Whole Grain Seedy Bread

August 10th, 2011 / Comments 2

I’d been doing everything possible to avoid going to the grocery store. I didn’t want to sit in the car, get stuck in road construction traffic or push a grocery cart up and down the air conditioned aisles of the grocery store when I could be taking our puppy Gracie for a swim in the pond. But, we still had to eat and, to Charles, lunchtime is sandwich time and he hasn’t figured out a way to make a sandwich without bread. The time had come for Charles to learn how to make a loaf of bread.

toaster c egbert Whole Grain Seedy Bread

Toaster

Making bread can be a long and complicated process. Some dedicated bakers begin by hunting, capturing and nurturing the wild yeast floating in the air. Sour dough starters begin as a slurry of flour and water and with a little luck, a fair amount of patience and enough time, nearly a week, it is possible to make a loaf of yeast bread. Although Charles was willing, lunchtime was looming. We didn’t have three days we had less than three hours. Luckily we had active dry yeast in the pantry. Rather than making a loaf of slow rise, knead-before-you-bake bread we would make a quick loaf of hearty batter bread. Here’s how we did it:

Whole Grain Sunflower Seed Bread

I sprinkled two teaspoons of active dry yeast, the equivalent of one package, into one and a quarter cups of warm water, about 110º, added one tablespoon of honey and stirred until the yeast had dissolved. I set the mixture aside while we went in search of a loaf pan. (It’s been a long time since I last made bread.) It took about five minutes of searching, and in that time the yeast had ‘bloomed’ and the mixture was foamy and beginning to swell.

Charles used a whisk to combine one cup of white flour, one cup of whole-wheat flour, one cup of rolled oats, half a cup of sunflower seeds and one and a half teaspoons of kosher salt in a large mixing bowl.

I smeared the eight-cup loaf pan with a generous coating of soft butter. Charles poured the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and stirred with a wooden spoon until the batter was completely combined. He turned the dough into the buttered pan, covered it with a slightly damp cloth napkin and set it on the counter near the oven that was being preheated to 350º. In half an hour, the oven was at temperature, the dough had risen and was ready to bake. After baking for thirty-five minutes the bread had begun to pull away from the sides of the pan and my instant read, digital thermometer read 185º when I poked it into the center of the loaf. I used a knife to loosen the loaf and tipped the steamy hot bread on to a wire rack to cool.

Charles waited as long as he could, about fifteen minutes, and then he used a serrated knife to slice the still warm bread. The aroma of the freshly baked bread was so tempting that he ate two slices slathered with butter before he made his standard Swiss and turkey sandwich with mayo and sliced cucumbers.

Dinner that evening was unconventional but colorful and delicious – avocado with vinaigrette, thinly sliced watermelon and the rest of the bread, thickly sliced and properly buttered.

The next morning, I made a second loaf and added half a cup of dried cranberries to the flour mixture and topped the dough with a hearty layer of poppy seeds. That loaf lasted two days. Yesterday, not only were we out of bread, we were also out of yeast. I had two choices – it would take half an hour to drive the grocery story or six days to harvest and nurture wild yeast for our next loaf of bread.  Hmmm – lunchtime would be rolling around in three hours, what to do?

Download and print bread recipe with an ingredients list here.

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• 2 Responses to “Whole Grain Seedy Bread”

  • joby thompson says:

    C-
    The download and print recipe thing is great. However, I think you need to make sure everything is clear on it. For instance, the download and print version doesn’t say “1 1/4 cups, it just says “1 1/4 Warm Water. And/or does everyone but me know that AP means All-Purpose? For me alone (I think) where does one obtain an instant read thermometer? is it for bread only? Is it for meat also? Also, in #5. you say “Bake for 35 minutes shouldn’t you say at 350 since in the little print you say both time and temp? I know I’m a stickler and also a food idiot – but just thought I’d give my limited opinion. J

    • Carol says:

      Thank you!
      I’ll fix everything that is fixable. An instant read thermometer is also used to check the ‘doneness’ of meat, and for liquids like custards. They aren’t used when making candies.

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