RECIPES & STORIES
"It's the Simple things in Life"
Recently, on a warm Sunday afternoon, I had lunch at our friend Guddy’s house. While our daughters frolicked in their pool under the watchful eye of her husband, us girls enjoyed a cooking adventure in the kitchen. Guddy was showing us a really cool appliance she uses in the kitchen called the ThermoMix. She is originally from Germany and was telling us that the ThermoMix [by Vorwerk] is very popular in Europe to the point where nearly everyone now owns one. It’s new to America, but is quickly gaining notoriety.
So what is a ThermoMix?
It’s an appliance that is able to perform 12 different cooking functions.
Imagine if a rice cooker had a computer attached to it, which carefully walked you step by step through a recipe, measuring things for you, blending, chopping the ingredients for you, and letting you cook up different things separately yet all at once. When Guddy first told me about the ThermoMix I couldn’t get my brain around how it could possibly work. It sounded so mysterious, so complicated. So there we were, a small gathering of us, in Guddy’s beautiful kitchen, with gleaming counters upon which reigned the ThermoMix, so she could show us what all the hype was all about.
She showed us how to make fresh lemonade, mango sherbet, rice salad and the most delicious bread I have ever tasted. We were allowed to press all the buttons and follow the recipe as the ThermoMix presented it to us.
I was blown away by how simple the ThermoMix made the cooking process and how clever this machine was. I will probably get one soon. In the meantime, I have been craving the freshly baked bread Guddy whipped up that afternoon. She brought it fresh out of the oven for us to enjoy and I was extremely impressed and very inspired. At first delicious bite I immediately thought, “It truly is the simple things in life!”.
Guddy was kind enough to send me the recipe intended for the ThermoMix and I converted it from the metric system (hence the weird flour measurement of 3 ½ cups + 5 Tablespoons) and adapted the recipe for someone that doesn’t own this special appliance. Using the ThermoMix took one (1) minute plus some additional dough resting time. Making it without the ThermoMix took a bit longer, involved measuring all the ingredients by myself without the help of the digital scale that is part of the ThermoMix and mixing by hand, but the end result was very similar.
The texture of this delicious bread, which can easily be made vegan*, is just perfect. It’s soft, but not too soft so you can easily cut it into thin slices and use it to make sandwiches and French Toast. My kids love eating it toasted and topped with a bit of honey or slices of avocado.
Best of all I love to have the opportunity to control the ingredients that I use and know exactly what I’m putting in my body, opting for fresh yeast*, raw and organic local honey, filtered water and organic flour.
A big thank you to Guddy for sharing this homemade bread recipe and introducing me to the culinary world of the ThermoMix.
1 Tablespoon of honey
1 heaping Tablespoon fresh yeast*
1 teaspoon of sea salt (Real Salt is the brand I like to use)
2 ounces of unsalted butter*
11 ounces of filtered or spring water
3 ½ cups of unbleached all purpose flour + 5 tablespoons
In a large bowl combine the honey with the raw yeast and set aside.
Combine the filtered water and butter in either a microwavable bowl or in a small saucepan for the stovetop. On low temperature, gently melt the butter, then slowly add the filtered water to it and heat up the mixture until it’s tepid.
Pour the water and butter mixture into the honey and yeast bowl and whisk together.
Add the salt and the 3 ½ cups + 5 tablespoons of flour. Use a large spoon to mix all the ingredients together as much as possible and then switch to using your hands to knead the dough in the bowl until you get a smooth ball of dough that springs back when you gently press it with your thumb. I like to knead the dough right inside the bowl to avoid scrubbing a whole countertop later.
Allow the ball of dough to rest in the bowl covered with a clean towel for 1 hour.
After the hour has passed, remove the dough from the bowl and knead it for about a minute before dividing it into 3 equal pieces. Roll and shape each dough piece into an 18 inch long strand.
Arrange the 3 strands of dough rope on a parchment lined baking sheet with the strands pinched together at one end and braid toward the other end.
Cover the braided bread with a clean towel and allow to rest again for about 30 minutes while the oven preheats to 350 F.
Bake for 25 to 30 min.
Allow the bread to rest and cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before serving.
You can use this bread to make sandwiches, present it on a beautiful platter during an appetizer round at a dinner gathering or bring a freshly baked loaf as a gift to a friend.
To keep the bread fresh store it in the fridge in a Gallon sized Ziploc Freezer bag to toast up a slice whenever the mood strikes you. You can prolong the shelf life of the bread by cutting it into ½ inch thick slices and storing them in the freezer in the same Ziploc Freezer Bag. Simply pop the frozen slices out from the freezer and right into a toaster oven or toaster and in a minute you will have beautiful, warm toast to eat.
*Fresh yeast, also known as cake yeast or compressed yeast, makes a world of difference when it comes to baking bread. I purchase mine at a local bakery for $2, but you can find it at any well stocked grocery store. Keep in mind that fresh yeast only keeps up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
*To make a vegan version of this bread you can substitute vegan butter for regular butter.
*While bread made with white wheat flour is super delicious I do use it for baking only once in a while as a special treat, opting to more often bake with gluten free flours like oatmeal, buckwheat, almond meal and coconut. For some people, especially small children, consuming too many wheat products can be tough on digestion. That’s why I love to accompany a meal involving pasta or pizza with a big fresh salad as a starter and seasonal fruit for dessert, both of which help support fiber intake and aid in digestion.
If you are interested in finding out more about the ThermoMix by attending a cooking demo class please contact us at Little Daily Gem.