Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Whole Grain Bread

I've been experimenting with home made bread recipes lately and so far this is the winner. A few people asked for the recipe, so here it is.

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • ¼ cup vital wheat gluten (optional – if you don’t use this, do more kneading)
  • ½ cup flax seeds
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon baker’s yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • butter

  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Add 3 cups of warm to hot tap water (not boiling).
  • Mix with a spoon or with the hook attachment of a kitchenaid until fully blended – it will be goopy and sticky.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature to rise overnight (at least 6 hours, can be up to about 20). The dough will approximately double in size, so make sure there’s room in the bowl.

  • Cut the dough in half (or thirds if you want smaller loaves) and cover the unused portion with plastic wrap. It can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks.
  • Place the dough you’re going to use onto a floured surface and knead lightly 3-4 times, folding in half a few times. If you included the vital wheat gluten, not much kneading is required and this is probably enough. If you didn’t, continue to knead and fold for a minute or two. The dough will be slightly sticky, as you knead dust it with a little more flour, using only enough to stop it from sticking to the surface.
  • Shape the dough into a rough loaf shape and put it in a buttered 9x5” loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap again and allow to rise for about an hour. Once it has risen in size again and if you poke a finger gently into the dough and the indent remains, this is ready.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 F and make space on the middle rack. Place a bowl of water in the oven to add humidity if you prefer a less crunchy crust.
  • Brush the top of the loaf with melted butter, then bake for about half an hour, until the loaf starts to brown slightly. You can also lay a sheet of foil over the top of the loaf if you prefer a less crunchy crust.
  • Remove from oven and turn out of the pan onto a cooling rack. Cool for at least half an hour before slicing, if you can wait.
If you make 3 loaves and 9-10 slices out of each, you end up around 110-120 calories per slice, for those who care. Also, just cover the cut end and it can be left out on the counter for 3-4 days without going stale, which is a bonus. :)

My favorite way to enjoy: lightly toasted, with butter and marmalade. This loaf was made in a standard supermarket tin foil loaf pan, and this batch made three this size.

Originally adapted from this recipe: http://www.thekitchenwhisperer.net/2013/11/20/awesomest-knead-sandwich-bread/