Wednesday, November 25, 2009

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVE TO ALL MY FRIENDS

THE CRAZINESS OF HAVING 4 GRANDKIDS AND TWO DAUGHTERS HERE FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS IS WONDERFUL. A LONG LAST DAY BEFORE A 4 DAY WEEKEND, AND NOW GETTING READY TO CLEAN HOUSE AND GET READY FOR THE BIG FEAST TOMORROW.

WHEN I WENT TO THE KITCHEN HERE IS WHAT I FOUND! MY GRANDDAUGHTER GRINDING MY ACORN PIECES INTO FLOUR!



TOMORROW I WILL BE MAKING HOMEMADE ACORN BREAD JUST FOR FUN.

HERE IS THE RECIPE FROM BUSHCRAFT ON FIRE:

To make Acorn Flour you'll need:
Acorns! :)
Pliers or nut cracking tools
A blender with high speeds
A knee high stocking

For making bread the ingredients are listed below.


The acorns I prefer to use come from White Oaks. The leaves have the rounded edges, and the acorns are larger and sweeter than the other varietes.

First step is collecting acorns. We discovered that as soon as they start to fall, is the best time also to collect. The longer they sit on the ground, the more little species we get to share what's left of the nut inside with!

After gathering a good sized bowl full, its time to get crackin! We use pliers, nutcrackers, fingers and even hammers :)
basically find a method that will enable you to open up the acorn without totally smashing the nut meat inside
Shell the acorns until you have at least 6 cups of shelled acorns.
After a quick rinse, I put about 1 - 1 1/2 cups of acorns in my mixer, and fill it up to a few inches below the top with fresh cold water.
Don't forget to put the lid on..then select a grind on a hi setting and let it grind for about 5 minutes. It will end up looking like a mixer filled with grainy milk.

Once you turn off the blender, it will look like: (GO TO THE WEBSITE TO SEE THE PHOTOS)

Its time to put a knee stocking on your blender now. Just pull the opening over the top of your blender and tug until it is reaches at least half way down the length of your blender.

Now get ready to flip it over into your clean sink. Hang onto that stocking!

I have lost a few batches...so now I do this into a bowl first. The bowl catches my acorn mush filled stocking. If you see my porcelain sink...its brown. That is from the tannins that will be leached out. To leach the tannins, I take that bowl out, dump the contents (that whitish milky looking liquid) down the drain and I turn on the cold tap. Begin to massage the mush in the stocking under running water. Keep moving it around, squishing, massaging it, until the water comes out clear.

Make sure you have a good hold on the one end of the stocking with one hand, while the other hand does the massaging. When the water runs clear, turn off the tap and squish and squeeze until no more water comes out. Now it's time to remove the acorn flour from the stocking.. This is a wet/moist flour.

Simply turn down the stocking until you come down to the wet flour.

, and gently let the flour fall into a bowl. It has a dark brown moist brown sugar look to it now. If you let it sit out for a time in the open, it gets much darker, but the taste won't change.

Repeat the process above until you have collected at least four level cups of the moist acorn flour. I put two cups per ziplock freezer bag, and freeze all my extra for later use.

Now it's time to get baking!

Acorn Bread

2 cups of lukewarm water
1 tablespoon of dry yeast
1/4 cup of olive oil (other oil is fine)
1/4 cup of molasses or honey
2 farm fresh eggs of your choice
2 cups of your fresh ground (or thawed out) moist acorn flour
a pinch of salt
6 cups of flour (best is 3 cups freshly ground wheat berries, with 3 cups unbleached white)

I take my mixer bowl and put two warm cups of water into it, sprinkle the tbsp of yeast on it, while I gather the next three items.

Add the oil, (molassas or honey) and two eggs that have been beaten slightily.

I put this mixture on low in my kitchenaide mixer, while slowly adding the first four cups of flour. I add them one at a time, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl between additions. When that is mixed real well, I slowly add the last two cups of flour. I personally add one more into the mixer, then remove the entire lump and knead in the last cup on a floured counter. Now bread making is interesting, depending on all the temperatures, the room, each item, is how much flour you'll need. If the batch is still very sticky, add another cup. I knead about 1-15 minutes, and my finished dough is elastic and does not stick to my hands or the counter.

Now take this lump of dough and put it into a greased large bowl . Lightly grease the top of the dough, and cover the bowl with either plastic or a cloth.

Keep this in a nice warm area. In winter that's near the stove, in summer its up on my counter. After about an hour you'll see that the dough has more than doubled in size. This is good! Punch it down, and dump the dough onto your counter again. Not floured this time. Divide the batch into two, and shape two loaves. Put them into greased loaf pans. Brush a wee bit of oil onto the tops of each loaf, and put them back into your "warm" spot. These will double again! Don't punch them down this time. Instead, pop them into a preheated oven, (350° F)
I bake them for approx. 40 minutes. They will be well-browned, and sound hollow when you knock on them.

Let them sit about five minutes, then turn them out brush them lightly with butter, and put them on a rack to let them cool.
Of course we don't wait until they are cold to eat....they are the best warm and fresh!

Enjoy!

1 comment:

Leasmom said...

Thats pretty cool!