Bread Making With a Vitamix

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Dear friends,

If you’ve read my posts, you know that I’m often telling you that I like to learn new things, but now I’m going to admit that I sometimes “get stuck” when I should be trying something new. It is like my brain can’t go there. It is just too hard. I’m 73, so that could be part of the reason, but to be honest, I’ve always had that problem. A good example might be a recipe with too many ingredients. I’ll start reading it and my mind will just quit on me. Sometimes this doesn’t matter, but when my husband bought me something that I asked for and should use, well ….

Case in point: We bought a Vitamix to make nutritious and delicious smoothies. I have used it over and over, and you might have read my post on Planting For Our Vitamix. Soon after we purchased it, Vitamix had a sale on the dry blade container. I wanted to start making my own bread, and this container/pitcher could grind the wheat for me. The cookbook that came with it was what did me in. It just made my brain tired. When Larry would ask me when I was going to use my new container to bake bread, I always had good excuses about how busy I was.

Well, it is January, the month of no excuses! That container has been in my cupboard for months and only used for making laundry soap. As the saying goes, “Getting started is often the hardest part.” I skipped its cookbook and got out my old bread-making machine. I followed a recipe that I had used ages ago that was taped to the front of it, ground my wheat in the new dry container in nothing flat, and waited while knowing the bread wouldn’t rise. But it did! I also used molasses instead of sugar, which I’m trying to cut out of my diet. Larry even liked it. Makes one wonder what was so difficult!

Then I got to try something that excites me. In the next loaf, I used zucchini milk instead of water and that also turned out just as good. I learned about zucchini milk from a fellow Capper’s Farmer blogger, Erin Sheehan. In her post, she said she freezes many cups of zucchini milk each summer and adds them to her breads and soups for extra nutrition, with no flavor change. Isn’t that fun to learn?! She also included her favorite bread recipe.

Zucchini milk is easy to make. Just put your prepared raw zucchini in the Vitamix and watch it turn into liquid. Then freeze in the portion size you will use. I just tried some in our favorite hamburger vegetable soup, and I’m regretting already that I wasn’t able to freeze more. Unlike stories I’ve heard about people trying to get rid of their extra zucchini, I seem to have difficulty growing it. Maybe next summer, when we are in town during the harvest period, we should leave our car windows down. I’ve heard that works for free zucchini whether you want it or not!

Above is a photo of a loaf of bread made in my bread machine. We usually buy Healthy Choice seven-grain bread, and love it. So why go to all the trouble of baking it? Well, the more food you make from scratch, the more you control what you are eating. Instead of a paragraph of ingredients in store-bought bread, mine only has seven. Of those seven, I used freshly ground wheat, which is naturally full of vitamins, molasses instead of refined sugar, and added the nutritious zucchini milk instead of water. It was not work; it was fun!

My Bread Machine Recipe:

2 cups whole wheat flour (freshly ground!)
1 cup white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
3 tablespoons sugar or molasses or honey
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups cold water or zucchini milk

Layer in pan. Choose the settings for whole wheat bread and light crust. It takes five hours, so make sure you are available when it is finished or it will dry out in the machine.

Whew! I got that off my “to-do” list!