Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Big news! On Saturday, January 31st, I crossed off two items on my New Year's resolution list: grind my own wheat and bake bread without help. Yay! I can't believe I really did it.

I pulled out the Nutrimill wheat grinder I bought last fall and stared at it for a while before I turned the knob to begin the grinding. And voila!--ground wheat appeared.

Then I began to make Laurie Colwin's recipe for a whole wheat baguette. The night before I called Leslie and she agreed to be available by phone should I need her--isn't she a pal? But I didn't need to call. This recipe is so easy and doesn't require a strict timeline. It can fit your schedule which was great since I needed to run errands and work in the garden for a bit. When it was all finished I had beautiful crusty-on-the-outside and soft--on-the-inside baguette.

I brought a warm piece to Leslie--she loved it, and stopped by Jennifer's with a slice and she also liked it

More practice is needed to make a prettier baguette--mine wasn't as straight as it should be--but I am not intimidated any longer. Next fear to conquer: pie crust.

Recipe (Copied exactly from Laurie Colwin's book Home Cooking.)
Into a large bowl put 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour, 1 1/2 cups stone-ground whole-wheat flour and 3/4 cup coarse ground whole-wheat flour. Add one heaping teaspoon salt and one tablespoon of wheat or corn germ.

Mix 1/2 scant teaspoon of yeast with 1 1/2 cups liquid--half milk, half water, or more water than milk--whatever you have on hand. If you are going to leave it overnight, use 1/4 teaspoon yeast.

Pour the liquid into the flour and stir it up. The dough should be neither dry nor sticky but should tend more toward the sticky than the dry. If too sticky, knead in a little more flour.

Knead the dough well, roll it in flour, put it in a warm bowl (although I have put it in a regular old bowl right off the shelf). Leave it in a cool, draft-free place and go about your business.

Whenever you happen to get home, punch down the dough, knead it well, roll it in flour and forget about it until convenient.

Some later (with a long first rise, a short second rise is fine, but a long one is fine, too), punch the dough down, give it a final kneading, shape into a baguette, slash the top with four diagonal cuts, brush with water and let proof for a few minutes (and if you haven't the time, it can go straight into the oven).

You can preheat the oven or put it in a cold oven, it matters not a bit. Bake at 450 degree for half an hour. Turn the oven to 425 degrees and bake for another 5-20 minutes.

Kim's notes: I did not add the wheat germ since I didn't have any on hand. And I added 3 tablespoons of soy lecithin. I put the bread in a pre-heated oven, and after it baked for 30 minutes I turned the oven down to 425. The bread was done after 5 minutes more.


  1. This bread looks great. You are not only a gardener, you are a baker. I want to try cinnamon rolls one day soon. l.y. jill

  2. I just need to set the facts straight here -- "Jennifer also LOVED it" not just "liked" it as stated. :-) And what a treat to have home delivery, complete with unsalted butter.

    I'm so lucky to live close by...