I hope everyone had a great Mother’s day. We celebrated our youngest daughter’s birthday on Saturday and our eldest daughter came over for Mother’s day. Our son was there for both days and it was very nice to have a full house.
I have a few things I have been thinking about. Every since I have read about duck feathers in store bought bread I have been grossed out by our processed food. Researching the name of this so that you can look for it yourself made me even more disgusted. They also use human hair! Ewww! The non scary name of this is L-cysteine or cystine. Although it does sound like cyst. I understand that flour has an acceptable amount of bugs and such inside of it. Not thrilled, but when processing food stuffs from raw ingredients there will be bugs. But when hair and feathers are used to create a unnatural consistency for a product and that ingredient does not provide us nutrients it scares me.
Now my answer is to bake my own bread. I have this amazing recipe book that I got for Christmas last year. It’s called “Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads”. Now I have attempted quite a few of these recipes and they are pretty good, but I fell in love with the “Old Order Amish Bread” recipe. This one slices wonderfully, makes really good toast, and pretty decent for sandwiches. It even be freezes well too. Now my bread does not rise as well as I think it should, but then I compared it’s size to the stuff at the store that’s in the bakery it is not to far off.
“Old Order Amish Bread”
5 to 6 cups Bread flour approx.
1 package of dry yeast
1/3 cup of sugar
2 tsps salt
1 1/2 cup hot water (120-130F)
1/3 cup cooking oil
In a large mixing bowl measure 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt, water, and oil. Stir with wooden spoon or beat with a mixer flat beater until it is well blended. Add additional flour, 1/2 cup at a time, working it together first with the spoon and then with your hands, or if in the mixer, the flat beater and then the dough hook, until a rough mass has formed, and the dough has cleaned the sides of the bowl. The dough will be elastic but not sticky. If the moisture breaks through the surface, dust with flour.
Turn the dough onto a generously floured work surface and knead with a strong push-turn-fold motion or under the dough hook for about 8 minutes. If the dough seems slack and doesn’t hold its shape, add additional flour and work into the mass.
Wash and grease work bowl, then return the dough to it. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave the bowl at room temp until the dough has doubled in bulk. About 1 hour.
Turn back the plastic wrap and punch down the dough. Replace the plastic wrap and leave the dough until it has risen again, about 45 minutes.
Turn the dough onto the work surface, punch down and knead briefly to work out the bubbles. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, form loaves and place in the pans.
Cover with wax paper and leave at room temp until the dough has risen about 1 inch above the edge of the pans about 40 minutes.
Preheat over to 400F 20 minutes before baking.
Put the loaves into the hot over for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350F and bake for an additional 30 minutes, until the loaves are a golden brown.
Remove the bread from the over, turn out from the pans immediately and leave on a metal rack to cool. Will freeze up to 8 months
There are many other bread recipes to try. I tried many (at least 50) different recipes until I have found this one. I am the only one eating this for now. I can’t get my husband to cut out the store bought bread. He is grossed out too, but not enough to switch. He loves the consistency of the store bought bread and the cheaper the bread the better for him. Since I get to deal with this I have figured out a way to make it work for me. I now bake 2 loaves, slice them and freeze each slice individually and then in a large freezer container. This way I can take out whatever size I need and the bread doesn’t go to waste. Plus if I want to make my own croutons, I can. If I need bread crumbs I can take the bread out and run it through the food processor.
Now I know that not everyone has time to bake their own bread, but I would totally recommend getting a bread maker. You add the ingredients as recommended by the manufacture and walk away. The machine does all the work.
For more odd things in your food check this site out: http://webecoist.momtastic.com/2009/05/08/10-weird-and-gross-ingredients-in-processed-food.