Wonder(ful) bread

We may, on occasion, take things to extremes here in the Green Life household.  On Sunday, I biked to church, and a fellow parishioner commented on my “extreme cycling.”  Perfectly dry pavement, no precipitation on the radar, and almost 32° F?  NOT extreme, especially not with the help of my trusty balaclava and super-warm mittens.  Sometimes one person’s extreme is another person’s normal.

So, bread.  We’ve been making our own bread for quite awhile now, but our neighbors inspired us to branch out a bit.  First, we borrowed their Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook.  Good concept, but lacking our beloved whole grains.  This led us to the follow-up Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which had a couple of recipes that seemed close, but not quite right, due to the presence of some white flour.  Surely we could make a great, basic whole wheat bread with 100% whole wheat!Continue reading “Wonder(ful) bread”

Wood and wheat

Every time I look at other apartments, our wood floors lure me back.  Today, I dug in and gave them a much-needed cleaning.  We sweep them pretty regularly, but cleaning the floor is one of those things, like making the bed and showering, that give me pause, because as soon as I clean it, it’s just going to get dirty again.  (I definitely recommend that you NOT clean the floors before company comes, because large numbers of people tramping in are a surefire way to dirty the floor quickly.)

I started with a thorough sweeping, supplemented with a bit of vacuuming for the hard to reach spots.  No carpet means easy, usually electricity free, cleaning.  I even swept the stairs — no sense leaving them with dirt to track onto the clean floors.

Next came a bucket with a bit of cleaner and water.  I used Biokleen All Purpose Cleaner.  (I’m sure there are some great homemade green cleaner recipes out there — anyone want to share?)  The trick is to make a pretty dilute solution.  You don’t want it soapy, or you’ll have to go back over the floors with water.  I prefer a single pass.

While I was on my hands and knees washing the floor, my bread sat on the sidelines, rising.  Two 100% whole wheat plus* loaves that don’t look like doorstops = success.

Clean enough to eat off of, if you like that sort of thing 😉

*I started with this basic 100% whole wheat bread recipe that makes two loaves.  I experimented by adding wheat berries, millet, steel cut oats, sunflower seeds, coarse corn meal, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds.  These additions totaled no more than a combined 3/4 of a cup for the two-loaf recipe.  The trick with the seeds and grains is using a presoak.  I soaked the millet and wheat berries overnight.  I soaked all of the other goodies for about an hour, starting with boiling water.