Saturday, November 27, 2010

bread machine on the fritz & a saturday at market

local farm's fingerlings (banana & red)

so i've been on a bread blitz lately. really good bread is kind of hard to find here in our small town...or it costs a whole lot.
and jon eats a lot of bread. i swear that guy could live on pb sandwiches.

there is a good artisan bread lady (Meg Hobson of Rustica), but it gets kind of pricey (although quite tasty) to buy artisan wood fired stone oven bread all the time. plus i can only ever find her at market, which now that winter is here, is occasional at best.
then there is Schimmel's bakery and since we've moved here, their seed loaf is what i've been buying for jon to eat his sandwiches...but like all other stores, they are closed by 5 and on sundays and mondays.
as for gluten free bread? well, they have one of my favourite brands (Kinnikinnick) at the Safeway, but for 7-8 bucks a loaf...well, we got that awesome bread maker from Zia Lisa for our shower gift and so it began...

and 5 loaves later the machine suddenly stopped kneading.
i searched the trouble shooting guide and did everything it told me and still, just clicks and no kneading...and so i called the Wolfgang Puck helpline in the states and they told me that there was nothing they could do for my machine since the 12 months of its warranty were up (by 1 month! of course)...
i should probably have taken this as a sign seeing as with all the awesome fresh bread we've been eating my pants are getting a bit tighter...but i digress.

today at market, W. Diamond Ranch had 1 bag left of freshly milled Red Fife flour. it was there, just calling my name, and i couldn't resist.

i've been wanting to try a loaf with Red Fife since my bread making addiction started.
even if my machine is on the fritz, i figured i would fix it eventually and then i would need this bag of Red Fife flour...but as i was leaving i got this kernel of advice: "I just milled it yesterday, so if you don't plan on using it right away, make sure you freeze it or it'll go rancid on you".
on my walk home i was thinking of all the ways i could try and fix my bread maker...i called the help line back, to no avail. and they wouldn't let me speak to Wolfgang directly. one bread maker to another, i'm sure he would have understood.
but i just couldn't bear to put the flour in the freezer...and so out came my kitchen aid stand mixer and so began my first hand made loaf with Red Fife hard wheat flour.
and there was a certain satisfaction to it that made the bread taste that much better.
it almost made me start to reconsider the bread machine...i could do this. knead and bake my bread by hand.
but ask me what i've been doing for my whole Saturday?
going to market and then baking bread...ALL DAY. it really does take that long.
and one loaf is actually set to rise overnight, so i still have another loaf to finish tomorrow.

close up of the Red Fife dough (look at the lovely hard wheat)

after i punched the dough down and split it into two, i got inspired by a bread that my Zio Fred brings to family gatherings from St Phillips i added olives, hot chili flakes, rosemary and sundried tomatoes to one of the loaves

the shorter loaf is plain, the longish rolled one is the olive bread
(the red fife flour yields an extremely nutty and tasty doesn't rise much when baking and appears dense but has great texture and hold up really well for toast)

this olive bread was deliciously tasty with fresh carrot soup

carrots from local farm...made a tasty soup

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