Monday, March 22, 2010

An experiment

I make my own yogurt, have been for almost two years now. The last few months, I've been playing around making Greek style yogurt, which is just yogurt with the whey drained off to make it thicker. Drizzle a little honey on top and oh, bliss.

But what to do with the whey?

I hate to admit it, but until yesterday I'd been dumping it, even though there are all sorts of health benefits to whey and I felt bad every time I poured it down the drain. (That, and I just don't like throwing food away. That's wrong.) So yesterday, after my yogurt was done 'yogurting', I decided to finally do something with the whey.

Some people claim you can (and should!) drink the stuff, but I haven't been able to bring myself to try that yet. I was very pleased, though, to discover I could make ricotta cheese, bread, and a whole lot of other things from it. Far out!

The thought of making my own ricotta cheese intrigued me to no end -- but we were also out of bread and I needed to do some baking anyway, so I decided to try my hand at Italian White Bread (made with whey).

I made a few changes to the recipe: I substituted olive oil for the butter and honey for the sugar. I was really tempted to make it into an Italian Whole Grains Bread, but opted to stick with the white flour for this first batch.

Here's the whey. Boy, does that look yummy. Not.

Happily, when combined with the water, oil, honey, and then added to the dry ingredients, it looked exactly as it should: like bread dough.

It handled like bread dough too,

and came out looking and smelling like bread. So far, so good.

Both the spouse unit and I noticed that it smelled sweet while it was baking, much more so than my usual breads. Yet there's only a tablespoon of honey in this. Huh. It must be something with the whey.

Whatever the reason, when we sliced into it and started eating, it was excellent. Fantastic stuff. It's subtly different from my usual breads, but I can't quite put my finger on what that difference is, exactly. It's denser, somehow? Yet at the same time, light? And the taste is, well, like bread (duh), and yet there's something more....

At any rate, it was good. In fact, one loaf was our dinner, along with some cheese and fruit. Nom nom nom.

I will make this one again.

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