Thursday, October 27, 2011

KW's Food Day bread & her own food journey

KW and I met in 2003 at one of my favorite old haunts, Fontaines. We spent countless nights sitting at the bar eating raw oysters, drinking Miller Lites and becoming very close friends. Over the last eight years both of our lives have changed significantly. One of the less obvious changes has been our relationship to food. We've both moved towards "real food diets" but our motivations were independent of one another and quite different. 

KW was the first person I thought of when I decided to host a "real food" dinner party. Afterwards she offered to share her recipe for homemade bread. I asked if she'd also share the story of how her food choices have changed over the years. I was happy she said yes; her story follows:

I don't think I evolved into eating real food as much as I evolved into eating.  I am by no means a Foodie.  As I child in Michigan I ate vegetables from our garden, was not allowed to eat processed snacks and always had home cooked meals.  As an adult, I would skip meals and only eat when necessary. Sometimes this was a Lean Cuisine others times it was tuna in vinegar and oil. I didn't really put much thought into what I was eating. 

All of that changed five years ago when my body faced an unknown medical crisis and started rebelling against me. After lots of blood work and doctors appointments, I still can't say for sure what happened. I suspect the culprit was some medicine I was taking. This suspicion led to a parallel suspicion of FDA approved GMOs and processed foods.  I recognize that for some people it may seem like a giant leap from pharmacology to agricultural practices but the truth is nutritional science is still too young to know what effects Big Ag chemicals and methods are having on our bodies.   

I now look to food as fuel for my body. Not just calories, but also nutrients and vitamins. More importantly, nutrients and vitamins not modified by science and the poison we use to "grow" our food.  I only have one body and I am determined to treat it right.  I may not be able to control the air quality or the type of material being used in building supplies, but I can control my food intake. For me, eating real foods is a no brainer!   

KW's Homemade Bread
(the one she made for our Food Day pot luck dinner party)


  • 3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 5 cups bread flour (KW uses Hodgson Mill Premium Unbleached, All Purpose Naturally white Flour)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey (KW uses use dark organic honey)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
  2. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  3. Punch down, and divide into 2 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not over bake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely

Tips and tricks:
1.You can use your Kitchen Aid mixer to knead the dough (step 2).  Use the hook attachment and knead the dough on 1 or 2 for about 8 minutes.  The result is dough that is smooth like a babies butt.
2.  This is a gluten free recipe that will yield a slightly more dense loaf of bread.  To make a lighter sandwich bread you can add some gluten.  I used about 4 tbs. for the the whole recipe and added in step 1.
3. Take the loaves out of the pans to cool. This allows the bread to "air out" and prevents early mold growth.

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