Speaking of holidays, just visiting our local farmers markets has me gettin’ into the spirit. Expect to find TWO sources of local asparagus (if all goes well) at Sunset Valley Farmers Market this Saturday: McKemie Homegrown and newcomers Montesino (organic!). Georgetown Pecan Company is back with new crop pecans. Orange Blossom Farms returns with the first of this season’s tangerines. Richardson Farms has been selling pastured turkeys (this weekend they plan to offer fresh again!) plus their own freshly ground whole wheat flour. See below for my bread machine recipe using their Texas-grown wheat!
If you’re headed for the Austin Farmers Market this weekend, be sure to check out Dai Due‘s new booth for the crème de la viande: charcuterie (including their famous lard!), carefully crafted from locally-sourced ingredients. Shop local and get cookin’ so’s you can get to eatin’!
You can’t beat a bread machine for convenient sustenance. On workdays, if I have nothing cooked up already, I can just throw some ingredients (good ones, of course) into the bread maker and know that my family won’t starve in my absence.
BREAD MACHINE WHOLE WHEAT LOAF makes 1 medium sized loaf
- 2 Tablespoons orange juice (HEB’s selling our sweet ‘n’ juicy Texas oranges right now) plus enough water to equal 1 2/3 cups total liquid. The OJ is optional, especially out-of-season, but it helps tame the bitterness some folks detect in wheat bran.
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons local honey. We Central Texans enjoy so many apiary options. I’m partial to Good Flow’s local wildflower nectar from Central Market’s bulk department.
- 2 Tablespoons organic butter. I like Organic Valley. Click for a coupon.
- ½ cup organic old-fashioned oatmeal or ½ cup plus 1 teaspoon organic quick oats (for an even lighter crumb).
- 300 grams (about 2 ¼ cups plus a scant Tablespoon) Richardson Farms whole wheat flour. If measuring by volume, stir up the flour to loosen it, then lightly spoon it into your measuring vessels.
- 130 grams (about 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon plus 5/8 teaspoon) organic all-purpose flour—Whole Foods 365 is usually the best priced.
- 1 ½ teaspoons instant (bread machine or Rapid Rise) yeast—NOT active dry
Put all the ingredients into your bread machine in the order specified in your instruction manual. In my Zojirushi, that would be the order I have listed. I use the regular cycle (not whole wheat or quick) and get great results.
An interesting note about freshly ground flour: Used within 7 hours of milling (some sources say 8-24), the flour should work as expected in your doughs. However, after that initial post-grinding period, enzymes get to working and interfere with the flour’s behavior. I noticed that effect when I made my first batch of bread with Richardson Farms fresh ground flour the day after purchasing it. After storing for 10 days or so (some sources say one week, others claim two), those enzymes settle down and the flour will perform reliably. So I recommend putting that new bag of fresh ground flour in the freezer for a week before embarking on baking. My third batch, baked 15 days after purchasing my flour, baked up the lightest.