Cooking

a bowl of cauliflower curry

I learned how to cook from my mother; or rather I learned to appreciate cooking, and then I gradually figured out how actually do it once I had to if I wanted to eat good food. Now I really enjoy cooking. Leah says she doesn't as much as I do, but she enjoys having cooked, which is something. Together we do a pretty good job of keeping ourselves supplied with homemade treats.

Like this:

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

This is the current version of an ever-changing recipe. It works better in the winter, when humidity is low, but we still try and make it all the time!

In the work bowl of a stand mixer whisk together:

  • 5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Combine and heat until quite warm, 115° to 125° F:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

With the mixer going (using the paddle attachment), slowly add the liquids to the flour mixture. Let it mix up for a couple minutes, then switch to the dough hook. Add, in 1/2 cup portions every 4-5 minutes:

  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups all-purpose flour

Scrape the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it briefly (if not too sticky) to make it roughly a ball, then dump it into an oiled container to rise (I use the stand mixer bowl). If it's too sticky you can just toss it back in the bowl without the kneading; that is sometimes necessary.

Let rise until doubled in volume, which takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hour depending on temperature. Remove from bowl, knead lightly and divide into two equal lumps. Form the lumps into balls by stretching the tops and turning the dough underside inwards, then let them sit for 10 minutes.

Grease two loaf pans well with butter, shape the dough into oblongs, and place one in each pan. Let rise until doubled, 30 minutes to 1 hour. In time to get it heated when the loaves are risen, preheat the over to 350° - 375° F. Position the loaves several inches apart in the middle of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans immediately using a metal spatula, and let them cool on a rack. Don't bag them or cover them with plastic until they cool, or they'll get wet with condensation.