2.5 T vital wheat gluten
3-5 c whole wheat flour (I don't actually measure the flour)

Heat the water to 100-120F, dissolve the yeast in the water. Add oil, honey and molasses (a little tip - I use one the shot glass measuring cups, measuring the oil first will allow the honey and molasses to slip right on out, no sticking at all). While the yeast is proofing, grind the flax seeds (I throw the salt in with the flax to help it grind a little more finely). When the yeast has proofed, add the flax and salt. Add the vital wheat gluten. Add the flour 1/2 c at a time. I use the kitchen aid with the dough hook. I add flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and there is no dough on the side of the bowl at all. I then pull the dough off the hook, turn it over and add a little more flour. I mix until the dough is stiff and not really sticky. At this point, I take it out of the mixer, I knead it a few times just to be sure it is uniform and then put it in an oil bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.

Biking update -

Temp was 84F with an ESE wind of 13.8mph. We rode 2.45 miles.

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