Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Whole Grain Bread

This bread has three steps: The starter, the rise, and the actual baking. It takes about 2 days of inactive time to make - but it doesn't take a lot of work. I like to make this bread every week using whatever leftover cooked grains I have from meals in the past week.


2 cups cooked whole grains (my favorites are quinoa, amaranth, wheat, and brown rice)

2 cups vegetable stock

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Himalayan sea salt

1 tablespoon dry yeast

1 cup whole wheat flour

puree grains and stock in a blender or food processor until creamy. Pour into a large mixing bowl; mix in oil, salt, and yeast. Add enough flour to make the mixture the consistency of cooked . Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and leave for 12-24 hours at room temperature. Once the dough is fermented, it can be refrigerated for up to a week before using to make bread.

To make a bread

1/4 cup barley malt syrup, dark honey, or maple syrup

2 cups whole wheat flour

3-4 cups whole grain flours (you can go with just whole wheat here, but I like a combination of buckwheat, amaranth, chickpea, and spelt flours)

After the starter ferments, add the syrup to the starter and stir. Add whole wheat flour, stirring it in. Add the rest of the flour gradually, the mixture will be too difficult to stir. Knead it by hand in the bowl and continue to add flour. When dough is less sticky, transfer it to a floured surface and knead 10-15 minutes or until dough is soft and springy, but not too sticky. Wash and dry mixing bowl and oil it. Place dough in bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

To bake the bread

1 teaspoon water

1 teaspoon barley malt syrup, honey, or maple syrup

1 teaspoon extra virgin olice oil

course sea salt

chia or flax seeds (optional)

Divide the bread into two loaves, and put into oiled pans. Mix water, syrup, oil, and salt in a small cup or bowl and coat the top of each loaf with this mixture. Sprinkle the top of the loaves with seeds (optional). Cover and let rise in pans for 45-60 minutes until doubled in size. If you press the dough and the indentation stays, but the dough still has a little spring, it’s ready to bake. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake 50-55 minutes. Bread will come out of pans after 5 minutes of cooling. Let it cool 30 minutes before slicing or it will be doughy in the middle. This bread is great spread with some raw honey...mmmmm.

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