Since it is currently snowing out, I thought it would be fitting to share a bread recipe. Earlier today, it was sunny and there was definitely some warmth in the sun. I even sat down to start garden planning. We plan on building raised beds this year, instead of using the garden that we used last year. It's easier to build a raised bed, rather than turn over more lawn and try to build the soil up. Hopefully we will have better yields this year! Especially after we build a large fence to keep the deer at bay.
I am basically a sucker for any type of bread recipe these days. This winter, I have tried so many new kinds, and I have loved all of them. I have many to share with you, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Sorry! This multigrain bread is so tasty, reasonably easy, and the perfect addition to soup. And, it freezes beautifully. It is hearty enough to make a great sandwich too. (Just don't let your bread over-rise then collapse like I did. That is what happens when I try to squeeze in running a few errands during the last rising stage. Sigh.) This recipe yields two loaves, so you can eat one now, and freeze the other!
Yield: 2 loaves
For the dough
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) whole wheat flour
3/4 cup (2 1/2 ounces) oat flour*
1/3 cup (1 ounce) flax meal
1/4 cup (1 1/4 ounces) dry milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons (7/8 ounce) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons instant (rapid rise) yeast
1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) lukewarm water
For the topping
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon each: poppy seeds, sesame seeds, caraway seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds
Combine all the dough ingredients in a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead on medium speed, or by hand, until all the ingredients are incorporated and smooth, but still slightly sticky, 5-8 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise for one hour.
On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough in half and shape into a 10-inch oval loaf. Place the loaves on parchment paper. Cover the loaves with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 and 1/2 hours, or until they have increased in size by one-third.
At least 30 minutes before baking, place a baking stone in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400˚F. (If you don't have a baking stone, preheat oven as usual.) In a small bowl, combine the topping seeds.
Just before baking, gently brush the loaves with the beaten egg white and sprinkle evenly with the seed topping. Slash the loaves diagonally three times each.
Transfer the loaves on the parchment paper to the baking stone, or on a cookie sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the interior temperature registers 200˚F.
Remove the loaves from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool before slicing and serving. Let cool completely before freezing.
Source: Adapted from King Arthur Flour Magazine
*If you don't have oat flour, place about 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats in a food processor and process until finely ground.