Monday, June 8, 2009

In the Kitchen: Wheaty Rolls

There are a couple of things you should know about me before you read this post:

1. I eat low carb. I am a diabetic and low carb is the best thing for my body to keep it in working order. Good meat and lots of fresh veggies are what adorn my plate. Over the past year I have dropped 60 pounds through low carb and yoga. Yes, yoga. Many people are shocked when they hear that yoga has helped me to lose weight.

2. My family, however, can and does eat a "normal" diet including rice, pasta and bread. Cooking for two eating styles can be difficult but it can be done.

3. I oftentimes become overwhelmed with tending to my family and home while working full time. This feeling turns into a form of laziness because it just all feels like too much. However, when I am planful and take the bull by the horns, I get into a mode where I really give 150% to my family.

4. I am in that productive mode now and have been for a number of months (which I think is due to a handful of things: change in med regimen, weight loss, good blood sugar control, and exercise). For example, on any given week-end day, I am up early with loads of laundry going and cooking, planning, baking, and organizing for the upcoming week. My household is running smoothly within my personal vision. This makes me happy, leads into more productivity - a good circle.

Now onto the post....

My family loves bread. My family loves homemade bread. My family makes faces at storebought bread. My solution was a bread machine. I owned a machine previously - one of the old school ones that baked tall, square loaves of bread which yielded slices of bread that did not fit in a standard sandwich bag. I couldn't tell you what happened to the bread machine but I did know it was time for a new one.

When my tax return came in two years ago, a new bread machine was on the list of items to purchase (along with yarn, of course). I did some research online and settled on the Zojirushi. Features like a horizontal baking pan and double kneading paddles sold me. The price tag was a bit shocking (about $300) but for what I have made in the past couple of years, it has paid for itself.

For flour, I use a mixture of half whole wheat and half white. I really tried to get the family into bread made only from whole wheat but it just wasn't happening. As a compromise, I buy a good quality white flour and a really, really good quality whole wheat flour (something with a more coarse grinding which leads to a more fibery dough).

I am making several loaves of bread and/or rolls each week. One loaf of bread is typically a breakfast bread. After baking, I slice the loaf and freeze the slices (separated by a small sheet of waxed paper). This allows the kids to be able to grab a piece from the freezer and toast it up easily.Lately, one huge success is the Wheaty Rolls recipe I have been using for a month or so. The family LOVES these rolls and they keep well for a week. Any leftover rolls are cubed up and placed in the freezer for a strata (if there is any left!). (All this planning relates to Things You Should Know About Me #3 and #4 above).

One of the problems with the bread machine is now Baby Daddy won't eat store bought bread. I have ruined him. I do secretly take this as a compliment, though. It is a wonderful feeling to give foodstuffs to my family that they dig.

The texture of the dough, with the strong wheat, is amazing. Don't you think so?
Creating a successful bread is very rewarding for me. This success gives me a very tangile feeling that I am doing well for my family and fulfilling a personal goal. Watching Baby Daddy and the kids devour bread before it even makes it to the table is a very real confirmation of my efforts.

ON THE NEDDLES: How about OFF the needles: Baby Daddy's Got Cold Feet
ON THE BOOKSHELF: The Graveyard Book by Gaiman
ON THE iPOD: Jose Gonzalez's remake of Teardrop (FREE DOWNLOAD)
ON THE TABLE: What else? Wheaty rolls!


  1. Ooh, yum! We love home-baked bread around here, although I don't do it as often as I like. We're lucky to be able to get an excellent substitute at the farmer's market, but I know exactly what you mean about the pleasure of feeding the family something homemade and wholesome. (Also, as an aside, have you ever tried white whole wheat flour? King Arthur has it, and I think Bob's Red Mill, and it's really a nice substitute for white flour if you're ever looking for one...) :)

  2. Homemade bread is the best food in the world - even if it's just for smelling and not for eating. I make my own bread too but without the bread maker, since we only need about a loaf a week it's not that much trouble.

    I relate a lot with your #3 and #4. It's funny but I sometimes find that blogging keeps me doing well because it gives me somewhere to be accountable to myself - and inflict myself on others at the same time :)

  3. I love bread too! I'll willing give up any other food for a good homemade bread. Your rolls look delish!

  4. Lovely breads!!!! They beat store-made ones any time!!! ^^

    And I love yoga - don't know why people think it's impossible to lose weight just through yoga. Some of the positions aren't all that easy!!! :)

  5. great post....hmmm i love bread too. we live in a tiny apartment in the city, our oven it's crappy for baking...the zojirushi sounds like a great i have to save up some money for it :)

    v from coloursknits