The whole-wheat spice bread I made over the weekend in my Bake-a-Round didn’t last more than an extra day. The Bake-a-Round itself got a second look from my youngest child’s friends, who were over yesterday for a last gasp of summer bakeoff.
They made brownies, the five of them. I was sorry not to be there to see it. They thought the Bake-a-Round was the oddest thing they had ever seen, apparently. Ah, youth!
For those interested in the bread recipe, here it is. It’s from “A World of Breads” by Dolores Casella:
Whole-wheat spiced bread
2 cups scalded milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup soft butter
1/3 cup orange juice
2 cakes yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 large egg
2-1/2 cups white flour
4 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp cumin seed
Directions: Pour the scalded milk over the brown sugar, salt, honey and butter. Dissolve the yeast in the water and let set until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Add to the milk mixture along with the egg and blend well. Sift in the white flour and beat until smooth. Add the whole-wheat flour and cumin seed and blend in. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a buttered bowl, cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down and knead for 1 minute. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Turn out onto floured board again and shape into 2 loaves. Place in buttered 9-inch loaf pans, cover, and let rise again until doubled. Then bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, then at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes longer. Brush the tops of the hot loaves with softened or melted butter.
A couple of thoughts. I used white flour on the board when I was kneading the dough, although I ought to have used whole wheat flour to keep with the idea of a whole-wheat bread. I just didn’t think of that until it was too late.
Also, although this recipe doesn’t specify how long it takes for dough to double, the first doubling takes between 1-1/2 and 2 hours; it takes less time to double after that, so the second time you need to double it, it probably will take between 45 minutes and an hour (although it could take longer). You can tell that the dough has doubled because you can punch it down almost like a deflating balloon when you drive 2 fingers into it.
It’d been a while since I purchased a cake of compressed yeast, too, because it doesn’t keep as long as dry yeast. I used some of my bread machine yeast instead. There was a conversion notation on the bottle lid. In general, 1 tbs of loose yeast equals 1 cake of compressed yeast or 1 package of dry yeast. If you want to use dry yeast in a recipe calling for a yeast cake, remove 1/4 cup of liquid from the ingredients to dissolve the dry yeast in, Casella advised.
She did say if you wanted your bread to rise more quickly to use a cake of yeast or a package of yeast for each cup of liquid in the recipe, or the same ratio for each 3 cups of flour. According to her, that combination can shorten the entire process, so bread can be made, start to finish, in less than 2-1/2 hours.