Thursday, April 10, 2008

We're so happy on our little piece of bread!

I think I mentioned this before but my boy is a picky eater - not in the same way other kids are picky though. His royal mouth can only handle the gourmet tastes. Case and point - he has never been a big fan of beef until this past Valentines Day dinner when we grilled some expensive tender loin beef steaks. Well, as I've said earlier, this is good because he enjoys quality foods but it is bad because he doesn't go for simple as often as I would like.

All kids like PBJs right? (I love this PBJ song, get their CD, you wont be disappointed I promise) Well he never has developed excitement over them and for a while now I have suspected a few reasons why. But today my worst fear was confirmed - up until now I have mostly used store-bought bread and when I made some bread today and used it to make him a sandwich, he thought they were "all up ons" and demanded more, more, MORE!

I will be the first to admit that I am not a baker (I'm a stove kinda gal). I've been thinking about joining The Daring Bakers clique for some time now but I haven't felt too 'daring' in the world of baked goods so I've put it off for now. Baby steps, Jackie.

However, I do have the materials to bake and they have to be used at some point. I have been looking for recipes that use wheat berries because I make a crockpot full of berries to slyly slip in meals (although Neal is catching on) and what can't be used right away I put in the snack size Ziploc bags and freeze for later use.

So I find a recipe, make and bake. Off goes the loaf's crusty end because I remember that that is Neal's favorite although I forget that he wont be here to eat it. We peer inside to see the bitty berries and pluck one out to sneak into our salivating mouths. The wheat berry gives a soft satisfying pop but a slightly nutty flavor. A single thin slice is cut and is shortly slathered with some creamy Peter Pan peanut butter and some homemade black raspberry jelly that was gifted to us by one of Neal's lab mates. Note to self: I want to have a 'vineyard' with black raspberries someday. The slice of bread is folded in half and Aedan tentatively takes a nibble and, shockingly enough, proceeds to wolf down the rest of the sandwich.

The dark jelly marks his face as if to say "Black raspberry was here. And here. Here too." A second sandwich must be made and he smiles as he awaits round two.

Sigh... how can I turn down such a happy sandwich-eating boy now? Do I really have to bake? No. But his excitement tells me I should. So I will. And maybe someday I can join the baker ranks... if only they would accept a bit of charcoal every once in a while :)

Wheat Berry Bread

from Wheat Cookin' Made Easy

1 cup cooked wheat berries

2 cups warm water

1/4 cup honey (we use wildflower or buckwheat honey)

1 pkg. yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)

2 tsp. salt

1/3 cup powder milk

1/4 cup vegetable shortening, melted

4 1/2 - 5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Pour warm water into a medium mixing bowl. Stir in honey and sprinkle yeast over surface. Set aside 5 to 10 minutes until foamy. Add salt, powdered milk, melted shortening, and 3 cups of whole wheat flour. Stir well, then beat until smooth. Add in cooked wheat and remaining flour and stir to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto a floured surface, cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Knead dough 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. You may need to add surface flour to prevent sticking. Place dough in well-greased bowl and turn dough to grease all sides. Cover and let rise until doubled in size. Punch down and divide dough in half, roll out on floured surface into a 7" by 14" rectangle. Beginning at short side, roll tightly like a jellyroll. Pinch edge and ends to seal. Place dough in 2 greased 9" by 5" bread pans seam side up. Turn dough placing the seamed side down, cover and set in warm place to rise above top of pan.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake about 25 minutes or until browned. Turn out of pans. Bread should sound hollow when tapped on bottom. Cool on a rack.

Makes 2 loaves


  1. You can totally join! There is no rule that says your end product actually has to be successful... :-) You could always have a post about what NOT to do, right?

  2. Haha! You crack me up! Aedan cracks me up too! My boys are just the opposite...if it doesn't come prepackaged in a box with a cartoon character on the front, they won't eat it! :) Maybe that should tell me something about my cooking!

  3. I think you could lead the baking squad. You are a fabulous cook and I am constantly impressed by what you can do. Wow! I love wheat berries, but have never known how to make them. Aedan sure knows what he does and does not like. Apparently you will be baking a lot more bread from now on :) If you need some help eating it though....we might be able to offer our assistance.


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