Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sweet Whole Grain Bread

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Although I enjoy baking once a while, I'm not much of a baker. I tend to think that baking doesn't give me enough room to experiment, since bakers must follow recipes exactly to get the right product. But I'm still going to try to experiment just a bit. I took this whole grain bread recipe and made various substitutions and changes to make my own whole grain bread. And! It turned out great! The smell of sweet yeasty bread lingered for hours.

You'll need 2 days and the following ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
Remaining ingredients:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon active yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup corn meal
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or poppy seeds
The day before you plan on baking, mix all starter ingredients together. Knead for a few minutes, then place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave overnight. In a separate bowl, soak multi-grain cereal with water. Add salt. Set aside and leave overnight.

On baking day, drain multi-grain cereal of any excess water. Mix starter dough with soaked multi-grain, almond meal, maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and yeast. Knead lightly to combine. Set aside, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

On a floured surface, combine dough with all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes until smooth. Place dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise for an hour.

Cut dough into two equal pieces. Flatten and roll into an oblong oval shape. Mold the dough into a football or torpedo shape by tapering the ends. Turn dough, seam side down, onto a baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal. Gently shake the pan to make sure that the dough doesn't stick to the baking sheet. Cover and allow dough to rise again for 45 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degree. Pour a cup of boiling cup of water into an oven proof pan. Place the pan on the bottom rack. Slit the middle of the dough. Brush on some canola oil or olive oil. Sprinkle on sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Bake on the top rack for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove and allow bread to cool for a few hours before serving.

Despite being whole grain and (mostly) whole wheat. the bread is very tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. It is slightly sweet and yeasty. Totally delicious and not bad for an improvising baker!

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