17 February 2011

Whole Wheat and Seeds - On A Bread Quest

A post in which Susan discovers which side HER bread is buttered on!

I love the smell of yeast and bread dough ...

The flaxseed bread that I made the other day is long gone ... and I am still loving the idea of making it a better and more lofty bread. Sooo ... I played with the recipe. I've been playing with a lot of recipes of late.

"That's the only way you can make a recipe your own", a wise blogging friend told me!

Today, when I baked bread, I started with Denise's Flaxseed Bread recipe, however I increased the flour measurement a bit, added a couple tablespoons of canola oil to the dough, brought in more wheat germ, added sunflower seed to the seed mix, used white sugar instead of the brown, and placed the dough in pans to contain the 'spread out instead of up' tendency that this bread has had.

The original loaf - free form oblong

This is the original recipe. Great crunchy crust. Flat loaf that is about inch and a half high at center with biscotti-like slices. Flax seed and wheat germ distributed well throughout. Tiny air holes in the bread, making for a relatively dense loaf with a firm 'chew'.  Excellent flavor with just a hint of sweetness from a bit of brown sugar in the dough. Toasted perfectly and took butter into the bread well without getting soggy.

And let's compare ...

Today's loaf - still oblong, but narrower and higher due to pan.

Altered recipe - printer friendly link. Same crunchy crust, Much more loft. Oblong loaf is about three inches high at center. The round loaf has about six inches of loft. Great seed and wheat germ distribution in bread. The air bubbles are definitely larger, the bread  has a softer 'chew', once you've crunched the crust. The addition of the roasted and salted sunflower seeds was a good move, too. 

I am really happy with this new version of the flaxseed bread. I was thinking that it would make incredible small round brotchen rolls like the ones we used to buy in the marktplatz in Weinheim, Germany. I honestly think that my German friend, Gundel would be very proud of me! She bakes most of her own bread and makes an incredibly good volkornbrot that I would love to perfect! Anyway, I may surprise Silent Bob and make little brotchen next week to have with the traditional German cheese and meat board. It will be a perfect light supper ... some nice wine, some Gouda, some sliced Emmentaler, some ham slices, olives, gherkins, and it will feel like we're back in Hohensachsen! BUT... I'm getting way ahead of myself!

Because we're making toast with this bread, I wanted to make a sweet butter to spread on tomorrow's breakfast toast. So ...

Orange Infused Honey Butter

1 stick butter, softened
2 tbsp. orange blossom honey
1 tbsp. confectioner's sugar
zest from half an orange

Cream all the ingredients together into smooth paste. Turn into a pretty ramekin and chill. Press a design into the top and serve with toasted bread or warm muffins.

I so wanted to 'flip' the orientation of the photo to make a question mark!

Seedy Whole-Wheat Bread
adapted from Denise Fletcher’s recipe for Flaxseed Bread

Makes: 2 small loaves


2½ c. King Arthur bread flour
¾ c. whole wheat flour
¼ c. wheat germ
2/3 c. flax seed
1/3 c. roasted and salted sunflower seeds
scant tsp. fine grain salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. canola oil
3 tsp. active dry yeast
1¾ c. tepid water (109° F)

First rise: 1½ hours
Second rise: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Bake in a 425° F oven for 10 minutes , then lower the heat to 370° F and bake another 15 minutes. Remove the bread from pans and turn them face down on a cookie sheet and return to the oven, turn the heat off, and leave in the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove and cool on a rack.

Bread Dough Chiaroscuro ... high art ... ha!

Dough Directions:

1. Mix the tepid water and the yeast with a pinch of sugar and set aside for about ten minutes to proof.

2. Whisk together all the dry ingredients and seeds in a deep bowl.

3. Make a well and add the yeast mixture and the canola oil.

4. Mix with a spoon until most of the flour and seeds are incorporated.

5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and scrape the bowl clean on top of the dough ball.

6. Knead the dough ball, incorporating all the seeds, dough scraps, and flour. Dust the board as needed to keep it from sticking too much.

7. Knead for about 8 minutes and then place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a towel and place the dough in a warm place for the first rise time.

8. Punch the dough down when it has finished its first rise time.

9. Let it rest while you grease a couple small pans and pre-heat the oven.

10. Divide the dough in half and shape the loaves.

11. Spritz with water (3 spritzes per loaf) and bake as noted above.

12. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.

Upside down loaf ... sliced perfectly.

1 comment:

  1. This bread looks delicious! I should really try to make some for myself . . . but I'm afraid I'd eat it all! LOL!!! Have a great Weekend!



Anonymous comments will not be accepted. Please be aware that due to spamming concerns, I must be able to track back. Use your Google account ID to comment.