Beautiful weather and bread

This weekend was absolutely gorgeous and sunny so we took full advantage of it by being outside as much as possible. Coincidentally it ended up being the perfect weekend to take part in this week’s project recipe for bread too. The recipe basically does everything on its own, no kneading required, so early Sunday morning I put the dough together and while we were out for the rest of the day on a hike and visiting my mom, it sat, bubbling away and developing flavor.

I ended up letting it sit for a full 23 hours, before sliding it all into a loaf pan to rise once more before being baked this morning. I followed the recipe pretty much as written, taking out a tiny bit of the salt suggested, and it came out beautifully. Funny thing is it’s pretty close to a recipe that I typically bake, but the difference in taste and texture was quite a bit different. I account for this mainly by the fact that the whole wheat bread I typically bake has more yeast and a much quicker rise time, so the flavor doesn’t get quite as “sour” tasting. My usual loaf also has less holes and seems less dense. All in all I think this was a great loaf of bread and if kneading terrifies you, it would be a great recipe to try out, but I think I’ll stick with my regular loaf in the future.wheat doughwheat dough risereal whole wheat bread

This was my lunch today. I basically looked at what we had in the fridge, since I had to bide my time for our produce box to arrive this afternoon, and peas were what stood out. I lightly cooked them, tossed in a squeeze of lemon and bit of fresh oregano from our gigantic overtaking plant and loosely smashed it all together with garlic, salt and pepper, and topped it all onto warm lightly toasted whole wheat bread. If you’d like to add in some cheese I’d go for a soft goat or feta variety, I think some avocado would also work here nicely too and would have added that myself, but the avocados we had were too hard.spring peasspring pea mash

Spring Pea Mash / serves 2

1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of half a lemon
2-3 tablespoons fresh oregano
sea salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for drizzling
4 slices whole wheat bread (recipe below)

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Blanch the peas for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in an ice bath to prevent from further cooking, drain. Place peas in a small bowl, add the lemon, oregano, salt, and pepper and slightly mash everything together with the back of a fork.

Toast the 4 slices of bread and divide the pea mash between the 4 slices, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Real Whole Wheat Bread / makes 1 loaf
adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook

3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended; the dough will be pretty wet. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 12-24 hours. The dough is ready when the surface is dotted with bubbles. *Note, the warmer your house the faster the rise time will be.

Lightly oil the inside of a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Pour the dough into the pan and gently settle it all in with a rubber spatula. Drizzle or brush the extra oil over the top and let the dough rise again, covered, for 1-2 hours in a warm spot. When dough is ready, pre-heat oven to 350F.

Bake until the bread is golden brown and is hollow-sounding when tapped, about 45 minutes. Immediately turn the loaf out of the pan onto a wire rack and let cool before slicing.