Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bread for the Poor

There are up sides and down sides to the slow season in the restaurant industry.
On the down side, there obviously are not a lot of hours, which stresses people who are already dealing with a depressed economy. You also get out of cynic, so when you come back to work it takes some time to catch the right flow. Also, you're at home more often, so you get to hear your landlord talking on his phone all day on the floor below you because he hasn't bothered to put insulation in even though you've told him you can hear every word he says and every TV show he watches for the past 3 months!!!!!!!!


On the plus side, you find yourself with big blocks of time to catch up on books you've been half way through for the past 4 months. Video games you paid a lot of money for that sat idle for weeks at a time. Or open one of the thousands of colorfully tabbed cook books with recipes that peaked your interest last July. 

Recently I finally got around to making a bread recipe in my favorite bread book, Marys Bread Basket and Soup Kettle by Mary Gubser. I had been eyeing this thing for a long time. I was looking for healthier bread recipes and saw the word 'Granola.' Granola's healthy, right? While the bread turned out to be wonderfully delightful with just a touch of sweetness, I don't think I can realistically put this in the health bread category. This bread is awesome for morning toast and would make FANTASTIC french toast. I'm definitely making this recipe again soon. Maybe today....

Granola Bread
2 Pkgs Dry or compressed yeast
1/2 c. Warm water
2 c. Warm milk
1/4 c. Melted butter 
1/2 c. Organic Honey (regular works fine)
1 t. Salt
1 Egg
1 c. Granola
3 T Wheat germ
Grated ring of 1 lemon
4 1/2 c. unbleached white flour

Sprinkle yeast over warm water, stir till dissolved. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine warm milk, butter, honey, salt, and egg. Blend well. Stir in 2 cups of flour and beat until smooth. Add enough of remaining flour to make a soft, workable dough. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (You can also use and electric mixer with a dough hook attachment for about 8 minutes.) Place in a warm, greased bowl , turning to coat, cover, and set aside to rise for 1 1/2 hours. Once doubled, knead lightly in bowl and let dough rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough into 2 portions, mold into loaves and place in well greased pans(8 1/2*4 1/2*2 1/2"). Cover and let rise to tops of pans, 30 minutes.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.

The book says you can drizzle lemon confectioner's sugar over the bread before serving. I'm not looking for that kind of sweetness, but I bet it would be delicious! 

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