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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Cheese 'N' Onion Bread and 100% Whole Wheat Bread

Today was warm for the season and it was rainy. That meant it was good for the heating bill but not so good for things like making bread. The weather plays a huge role in cooking, baking and home food preservation something that many fail to take into consideration. For example, low front days or rainy days are not good candy making days. High humidity or too dry days will affect bread dough even if with air conditioning and heating. So the next time you try cooking or baking something and it doesn't turn out as expected, consider the effects of weather.

I wanted to bake breads today so that meant adjusting for the weather. With any bread recipe I always measure out about a half cup of flour. Once the bread is mixed the extra flour is added just enough to get a dough that is not sticky. On damp days like today more flour is needed. I ended up using the bread proofing setting on my oven, something I seldom do. Even with that the bread was sluggish taking longer to rise. Had it been only one loaf of bread I could over looked the weather but when both were tried and true loaves, behaved poorly with needing extra flour and longer proofing time I knew it was the weather. Problems aside, I ended up with two lovely tasting loaves even though they would not have won awards for symmetry but both were perfect for sandwiches.

Cheese 'N' Onion Bread

Breads do not need to be plain and while white and whole wheat tends to be the most common, there are so many more varieties. Any white bread can be changed by a few additions. This recipe started out as it was meant to be, not a white bread. I modified it significantly for when I made the loaf in a bread machine then again for the stand mixer.

Cheese 'n' Onion bread is a good way to use the homemade dried onion pieces I have spoke with in earlier entries. Extra sharp cheddar cheese packs a punch of flavour. Be sure to use a good quality cheddar for best flavour. If you want the top crust soft, brush with butter while the loaf is hot as I did with this loaf. Also, if you let the bread sit and cool as in the picture the bottom will be quite soft because of condensation. This is fine for pictures but for best results move the bread on the rack over a half sink or sit above a cake pan to give more air circulation allowing the bottom crust to cool without becoming too soft.

Cheese 'N' Onion Bread
ABM recipe modified for KitchenAid® stand mixer

1 ⅔ c milk
3 tbsp organic sugar
1 ½ tsp sea salt
4 tsp dried onion
1 c extra old cheddar cheese, grated
4 ½ c unbleached flour
2 tsp instant yeast

Place the dry ingredients in the stand mixer bowl. Mix on speed 2 for 30 seconds. Continue mixing while slowly adding milk. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl. If not add just a little extra flour until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl as is not sticky. Knead on speed 2 for 3 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Turn off mixer and remove dough hook*. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until double. Punch down and form into a loaf. Place in loaf pan and let rise until double. Bake at 205ºC (400ºF) until golden brown and loaf sound hollow when thumped with the back of a spoon. Turn the loaf out onto a baking rack to cool.

*Always make sure the mixer is unplugged before attaching or removing attachments.

The original recipe for this wonderful whole wheat bread started as a bread machine recipe but I was never happy with the results so I did a lot of tweaking. Many bread machine recipes use water and skim milk powder. That is so you can use the delay setting. However, actual milk gives a much nicer result. Milk adds a softness to the bread as does oil and honey. The original recipe called for using shortening. Now there are times when shortening is the only thing that will work but this isn't one of them. Shortening also adds softness but no flavour so butter is a better choice since it adds flavour and it makes more sense given that I insist on as natural as possible ingredients.

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Whole wheat bread is a good breakfast and sandwich bread so I try to make a loaf a week. This particular loaf has a lovely flavour. The flavour comes from all natural ingredients. A longer rise time is well worth the taste of this loaf.

Whole wheat flour can result in a shorter, denser loaf of bread because of a lower gluten content. There are two ways to increase the volume of the bread. The easiest way is to add 1 tbsp gluten flour for every 3 c of whole wheat flour. The second method and the one that should be used by those on gluten-restricted diets is to use a longer knead time along with a longer rise time. If using the second method the rise time can be as much as doubled so plan on making the bread earlier in the day for dinner or later afternoon for breakfast the next day.


100% Whole Wheat Bread
ABM recipe modified for KitchenAid® stand mixer

1 ½ c milk
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp local honey
2 tbsp fancy molasses
2 tsp sea salt
4 c whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp gluten flour (optional)**

Place the dry ingredients in the stand mixer bowl. Mix on speed 2 for 30 seconds. Mix wet ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Continue mixing on speed 2 while slowly adding milk. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl. If not add just a little extra flour until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 3 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Reduce speed to 1 and slowly add in raisins until well mixed. Turn off mixer and remove dough hook*. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until double. Punch down and form into a loaf. Place in loaf pan and let rise until double. Bake at 205ºC (400ºF) until golden brown and loaf sound hollow when thumped with the back of a spoon. Turn the loaf out onto a baking rack to cool.


5 food lovers commented:

Heart4MyHome said...

What's "fancy" molasses? Is it the same as regular molasses?

Garden Gnome said...

Molasses is graded according to purity much like maple syrup. Fancy molasses is made from 100% pure sugarcane juice with no preservatives. It is the high end premium molasses that contains no sulfites, sulfates or additives. Unlike Blackstrap molasses that has almost no sweetness, fancy molasses adds a lovely sweetness and colour with no tartness. The sugar is extracted in lower grades leaving less flavour and colour.

The brand I use is Crosby's that is widely available in Canada and the New England states. Other companies will have comparable grades. With molasses a little goes a long way so always go with the highest quality possible.

HTH

LindaG said...

These both look delicious! I am looking forward to the day when I can try them both! :)

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Linda :) Both loaves of bread are quite tasty and very easy to make. I hope you enjoy them.

Beth said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe Cheese 'N' Onion Bread. I went to the local Famers market where a lovely family of Amish sell bakery. I wanted to buy them out!! With the cookies, pies, and berry coffee cakes, it was just about all I had in me to purchase just one of each of course. They also had this bread (to die for)the little girl that was selling it I'm sure had perfected it since she was like say 5? I looked for awhile online but, I think this is about as close to what I bought. I bet I go back next weekend to buy the bread or learn how to make it because I know they do not share recipes :)