Thursday, January 27, 2011

Creative Epicure's Hearty Healthy Bread

My husband is Swiss and he loves a nice loaf of hearty bread. This was adapted from "Laurel's Black Bread" that I found in The Oakland Press some time ago. The base recipe is very versatile. This is a great snowy or lazy day project.

By the way, I am a huge fan of Bob's Red Mill organic whole grain products.

1/3 cup Cracked Wheat (light bulger)
2 1/2 cups Water
1/4 cup Blackstrap Molasses
1/4 cup Agave Nectar
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 cup Gluten Flour
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
4 Tbsp Olive Oil (divided)
1/3 cup Oat Bran Flour
1 cup Rye Flour
1 cup Wheat Germ
1/2 cup Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 to 1 cup additional whole wheat flour
Rolled oats
2 Egg Whites
1 tsp Cold Water

Additional inclusions: you can pretty much add anything you like to the bread when you shape it. I divide the dough in thirds and make 3 kinds. Today’s versions were:

Sunflower: 1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds

Cinnamon Raisin: A handful of Raisins (about 1/4 cup) sprinkled with Saigon Cinnamon

Sun Dried Tomato: A good squeeze of Sun dried Tomato Paste (About 1 1/2 Tbsp), a sprinkle of dried Oregano and a handful of Sun Dried Tomatoes - chopped.

Over medium heat, bring the cracked wheat, water, molasses and agave to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into your stand mixer bowl. Insert a thermometer and wait till it cools to 110 degrees F (mine took 25 minutes to cool). Sprinkle with yeast and add the gluten flour and 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment for 2 minutes, scrape down the blow and raise the speed to #2 for 2 minutes, scrape and beat on speed #3 for 2 minutes. Remove paddle, sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of the olive oil and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes.

Next I put the rye flour, oat bran flour, wheat germ, oats and salt on a piece of parchment paper and mixed it around a little.

Insert the dough hook onto the blender and, with the speed on low, very slowly add the flours into the mixing bowl and let the machine run to blend it well. (My mixer tends to want to dance around at this point, so I don't leave it unattended.) Then raise the speed to 2 and let it run until all the ingredients become a homogenous mass. Raise the speed to 3 and let it run for another 3 minutes.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the wheat flour onto your kneading surface. You may or may not need the other 1/2 cup. Begin to knead and knead in the additional flour until the dough is no longer sticky.

Pour the remaining 2 Tbsp Olive Oil into a large bowl. Put the dough into the bowl, turning to coat all sides with the olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel. Let rise until doubled, about an hour.

Punch down dough and divide it into thirds. Press into a circle, leaving the center slightly elevated. Spread whatever flavor/filling you want to about 1/2" from sides.

Now, this is how to shape you loaf into a nice dense one. Fold over all the edges and make into a circular shape, the flip over and cup with your hands, pressing the dough downward and squeezing the folded edges together with your fingertips. Spin the dough a quarter turn and repeat the process until you have a tightly shaped loaf and you will just start to see your filling through the dough. Roll the bottom of the loaf in oats. Place on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper. (Two will fit on 1 sheet.) Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, a little over an hour.

Now whisk together the egg white and water and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Brush the top of each loaf and sprinkle with desired topping(s).

I topped the Sunflower Loaf with Sunflowers, the Cinnamon Raisin Loaf with Oats and the Sun Dried Tomato Bread with a little Kosher Salt.

1 comment:

  1. I can smell the bread from here! There are a lot of different types of flours in your bread! :)