I had a hankerin’ for hot-out-of-the-oven wheaty, seedy bread yesterday. I didn’t plan on blogging the recipe because I just threw it together on a whim but it turned out yummy, so here is my sub standard food-photo-to-annoy-Facebook-friends-only picture to go with a yummy new recipe.
- 5 t. yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110F or less)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cups warm milk (110F or less)
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup shortening or butter
- 4 eggs
- 1 T. salt
- 1/4 cup ground flax seeds (optional)
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds and/or black sesame (optional)
- 1 cup sunflower seeds, lightly chopped (optional)
- 3 cups 100% whole wheat flour
- 3 cups white flour, approximate (if 100% whole wheat bread is desired, replace white flour with whole wheat flour)
- 2 T. semolina flour (for bottom of bread pans)
- Extra seeds for tops, if desired
Place yeast, warm water, and a tablespoon of white flour into a large bowl. Whisk. Allow to it to sit in a warm place and do it’s magic for a few minutes. After sponge (that’s what you just did is called) has developed, whisk in sugar, honey, milk, oatmeal, shortening, eggs, salt, and seeds. Mix well. Add in order listed because if you add the salt too soon, it will work hard to kill your yeast which will give you rocks instead of bread.
Keep mixing and add a couple of cups of flour. Switch to guns, I mean a wooden spoon. Continue to stir in flours.
The dough will have gone from somewhat soupy to more elasticity. Give or take, it can take about 6-ish cups total to reach this point. This isn’t an exact measurement because the amount of flour you’ll need depends on how much moisture is in the air.
Begin using your hands and add in last couple cups of flour. You can do this on a floured counter, in a large mixer with a dough hook, or if you have one of those insanely large Tupperware bowls from the seventies like I do, you can knead your dough right in the bowl. Knead for about 10 minutes. The dough should not be too tough to knead so be sure not to overdo the flour.
If using the mixer, be sure to lock the mixer down or, turns out, you will end up with a dough tornado. You’re welcome.
Cover dough with a clean towel and let the dough sit in a warm place for an hour or two or until the dough has doubled in size. If it’s not rising, there are a few ways to troubleshoot:
- Did you add salt too soon?
- Was your water too hot?
If the answer to either of these is yes, you can save your loaf, but it will be messy. Allow another 5 teaspoons of yeast to sit in warm water one more time and work it into your bread once again. I only recommend this if you have a heavy duty mixer to do the work for you on low speed though,
- Is the room warm enough?
Move your dough to a warmer location. Maybe place it closer to the oven which is preheating.
Place oven on 350F to preheat.
After dough has risen in the bowl, punch it down, and separate bread into two loaves. If desired, roll loaves over seeds for a prettier bread. Place in 2 bread pans coated with non-stick baking spray and a layer of semolina flour to coat bottom of pans. Let sit in a warm place covered with a clean towel until doubled in size again (an hour or two) or if your oven has a proofing setting, you can place them in there for about 1/2 hour to speed things up. After they’re done rising, bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
To cut bread into slices, it is best to wait until it is completely cool. We both know you won’t be waiting for that, though, so just gently use a bread knife to ease the process a bit.
You can also shape this seedy goodness into rolls. Always use fresh ingredients. If you pull your wheat flour or seeds out of the cupboard that you’ve had good intentions of using for the last year and they smell like everything in your cupboard, run the store and grab some fresh. You will thank me. It might be tricky, but you can half this recipe for one loaf.