Pane Cafone (Country Man's Bread)

Pane Cafone (Country Man's Bread)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Taking my bread to the next level.

In my travels around the internet, I ran across the Bread Beckers website.
Sue Becker explains all the advantages of grinding your own flour, not the least of which is that store bought flour is basically nutritionally dead 3 days after it's been milled.  She has a food science degree, I'm not going to argue with her. 
The advantages of owning your own grain mill are many, grind what you need when you need it, true whole grain goodness and more control over what goes into my bread not to mention that whole wheat berries sealed in a can have a shelf life of 30 years.

The 1st bread I made from my own fresh milled flour is commonly called "Ezekiel Bread".  In case you have never heard of it, the reason for the name is pretty simple, grab a bible and look up Ezekiel 4:9.  The ingredients list is right there as well as how Ezekiel is supposed to cook and eat it.  (I don't recommend his fuel source, Ezekiel 4:12)

This is the recipe directly as it is written on the Bread Beckers website and is the one I use.  I made 6 loaves over a 2 day period and they got devoured by hungry co-workers. 

"Ezekiel Bread
Combine the following whole grains:
2 1/2 cups hard red wheat
1 1/2 cups spelt or rye (Biblically spelt was used, Ezekiel 4:9)
1/2 cup barley (hulled barley)
1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup lentils (green preferred)
2 Tbs. great northern beans
2 Tbs. red kidney beans
2 Tbs. pinto beans
Stir the above ingredients very well.  Grind in flour mill.

Measure into large bowl
4 cups lukewarm water
1 cup honey
1/2 cup oil (I use olive oil)

Add to liquids:
Freshly milled flour from the above mixture of grains
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. yeast

Stir or knead until well kneaded about 10 minutes.  This is batter type bread and will not form a smooth ball.
Pour dough into greased pans.  You may use 2 large loaf pans (10x5x3) or 3 med. loaf pans or 2-9×13 brownie pans.  Let rise in a warm place for one hour or until the dough is almost to the top of the pan.  If it rises too much it will over flow the pan while baking.  Bake at 350o for 45-50 minutes for loaf pans and 35-40 minutes for brownie pans.

*For fasting divide bread into 8 equal parts weighing 1/2 pound each.  Eat a 1/2 pound cake and drink a quart of water every day.  For fasting I do not alter the recipe."

Now I'm sure that ol Ezekiel didn't have a grocery store near by to purchase instant yeast from so until the last 150 years or so, this bread was made from a sourdough starter. My 1st 2 batches were made just as you see in the above recipe with instant yeast but I plan on converting this into a wild yeast recipe.  I'm sure it's going to change the flavor and texture a little but I expect good things to become of these changes.  I will post the recipe once I finish converting it to a sourdough bread.

As to my new Wondermill electric grain mill, I love this thing.  I found it on Craigslist for a great price and the reviews I have seen on it reinforce my decision to own one.  I already own a Wondermill Jr Deluxe, which is the hand cranked version, but this machine makes grinding your own flour a breeze.  The only down side is that dried grains, dried beans and such is the only thing you can grind in it.  You can not make your own nut butters, grind oily beans like coffee or anything else soft.  For those jobs the Wondermill Jr. Deluxe shines since it came with 2 sets of grinding heads.  A stone set for milling dried grains and a stainless steel set of grinding heads for softer, oily grains and beans.

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