I’m starting a new section of my blog: Food Blog Friday. Let’s start with one a month and see how it goes… I’m not a food blogger, but I cook and bake enough that I could have the content to be one. The only problem is that my cooking and baking is pretty hit and miss, so when all is said and done and tasted, there really are only a handful of gems good enough to blog about. This bread is one of them.
I got the recipe from my wife’s aunt who has been making the bread for herself every week for 30 years. At new year’s this year I sat down with her and had her write out the recipe that she has tweaked to perfection. I baked two loaves this week already, and I might have to make another. This bread freezes really well too, so I’m making it in advance because, with the baby, baking isn’t necessarily something I can do in a pinch if I discover I’m out of bread!
The instructions are tailored to the use of a stand mixer. Adjust kneading times if doing it by hand.
Lightly stir up the following ingredients in your stand mixer bowl
1 1/2 cup warm water
2-3 tbs oil
1 tsp salt
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp yeast
Let it soften in the bowl for 10-15 minutes.
The dry ingredients:
In a separate bowl blend
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
+/- 1 cup your choice of seeds.
E.g., 1/4 ground flax, 1/4 chia seeds, 1/2 sunflower seeds.
Set aside a spare cup of white flour to thicken the dough later if needed.
Add the flour and knead:
Start up the mixer on low with the bread kneading attachment. Slowly add in the flour/grain mixture. Knead in the mixer for 10-15 minutes, adding in the spare cup of flour as needed.
The dough should be dry enough to touch and not get stuck to your finger.
Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl to rise for an hour. I like to preheat the oven and then turn it off, and place the bread in the warm oven to rise. Putting a dish of water in the oven helps to prevent the dough from drying out too much while rising. No need to cover the dough.
After an hour, punch the dough down to get all the air out of it. Shape into a greased bread pan and let rise again in the same warm environment, this time for about 45 minutes. An egg wash before baking gives a nice golden brown crust, but be gentle so it doesn’t collapse. I found it even worked to do the egg wash before the second rise just to be extra careful with the risen dough.
Bake for 10 minutes in a 400°F oven
Turn down to 375°F for another 20 minutes.
Cool and Eat.