Honey Whole Wheat + Flax Loaf

>> Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I'm trying to move beyond my obsession with Wegmans bakery breads. Even though we've switched grocery stores, I always wind my way there when we're out and about running errands. I inevitably return home with a $5 loaf of seedy bread that's gone in two seconds flat. But of all the home "chef" disciplines I enjoy most, I love baking.

So, there's no excuse -- I needed to create my own loaf.

Vegan? No worries. Use maple syrup in place of the honey.

What you'll need . . . 
  • 1-1/3 cups warm water (wrist temperature)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I used pink sea salt)
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached bread flour
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup sunflower kernels -- optional
  • 1/4 cup raisins -- optional
Method . . . 
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the honey or maple syrup in the warm water. Then add the yeast and stir. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, until bubbly (proofed).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together your salt, flours, flax meal, sunflower kernels, and raisins. I used my hands.
  3. Then pour the olive oil into your yeast mixture and pour the entire wet mixture into the center of the flour mixture. Mix around with a spoon until the dough forms.
  4. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your bread flour mixture -- slowly, a little at a time -- as you knead with your hands for a few minutes. Maybe 5 or so. (By using bread flour in this mixture, you should ensure the gluten production is good, but you still want to make sure it's well incorporated.)
  5. Then drizzle your bowl with a little olive oil and place your dough inside -- covered with a damp tea towel -- for 1-1/2 hours.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a standard loaf pan with olive oil. Punch down dough and place it in your loaf pan -- covered again -- for another 30 minutes or so.
  7. Then remove cover and bake for 30-40 minutes. Until bread sounds hollow and a toothpick or knife comes out clean.
  8. Let cool for a few minutes before placing on a cooling rack. Slice and spread with Earth Balance or butter.

Now, if you like bread -- you're in luck! I'll also be writing soon about my return to making homemade sourdough bread + other goods. My starter is on day 3 of steeping via this organic grapes method. It already seems way more fragrant and fermented than when I used store-bought yeast as the agent.

Do you regularly make your own bread? What's your favorite recipe?

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