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  ** (or leave this out and just use 6 cups all-purpose flour)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • ½ cup raw flax seeds
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup raw 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 and stretch it for a minute or two, folding in half a few times. If you're short on counter space, you can also just add a little flour and knead and fold the dough in the bowl it was rising in. The dough will be quite sticky, you may want to dust your hands with flour before kneading.
  • Shape the dough into a rough loaf shape and put it in a buttered loaf pan so it's half full. Cover with plastic wrap again and allow to rise for about an hour - it will again almost double in size. The temperature of the room will affect how quickly it rises so it may rise faster than an hour, or you may need to leave longer in a cooler house. Once it's noticeably bigger in size 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. (Optional: 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 this entire recipe you'll need 3 of the small (about 8.5" x 4") disposable loaf tins supermarkets sell. If you divide it in two, a 9x5” or larger should work. If you make the entire amount at once, you'll need an extra long pan such as the Wilton 16"x4 long pan.  Cover the cut end with cling film and it can be left out on the counter for 3-4 days without going stale, which is a bonus - it will go stale much faster in the fridge (never store bread in the fridge). You can also pre-slice and freeze in an airtight bag to use as needed.

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/