NUKE BREAD 3.0
Yes, yes, I know you all think my microwave bread is horrid swill, and I’m not arguing with you. After eating it lo these many years, I’m immune to the boiled cardboard taste. So I understand why few of you think of this as a viable cooking strategy for wheat. I do keep trying to modify it so that the taste improves. Hence this version three. The first version, a happy accident, was my hunger after heavy manual labor meeting a craving for a healthy alternative than what was offered. I just eyeballed measurements of whole wheat flour and water, mixed it up in a disposable cup to waffle consistency, slathered it on a disposable plate and nuked it both sides for three minutes each.
This is the very easy but worst tasting variety. The cost of propane to cook my breakfast and lunch, plus the time it would have taken to do so the night before ( after being at work for ten hours with an hour and a half commute ), all made the taste bearable. Barely. Since I was going into work early for the Internet, I just made two nuke breads while at work. They paid little enough, twelve minutes of microwave use and some water were the least they could do. I ate that slop for seven years each workday, breakfast and lunch. Once the work load increased unreasonably I had to start eating out of the donations ( pizza, deli sandwiches ) in addition to the bread, but the bread was my foundation layer.
Prior to the Food Bank, I had eaten regular flat bread for three years at the last high labor job. A waffle for breakfast and a huge stack of flatbread ( all whole wheat, obviously ) for lunch. It took at least an hour or two every weekend to make them up but they were so tasty. The microwave version is sooo bad compared to the traditional flatbread taste. But for a time there, living like a bare assed savage going all out prepping ( at least I made my time freezing off grid worth while ), every penny saved was worth the sacrifice. For that time, taste was for Yuppie Scum.
Version 2.0 of nuke bread was much tastier and what I’ve been eating for about the last two or three years. I’ve come a long ways learning my way around the kitchen. It isn’t too different but the taste is much improved. Of course, that improvement is all relative. If you have a three hundred pound girlfriend ( hey, no judgment. If you like to get your fat freak on, who am I to say anything? ), and you have a near death experience with a fold of her flab one day and so decide that the new rule is a two hundred pound maximum, relatively speaking the improved version looks a lot better. She still be one fat bitch, though.
With version 2, you measure the water to flour 1 to 2, then fork the much stiffer batter over you plate, nuke one minute on one side then one and a half on the other, then let cool down on a rack. Eat once firmed up. The dishes are more of a choir on this one, and you need to use a spatula to pry the bread up and over on the plate, but the taste is improved. But, here I was, being a prince amongst men, and I decided that I was going to try to improve even on that. Hey, every bread product you know and love today was because someone was bored with the taste of an old concoction and experimented.
Here is version three. Make as with v2. Exactly one half water to flour. One quarter cup water to a half cup flour. Mix. Take out of the bowl and place on the counter. Now add one more flour, at the same measurement as the water. In this case, another quarter cup of flour. Now kneed the extra flour into the dough. It won’t all go in, just a slight amount will remain on the counter and you use those few specks to use so the dough doesn’t stick to the counter or the rolling pin.
Whole wheat flour isn’t as sticky as white. You won’t have such a glue like residue sticking to everything. And of course, since the flour is ground with the Corona mill, it doesn’t get to the consistency of talcum powder anyway. Keep flipping over and rolling out until very thin. All the excess flour should now be in the dough. Nuke on each side one minute. There is so little water in the bread, as compared to the other versions of Nuke Bread, that it tastes just like a hard dried tortilla. I could have tried to cook it at only thirty seconds each to try to retain a bit of softness, but I never made a second batch.
Why? Because I didn’t like the bread. It wasn’t enough like the nuke bread I’ve been eating for nearly twenty years. Which is why I think most of you WILL like the taste ( from the reactions of those who‘ve tried the nuke bread, I expect complete opposite reactions from my own ). Much more like regular tortilla bread and far less like the fabled boiled cardboard taste. With almost no glue sticking, the cleanup is quick and easy. A quick wipe of the counter, and a quick rub of the pin under water. Of course, if you use store bought whole wheat rather than home milled I can’t guarantee to that.
We are still pretty spoiled when it comes to cooking. Energy is still relatively cheap ( of course, when it isn’t, just use a rocket stove and a stainless steel cookie sheet or a large flat cast iron piece ) and we get spoiled. We use huge amounts of energy just to improve taste or to be lazy, such as a bread machine or an air fryer. When energy becomes far more dear, you are going to want to have the option of quick low energy cooking. The microwave bread will fit this bill ( until you build a solar cooker ). It isn’t meant to be tasty, it is meant to minimize the energy needed to cook wheat. I’m just trying to get it as tasty as is possible.*
( addendum: I made a second batch, after this had been written and posted. Rather than try to cook less, instead I skipped the rolling pin part. I just flattened by hand so it was much thicker getting cooked. Try it this way-it really, honest Injun comes very close to the taste of flatbread. Also, I failed to mention that the 3/4 cup flour batch is cooked as two different pieces, not one large piece. By cooking this much dryer, it tastes better and is the same size/time spent chewing as the v.2, but with 50% more calories. Flour is 100 calories per quarter cup-and as not all calories are created equal-these 300 calories go a long way. Add just a smidge of butter and it goes double. Even a nickel size piece of butter will coat the whole piece and deliver much more energy. Use ghee rather than butter if you have even minor lactose issues. Which you can make in the microwave also. I add salt and pepper to the bread and never tire of eating )
END ( today's related link https://amzn.to/2pMFTII )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there
Good re-review Jim, I always watch how the third-fourth world people cook on t.v. documentaries/news for some kernals of wisdom. They are cooking flat breads on steel plates on outdoor fires or stone ovens and cranking out a sack of them even while under active bombardment conditions. The good old days of having immigrant labor baking your daily bread in a factory and plastic bagging it up for your super market purchase while shuttling fat self and family unit around in s.u.v.'s will not last much longer. (Side item, make up a shaker-dispenser of a sugar/cinnamon mix to sprinkle on your partisan bread when eating it to add some more taste and sugar calories. It will improve morale when hiding in a cave or abandoned mine living in extremely austere conditions and avoiding other people.ReplyDelete
Even just sugar, if you run out of cinnamon greatly reduces taste fatigue. But you should have as many spices as possible, anyway. Heck, just sprinkling on lemmon pepper makes a whole new meal. It doesn't sound good now, but just wait.Delete
What? The first commenter has a cave and thinks he's living austere? Aw man! When I was a kid...ReplyDelete
I always enjoy your wheat posts. I figure since a lot of us have a LOT of it, it behooves us to use it regularly and find ways to make it palatable. I'm not a big fan of unleavened breads, but I do make them, usually to wrap something else in. Like beans and rice, or roasted veggies. I also eat them plain though, because they make a nice quick snack. As you point out, just a little spice can add a lot of satisfaction. Haven't tried lemon pepper. Sounds good so I need to try it. I often add chopped scallions, or onions, or even chopped jalapenos to the dough/batter. I know you're not a fan of sprouted grains, but they really are worth playing with. I find that the length of the sprout is critical. The longer they get the more like grass they taste. I stop them when only the tiniest tails begin to appear, then course grind them, add about 1/3 regular ground wheat flour, then bake. A bit more flavor than just flour and a lot more nutrition. I figure if the time comes that wheat is all I have to eat, I should probably make the most of it.
Someday I'll talk you into for-real leavened bread. I shied away from it for a while because I figured I'd run out of fresh yeast soon after SHTF... Doh! Yeast is EVERYWHERE! I learned how to make sourdough starter. Problem solved. I understand the attraction to simple unleavened breads, but yeast adds a completely different complex and tasty dimension with health benefits as a bonus.
I like leavened breads, but merely choose the easy/quick. If I could, I'd only eat gruel as I view food as fuel. Taste is great, which is why I said "IF I could". Cooking and eating are basically just a pain in the ass. I seem to recall reading sprouted wheat is great as a breakfast cereal. Soak overnight, put in the blender for a sweet oatmeal type. I think that was from Kurt Saxon. I'd have to look it up. I think very soon we'll all be eating a lot more wheat, so experimentation will be more important then. Cheers.Delete