April 25, 2010

TOOLS FOR LIFE:

PMA students learn how to make bread to donate to the needy (MICHAEL BRINDLEY, 4/25/10, Nashua Telegraph)


It seemed fitting that it was Holy Thursday, the day commemorating the Last Supper, when students at Presentation of Mary Academy were getting a lesson in how to make their own bread.

The purpose of the lesson was for the students to make their own bread at home and for the loaves to be donated to local charities. But given the school’s Catholic background, there seemed to be a deeper religious message for students, as well.

“I wanted to incorporate it into Holy Week. It’s just a beautiful time to be giving,” said Lucy Eppolito, a parent at the school who organized bringing the program to the school.

The King Arthur Flour Co.’s life skills bread baking program not only teaches students how to make their own bread, but also gives them the tools to do it at home after school with their families. The ingredients are donated by King Arthur Flour, which is in Norwich, Vt.

MORE:
-INTERVIEW: VT Edition Interview: Paula Gray on the Life Skills Bread Baking program (Jane Lindholm - Norwich, VT, , 12/09/08, VPR)

The Basic Bread Recipe

Makes 2 loaves (Alert!!! This recipe takes about 3 1/2 hours to make.)

2 cups warm water (or 1 cup warm water + 1 cup warm milk)

4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) sugar

1 packet Red Star Active Dry Yeast

2 cups King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour

1 tablespoon salt

4 tablespoons vegetable oil (or ½ stick soft butter)

4 cups King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, plus extra for kneading

In a large bowl, combine warm water, sugar, yeast, and 2 cups King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour. Cover mixture with a clean towel and let stand 10 minutes until bubbly.

Stir in salt and vegetable oil (or butter, if using).

Stir in King Arthur All-purpose Flour, 1 cup at a time. When the dough holds together and all flour is mixed in, plop dough out onto a clean, floured surface.

With a little flour on your hands, knead the dough. As you knead, sprinkle your hands or the work surface with just enough flour to prevent sticking. After 5 minutes, take a break and let the dough rest.

Scrape out the mixing bowl, and grease the bottom and sides.

Knead the dough for a few more minutes. It should feel springy and smooth. (When you lightly press into it with your fingertips, it will bounce right back.) Put dough into the bowl and turn the dough over once. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a clean towel, and let the dough rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1½ hours.

Gently deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a floured surface. Divide dough in half and shape into 2 loaves.

Grease a baking sheet; put your loaves on it. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and a clean towel and let the dough rise again for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Carefully remove plastic wrap and slash the tops of the loaves with a sharp knife. Bake the loaves for about 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool the bread on a rack. Enjoy!

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 25, 2010 6:59 AM
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