Whenever the scent of freshly-baked bread emanates from our community kitchen, it reminds me that whole-grain breads are one of the most comforting pleasures of life…
Around here, a loaf of fresh bread can easily be devoured in a single day, especially when dinner includes a delicious soup or stew. We tend to rely on the efficiency of our bread machine to keep up with the high demand, but hand-made breads still make an occasional appearance on our dinner table.
Luckily, most of these recipes can be done in the bread machine; at least the hard work anyway. As long as your bread machine has a dough setting, you can do the kneading and rising using a machine, then remove the dough for baking… (Check out the italicized directions for more information on each recipe.)
We like to use pastry flour for all our breads, because it makes a beautiful, light loaf. You can use a coarser grain if you prefer (such as a bread flour, rather than one intended for pastry), but don’t be surprised if the loaf comes out denser than expected.
Whole spelt makes for a lower-gluten loaf, so we prefer it over wheat, since you can use the two interchangeably. (Spelt loaves do have a tendency to be a bit more crumbly than their wheat counterparts, and don’t always rise quite as well, because of the lower gluten content.)
Excited by the idea of fresh bread for dinner or lunch, but don’t have time for all that kneading and rising? Try out the dinner biscuits and cornbread on page 7. They are great recipes for quick dinner breads that can be made as easily as a batch of vegan cookies.
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