Perhaps the name I have given this bread will turn some people off. I do not mean to suggest by the title that I allowed my nose to bleed into the bread dough, yucko. By “Nosebleed” I mean to say that this wheat bread was made at 9,000 feet in Winter Park, Colorado. I needed fuel for our mountain marathon in Ouray and decided that I have been making bread long enough that I should be able to come up with my own recipes. I wanted a lot of wheat, a little sweetness like you might find in honey wheat (except I didn’t have any honey on hand in the cabin), some oats, and I also needed to use the gallon of milk that I purchased but had no room for in our cooler. And voila—nosebleed wheat.
Rachel Hammer (yes, I made this recipe!)
1 1/2 Tbl. instant yeast (one cup of sourdough starter)
2 c. warm nonfat milk
1/3 c. brown sugar
3 – 4 c. high altitude whole wheat flour
1 c. all purpose high altitude flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 – 1/2 c. rolled oats
Combine yeast or sourdough, milk and sugar; let sit for 5 minutes or until frothy and bubbly. Add salt, oats and 1 1/2 cups of flour. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until you get a soft dough. The dough should barely pull away from the sides of the bowl and it will still be a little sticky. Knead for 4 or 5 minutes until tacky and smooth, cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down and shape into a large loaf with olive oiled hands. Put in a greased loaf pan and let rise again until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, at high altitudes. Otherwise, I would guess (though I have not tested!) that 30 minutes at 350 would be enough for bakers closer to sea level. Here is a pic of the Hungarian High Altitude Flour I have been using up in the mountains. Not sure it makes a difference, but, obviously, didn’t hurt!
“KP has restrung and is now tuning his late grandmother’s mandolin. I am writing with my back to the fire. Izzy is methodically disemboweling her rubber Kong in the corner. All is right with the world, and this steaming loaf of bread contributes to the righteousness of the hour. “
This, I wrote as bread liner notes just after it came out of the oven. Now, we are back in Minnesota, with our 23rd marathon completed! The race nearly wiped us both out—hard to parse out which factor contributed the most challenge: the altitude, our lack of training, bad pizza the night before from the Western Saloon, the mountainous terrain, the lack of water stops, the incessant beating from the alpine sunrays. Hard to say. But hey, we finished! And the views from Ouray are incredible. The little historic mining community is fantastic.
Funny story that was almost not a funny story: we were lucky to find a last minute room at the Antlers Motel where the manager, Bruce (who is exactly who I imagine Eddie Vedder would have become had he not joined Pearl Jam. Bruce even looked like Vedder) took excellent care of us. This is the only motel where I’ve had a choice of rooms. Bruce toured me around to three options and let me pick which room we wanted. Then he gave me a handful of GU packets for the marathon (which he says he likes to keep on hand for his Everest training). And then, he said he’d watch Izzy for us while we raced. Above and beyond. Despite him seeming to have mild boundary issues, Bruce was a lovely man. Here’s where things got crazy. When we came back after the race, Izzy was wagging her tail and happy to see us—it could have been otherwise. “She’s fast,” Bruce said over KP’s shoulder.
“She got away from me.”
Izzy apparently was not comforted to see Bruce when at some point mid-morning he came into our room to check on her. He tried to put her on leash for a walk.
“She’s strong,” he said shaking his head.
Perhaps we should have mentioned that. Izzy ran through Bruce’s legs and sped off down Main Street for a kamikaze tour of Ouray—a town that proudly hosts several black bears as casual pets. I can’t imagine the terror or hilarity if I were a unsuspecting tourist out for a stroll down Main to witness a lips-flapping bulldog charging down the sidewalk with Eddie Vedder hot on her trail, on the phone with Search and Rescue. Bruce called everyone, he said. Izzy may be fast for a sprint, but she has no stamina. Eventually, near the Box Canyon trail, some angel/tourist met Izzy and held onto her harness. They probably had cheese in their pockets. Bruce gave them a free night at the hotel for rescuing Izzy, and all was well.
Now that we looked at her knowing the whole story of the wild morning, she did seem a bit more smug. We are all happy to be home and looking forward to a new season of chickens!