Well, maybe. :o)
So, I had a rather ambitious cooking list Sunday, annnnnnd Rudder and I decided napping seemed like a better option for the time being. :o) I did manage to get ONE item from my list made though!
Last spring I had probably my favorite bakery bread at Two Sisters Bakery in Homer, AK. I was mostly intrigued by it and figured I should give it a whirl just because. I mean, a Potato & Lavender Wheat bread sounds so much more, well strange, than a typical multigrain I'd normally reach for. Feeling curious, I bought it to take with us camping. Oh-my-goodness. I am oh so glad I did!
I'm not usually a lavender fan, the smell is usually a bit much for me. After this bread though, I realized it can be rather delicious, and in it's natural state (vs. the "scented" chemical jazz) doesn't smell too bad. So, I've been keeping my eye out for recipes that used lavender in bread. I was actually surprised that I didn't find so much... I did find some pinspiration though! Sadly, the recipe I found was from the UK, so I had some conversions to do. It wasn't too much work making the conversions, but they didn't always work out perfectly, so I had some "-ishes" in my measuring (which I normally embrace, but in the world of bread making, I get a bit more exact in my measurements and actually pull out the measuring spoons...).
So here's what I ended up with as far as a recipe goes:
- 2T lavender (culinary grade)
- 1/8c. warm milk
- 6 1/4c. flour (I used all purpose unbleached)
- 2tsp. salt
- 1/2c. unsalted butter
- 2tsp. yeast
- 1T baker's sugar
- 1 1/3c. warm milk
- just a bit more than 3/8c. warm water
Here's the how to:
First take a nice deep breath of your lavender. Mmmmmm....
Then add it to your warmed milk (a bit more than luke warm), stir, and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Add in sugar.
Chop up your butter into nice and small little pieces.
Mix together flour, salt, and yeast. Add in butter, lavender milk, warm milk (the other 1 1/3c.), and warm water. Mix well (I used my food processor).
Knead for about 10 minutes. I did this by hand, but apparently you can do this with some fancy Kitchen Aid stand mixer attachment. I *sigh* do not have this fancy Kitchen Aid, so I did a bit of an arm work out. :o)
I divided my dough into four balls because I wanted to make four smaller loafs. Let the dough rise for 30-45 minutes (covered with a damp tea towel). Once it's nice and risen, you are ALMOST ready to stick it in the oven. Oh yeah. You should have preheated your oven to 420*F.
I used these small bread baking trays I found at Value Village, so my loaves ended up being just about the size of a small cantaloupe. Anyways, before you set the dough onto whatever baking tray you're using, dust the tray (and/or the bottom of the dough) with some of the baking sugar. Trust me.
20 minutes later... Voila!
I decided to eat half of the loaf for dinner last night... oops!
See how the baking sugar gets just a wee bit carmelized to the bottom of the loaf? I think it might go even better if I had slightly wet the bottom of the dough first... Next time! :o)
Late night over-exposed picture. But hey, I stopped chomping down on it long enough to take a picture of it for you! It was tough. Warm bread right out of the oven is just so stinkin' good.
Alright, well I left the aftermath of my bread baking adventure all over the kitchen last night, so I guess I should go clean it up. :o)