Monday, March 1, 2010

A Mixed Bag

I have an electric wheat grinder/bread mixer that I love. Its called a Mill and Mix and, sadly, they don't make them anymore.  For many years I made bread weekly with this handy friend.  However, when we moved overseas it didn't make the cut of things to take.. just too heavy.  So, it has been in storage for 10 years.  Now that we are back home it is good to have it cleaned up and functioning again. ( Have I mentioned before I LOVE wheat bread?  LOL)  Anyway, I find I'm having kind of a struggle figuring out how home-ground wheat flour works with HBin5.  Last week I made Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread and weighed the ingredients instead of measuring them.  The dough was WAY too wet.  (sorry, bad blogger- I forgot to take a picture)  The bread didn't raise very well and was kind of crumbly.  Soo....  this week our assignment was Whole Wheat Bread With Olive Oil.  I decided I would just measure the ingredients and see what happened.  Well, this time the dough was way too dry.  I got no raise at all during the initial 2 hours.  Okay.  I added water.  A cup and a half of water... maybe a bit more. A little improvement after another 2 hours. So, I put it in the fridge overnight.  Next morning, I decided I would try a loaf to see what would  happen.  Well, the results were disappointing, to say the least.  The heavy, 2" high brick I pulled out of the oven went straight into the garbage!! ERG!   I then decided to add some all purpose flour and about a teaspoon of yeast in a 1/2 cup of water with some agave mixed in. Finally, I got a decent raise!  Back in the fridge it went for another night's rest.  The dough looked and felt so much better, I began to think I just might pull this off.  Not willing to try a loaf again, I pulled out an old favorite recipe for pocket bread.
Broccoli Spinach Turnovers. 
10 oz frozen spinach
10 oz frozen broccoli
1 cup fresh mushrooms
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup Swiss cheese- grated
1/2 cup Monterrey Jack with jalapenos- grated
1 or two cups cooked chicken
2 loaves Rhodes Frozen Bread

-Cook the spinach and broccoli.  (I just throw them into the microwave for abt 3 minutes.) Drain well.
-Chop, then saute the mushrooms in 1 Tbsp butter. Cool.
- Combine all ingredients except bread dough.
-Thaw bread.  Cut each loaf into 6 portions.  Roll each piece into a circle about 1/8" thick.. Spoon 2 Tblsp of filling onto 1/2 of circle.  Pull the other half of dough over the filling to make a half moon shape.  Pinch edges to seal.  Cut 2 slashes in each piece.  Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake 10-20 minutes at 350.

Success!  They turned out great.  Hubby, who is not a big fan of whole wheat bread, ate 3!  I think next time I will weigh the flour and then just keep adding a little flour till it is of the right consistency.  Hopefully, I am slowly getting the 'feel' of what this dough should be like.
The next bread for this time was a Southwestern Focaccia.  With many people in our group finding great success making this dough into flat bread, I decided to make this recipe exactly as it is written. Hubby is a big fan of Mexican food and with the topping ingredients of tomato, onion, poblano pepper, cumin, chili powder and goat cheese, this one seemed right down his alley.  And, sure enough, he loved it!
Right before I put it in the oven..
Ready to eat.
So, all in all, this assignment was a mixed bag for me.  Some bad, some good.  But, always learning!  Who knows?  I just may end up a HBin5 bread baker after all..  (I'm sure having a grand time trying!)  Check out what all the others are doing with this recipe at Big Black Dog 


  1. Ahhh....I like the filling your made for the turnovers!

    Your Southwestern Focaccia looks so good!

  2. Your bread looks wonderful. I also grind my own wheat, and results vary with the wheat you use, your humidity (are you in AZ?), etc. I am in an arid place and I find that I have to adjust my liquid depending on these variables. I also add extra vital wheat gluten to my home-ground wheat because it doesn't have the high protein content that commercial wheat flour has. E-mail me if you want to talk more.

  3. Wow! The foccacia looks wonderful. And those broccoli turnovers are such a great idea. Glad you didn't give up on trying to grind your own wheat flour. I'm learning a lot from everyone's experimenting.

  4. Your turnovers and Focaccia look great! I used a combination of home milled grains for this bread to get the protein content and the flavor. It worked great!

  5. I think a lot of people had issues with this dough...maybe this challenge was just cursed! The turnovers and flatbread look delicious.

  6. the turnover filling looks incredible...right up my alley!! and your focaccia looks fantastic

  7. That focaccia looks devine!

  8. I just started milling my own flour and so far I've just measured it like normal. This was my first time using it in the HBin5 breads. Wasn't sure what to expect but all came out well. I'm anxious to try the foccacia because all the pictures I've seen of it look simply delicious!

  9. I just go a mill but have not tired it yet. Keep us posted on your progress using home ground flour.

  10. I love your pocket breads! You gave me some great ideas!

    I know what you mean about great gadgets not being available any more. I have an electric potato/apple peeler. When the blades are used up, I won't be able to get any more blades! I love that peeler!

  11. You wouldn't happen to have the instruction manual would you? Mine has been in storage also and my son would like to use it, but I can't find the instructions.