Friday, 30 November 2012

Sprouted KAMUT Bread with no Flour

A couple of months ago, a visitor commented on my Sprouted Wheat Bread with no Flour post and asked if I had experimented with making a sprouted bread completely with KAMUT.

KAMUT is a heritage grain and a descendent of Emmer wheat. The kernel of this wheat is larger than modern wheat and it has a rich, buttery flavor.


Well you know me, I’m always up for a challenge especially when it involves sprouted bread so I decided to give it a try.

I started this experiment several weeks ago, but the KAMUT berries sprouted before I had time to use them and they ended up sprouting too much to use in bread. I ate them in salad instead.

I had some time over the Thanksgiving Holiday so I tried this experiment again and this time it worked.


Sprouted KAMUT Bread with no Flour

Makes: 1 Loaf

Adapted from: The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book by Laurel Robertson with Carol Flinders & Bronwen Godfrey


  • 3 cups (1 1/4 lb or 575 g) KAMUT berries
  • 1 teaspoon (1/8 oz or 3.5 g) instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) warm water
  • 2 teaspoons (11 g) salt
  • 3 scant tablespoons (40 ml) honey



Step 1: Sprout the KAMUT berries

Rinse the grains and cover with room temperature water.  Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the grains soak for 12 to 18 hours.

Tip: The trick to sprouting wheat berries is to sprout them just enough so that the sprout is barely peeking out. If you only let it sprout a little bit, then you can make lighter yeast bread. If you let them sprout too long before you grind it, then it makes a dense loaf.

Sunday morning. I started this process mid morning on Sunday and rinsed them the first time early Monday morning before work.  It ended up being about 20 hours.



After 18 hours, drain the berries, then rinse with fresh water, and place the bowl in a dark place with a damp cloth over it.  Rinse the grains every 12 hours for 2 days or until the sprout is just beginning to appear on the grain.

Monday evening. The berries were a little soft but not quite ready so I rinsed them again and placed them in a colander over a bowl to drain overnight. I covered them with a kitchen towel.

Tuesday afternoon. I removed the grains from the colander and placed them on a kitchen towel to dry.  The sprouts were just barely starting to peek out. I covered them with another towel. I’ve tried this with paper towels but the grains stick to the paper so using a kitchen towel works better.



Tuesday evening. I placed the sprouted grains in a plastic bag and put them in the refrigerator until I was ready to bake the next evening. You can keep them in the refrigerator for a day or two, but they will keep growing so don’t wait too long or you’ll end up with gummy bread.



Step 2: Process the Dough

Note: A good food processor works really well for this part. If you’re using a standard food processor, divide all of the ingredients in third and process the mixture in batches using the metal blade (not the dough blade).  Knead the three dough balls together before the rising and baking.

Take the berries out of the refrigerator. Add the sprouted berries and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor and process the mixture until the ground wheat forms a ball. This will take about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then process again for another couple of minutes. Stop processing before the ball falls apart.



I processed the sprouts until they formed a dough but left some of the pieces to add texture.  Then I kneaded it on the counter for a few minutes.



Step 3: Bulk Fermentation

Place the dough ball in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about an hour and a half. I placed it in my proofing box at 70 degrees F. to proof.



Check the dough by gently poking the center about 1/2-inch deep with your finger.  If your finger leaves an indentation and the dough doesn’t fill back in, it is ready for the next step. 



Take the dough out of the bowl and press it into a smooth round, then place it back in the bowl to rise again for 1 1/2 hours.  If your dough is cold (which it probably will be since you started with cold wheat berries), then the first rise may take awhile. Check the dough again by pressing it with your finger.  If an indentation remains, the dough is ready to be shaped.



Step 4: Shape the Loaf

Place the dough onto a lightly greased surface and knead it into a round using wet hands.



Gently flatten it into a rough round on a lightly oiled surface.



Shape the dough into a loaf by folding the bottom third up to the middle, then fold the top down toward the middle like an envelope.



Step 5: Proof the Loaf

Turn the loaf seam-side down and roll it back and forth until you get a uniform shape.  Place the loaf seam-side down in a greased 8” x 4” loaf pan.



Let the loaf rise in a draft-free place until it returns a gently made fingerprint.  This could take another hour or two.  I placed the loaf in the proofer at 70 degrees again.



Step 6: Bake the Loaf

Bake the loaf for about an hour at 350 degrees F.  If your bread rises a lot, the baking time won’t be as long.  My bread didn’t rise that much so I baked it the full hour to make sure it wasn’t gummy in the center.

Step 7: Cool the Loaf

Remove the loaf to a wire rack to cool.



Step 8: Slice and Enjoy!

This bread is a little dense, but it has lots of chew and flavor. I sliced it thin and ate it with butter and cheese.  You can really taste the wheat flavor. I happen to enjoy that. The texture on the inside is not gummy at all. 



I rushed the final proofing a little bit because it was getting late so I think this bread could be made a little bit lighter if you give it more time to rise. I also think it could be processed a little more in the food processor.  I was trying not to over process it, but it may have been a little under processed.  I will try this bread again sometime, but I ran out of KAMUT berries.


You might also enjoy Sprouted KAMUT Bread with bread flour.


Happy Baking!


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Over-the-Top Banana Bread

I’m in banana bread heaven. This is not your grandmother's or even your mama’s banana bread. When I was thinking about how to describe this bread, over the top was the first thing that came to my mind.

This bread is featured in the October 2012 Issue of Cooking Light Magazine, and according to the article, this is no ordinary banana bread. It is lighter and the flavor is over the top. I totally agree.



It is over the top in terms of texture and taste, but not tricky at all to make. It’s a new twist on a old theme. It is made with medium-ripe bananas sautéed in butter and brown sugar.  Once it’s baked, you drizzle a browned butter glaze over the top. The flavor is superb!  The Ultimate Banana Bread I made the other day is so good, but this one is pure deliciousness!  Now I have two outstanding banana bread recipes to enjoy.

Thinking about over-the-top flavor reminded me of a dance move I learned when I was taking tap lessons. It’s called, you guessed it, “Over the Top.” You may have seen Gene Kelly perform this step. It’s a tricky move, but he made it look so easy (as with everything else he did). If I remember correctly, to perform this move, you hold one leg out in front of you, then you cross the other leg over the top and twist and jump to land on the other foot.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to know how to tap dance to make this bread. You don’t even need to have really ripe bananas on hand for this one. I think that’s the best part. No waiting for the bananas to ripen then forgetting about them.


Caramelized Banana Bread with Browned Butter Glaze

Yield: 1 Loaf

Recipe from: Cooking Light Magazine October 2012 Edition

Refer to the list of ingredients on the Cooking Light web site.

I followed the recipe except I substituted almond milk for the half and half in the glaze and olive oil for the canola oil in the batter.

Note: The recipe calls for softened butter. I’m not sure why because you melt it in the pan for the batter and for the glaze. So if you are pressed for time, you don’t have to wait for the butter to soften. At least not in my opinion. This would’ve saved me some time for sure.

Here’s how you do it:

1) Start with medium-ripe bananas.  Here are the bananas I used.



2) Sauté the bananas and dark brown sugar in melted butter until the bananas are soft.  It smells so good and tastes divine.  You’ll want to taste test this part.



3) Transfer the banana mixture to a mixing bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth.



4) Mix the dry ingredients together and the wet ingredients together and add them alternately to the banana mixture.



5) Spread the batter in a loaf pan. They used a 9 x 5-inch nonstick loaf pan sprayed with baking spray with flour; I used an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch glass pan sprayed with real olive oil, not spray oil. My loaf didn’t burn at all nor did it stick to the pan.



6) Bake the loaf in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven on the middle rack for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. 


7) Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.



8) Remove the bread from the pan, and cool on the wire rack.



9) Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the butter begins to brown, then add the powdered sugar and milk. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.  Drizzle over the bread.



10) Let the bread stand until the glaze sets if you can. This is what it looks like after the glaze has set.



11) Slice and enjoy! 



This bread tastes really good, I mean really good. I almost omitted the glaze. I’m glad I didn’t because the glaze is what sends the taste over the top. This is definitely a keeper!  




Happy Baking!


Sunday, 25 November 2012

Pocketbook Rolls for Dinner and a Smile

Fluffy and delicious is how I would describe these Pocketbook Rolls. They taste like a cross between a biscuit and a yeast roll; light and flaky, and oh so buttery. If you let them rise the recommended 2 1/2 hours, they tend to lose their shape; however, the texture and flavor is so good that no one really cares what they look like.  The taste draws you in at first bite.  Yes, they are that good.

Most of the other Bread Baking Babes think these rolls look like lips. I can see the resemblance; however, since these rolls are based on a Southern recipe, and I’m the Southerner in the group, I’m going with the purse theme. 

Whether you think these rolls look like lips or purses, they’re sure to make you smile.



Being the not so true Southerner that I am, I made a couple of substitutions to these rolls. I used instant yeast instead of active dry yeast and almond milk instead of whole milk.  I did have some shortening on hand so I was true to the recipe in that respect.


Pocketbook Rolls

Makes: About 2 dozen rolls (depending on the size of the biscuit cutter)

Recipe adapted from The Glory of Southern Cooking by James Villas



  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted (for brushing the rolls)



1. Cream the butter, shortening and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

2. Gradually beat in the boiling water.

3. Add the milk and stir until well blended.

4. Add the egg and stir until well blended.

5. Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together and gradually add to the mixture. Mix well.

-- If you aren’t ready to make the rolls just yet, you can keep the mixture up to one week in the refrigerator covered lightly with plastic wrap.

My dough was very soft at this point so I placed the dough in the refrigerator for about an hour. Then I proceeded with the rest of the process.



Three hours before you’re ready to bake the rolls:

1. Roll out the dough. About 1/2 inch thick.



2. Cut into rounds with a 2 to 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. My biscuit cutter is about 3 inches so my rolls turned out a little bit bigger.  Nobody complained. ;)



3. Fold each round in half and place on greased baking sheet.



4. Brush each roll generously with melted butter, cover with a towel.



5. Let rise in a warm place for about 2 1/2 hours. A lot of my rolls opened up during proofing. I thought that was appropriate since these days it seems that my pocketbook is always open…



Tip: According to the book, it is essential that you let the rolls rise at least 2 hours to attain the light feathery texture they are famous for.

It also suggests that these rolls are easily stored in the freezer. If you intend to do so, you should bake them no longer than 5 minutes, cool them and then store in an airtight container in the freezer until further use. When you want to serve them bake them in preheated oven at 400°F about 5 minutes or until golden.


6. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the rolls until golden brown. Should take about 7-8 minutes.



7. Enjoy these delicious rolls warm. You can spread them with more butter, but they don’t need it.


I brought these Pocketbook Rolls to Thanksgiving Dinner. There were 20+ people at the dinner so I made a double batch. All of the rolls just disappeared.

In the middle of dinner, one of my sisters came by the table and brought one of the young cousins with her. Kate had asked who made the rolls. She liked the rolls so much that she came by to tell me that these were the best rolls she had ever tasted. 

Don’t take my word for it, you have it from the lips of babes that these rolls are AWESOME! 

Thanks to Astrid for choosing these wonderful rolls for the monthly bake.  It’s always a pleasure baking with the Bread Baking Babes.


BBBuddies November 12


These rolls have been YeastSpotted in the weekly bread roundup hosted by Susan of Wild Yeast.


Happy Baking!


Friday, 23 November 2012

Can It Up! Cranstrawberry Jam

The theme for the November Can It Up! Challenge is Cranberries. I had a hard time deciding what to make for this month’s challenge. I’ve never been a fan of canned cranberry sauce so I don’t eat it. It wasn’t until I tried fresh cranberry relish that I actually enjoyed it. When I found this recipe for cranberry jam, I thought it would be a good alternative to cranberry sauce/relish. It has fresh cranberries and oranges and frozen strawberries. I figured you couldn’t go wrong with those ingredients.



The recipe called for frozen strawberries in light syrup. I had some strawberries in the freezer from my strawberry-picking excursion in the Spring so I used those instead. I had more than the recipe called for but less than enough to double the recipe so it ended up making about half again as much. I added more cranberries and oranges. My adapted recipe is listed below.


This jam was perfect for Thanksgiving Dinner. Due to the additional cranberries and oranges and the lack of sweetener in the frozen strawberries, this jam turned out more like a relish than a jam. We enjoyed it as relish on slices of turkey and as jam on the Pocketbook Dinner Rolls I brought.  You’ll learn about the rolls in another post.


Cranstrawberry Jam

Makes: About 8 cups

Adapted from: The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard


  • 24 ounces frozen sliced strawberries, thawed
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 2 large unpeeled oranges, cut into large pieces
  • 5 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 pouches liquid fruit pectin
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice



Step 1: Prepare the fruit

Place the strawberries in a large non-reactive pot. Coarsely chop the cranberries and orange in a food processor.  Add to the pot with the strawberries.



Step 2: Cook the jam until it thickens

Stir in the sugar and bring the pot to a full boil over high heat and boil hard for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.



Step 3: Add the pectin

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the pectin and liqueur, if using.



Step 4: Ladle the jam into jars

Ladle the jam into hot, sterilized mason jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Release the trapped air using a Bubble Remover and Headspace Tool. Then add the lids and rings, and process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. For more information on water-bath canning, refer to the National Center for Home Preservation web site.  

I ran out of jelly jars so I used pint-size jars. I didn’t quite have enough jam to fill four jars completely so one jar went in the refrigerator instead of being processed in the water-bath canner.  That’s the jar I took with me to Thanksgiving Dinner. 



Step 5: Let jars rest on counter overnight

Turn the heat off. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove the jars, and let them sit on the counter for 24 hours to cool and ensure they are sealed correctly. You should hear the lids pop if they are sealed properly.

Step 6: Store jars in a cool, dry place.

Place the sealed jars in a cool, dry place for storage for up to a year. If any of the jars do not seal properly, place them in the refrigerator. They will last for a couple of months in the refrigerator.


Thanks to Hima of All Four Burners for hosting the Challenge. It’s time to Can It Up!

Happy Canning!



    Canning resources:

    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    Flavorful Banana Bread without the gumminess

    I’ve always loved Banana Bread. It’s one of the first breads I learned how to make when I was a little girl, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. Growing up, we had it with breakfast or as a snack, and I still enjoy it that way today.

    Even though I never grow tired of banana bread, it is sometimes hit or miss as to whether it turns out. For me, it’s one of the easiest breads to make, but it is also one of the easiest breads to mess up. It can be tricky to get a moist loaf that tastes great and isn’t gummy on the inside.

    Recently, I tried a banana bread recipe three times, and the loaf came out gummy every time. That’s frustrating because not only is it a waste of ingredients, it’s a waste of time. Plus, when you’ve got your mouth set on enjoying a slice of warm sweet bread, and instead you get a sticky slice without much flavor, it’s a bummer to say the least.

    I gave up on that recipe, but I heard about a different method for making banana bread that brings out the flavor and reduces the gumminess. I had ripe bananas and the time to bake so I decided to test this method for myself.



    Ultimate Banana Bread

    Makes: 1 Loaf

    From: America’s Test Kitchen

    Refer to the list of ingredients and the tips for choosing ripe bananas on the America’s Test Kitchen site.

    I pretty much followed the Test Kitchen’s recipe and instructions for my experiment, except I used 4 really ripe bananas in the batter instead of 5 and one fairly ripe banana on top because that’s all I had. I also sprinkled sugar in the raw on top instead of granulated sugar.

    The process for making this bread is really cool so I’ve documented the steps below:

    The first thing you do is release the juices from the bananas to boost the flavor.

    Place the bananas in a microwave-safe bowl. They suggested that you cover it with plastic wrap and cut steam vents. However, I don’t use plastic wrap in the microwave so I covered it with a paper towel.  Microwave the bananas on high until the liquid is released and the bananas are soft.  This will take about 3-5 minutes. 



    Place the bananas in a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl.  Allow the liquid to drain into the bowl until you have about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of juice.  Mash down with a spoon to release the juices if necessary. The recipe indicates this process could take 15 minutes, but it didn’t take very long for my bananas to release enough juice for 1/2 cup.



    Transfer the liquid to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup.  This will take about 5 minutes. 



    Remove the pan from the heat, then stir the liquid into the bowl with the bananas.  Mash the bananas with a potato masher until they are fairly smooth.



    Whisk the melted butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla into the banana mixture.



    Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, then pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture.  Mix just until the batter is combined, but there are still some streaks of flour showing. If you are using walnuts, fold them in at this point.



    Scrape the batter into prepared baking pans.  I used 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch glass pans.  This is the size recommended by the Test Kitchen and just happens to be my favorite size as well. I also prefer glass pans for quick breads because they don’t seem to burn as easily.

    Slice the remaining banana diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place the slices on top on both sides of the loaf in a shingle pattern.  You’ll need to leave a 1 1/2-inch-wide space down the center of the loaf to ensure an even rise.  Trust me, you want to do this.  You’ll see why in a minute.  Sprinkle the top evenly with sugar.



    Bake the loaf for 55 to 75 minutes in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven with the rack in the middle position. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove it and continue to let it cool on the wire rack.



    Look at how much the bread rose. See where the banana slices are?  Now you can understand why you need to leave that much space down the middle of the loaf.  I think that is so cool!



    Serve warm or at room temperature.  I did both.  I sliced this bread after it had cooled a bit and it tasted pretty good.  However, as with most quick breads, this one tastes better the next day. 


    The Test Kitchen recommends eating the bread fresh, and although the bananas on the sides are a bit sticky, I still think it tastes better the next day. Just let the loaf cool completely, wrap it in plastic wrap and it can be stored for up to 3 days.  If it lasts that long. 




    Happy Baking!