June 04, 2012

I made (and baked) bread!

Yes, Mom. I made bread. Are you proud? 

My mom has been making and baking bread forever. I remember huge batches of fresh bread coming out of the oven and the smell that filled the house. My favorite part of the process was watching her knead and slap the dough to get out the air. She also seemed to be an expert at getting tons of flour on herself. :)

For a long time, I have been trying to find the perfect bread recipe...a recipe that was hearty and healthy, used 100% whole wheat flour and an alternate form of sugar and was easy to make (duh!). 

Not having much luck, I decided to use a basic whole wheat bread recipe and modify it according to my liking (with the help of a long list of bread recipes I had saved).

The bread turned out great. Matt and I have already eaten half of the first loaf. I have topped the bread with hummus and Matt used it for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We have both enjoyed it toasted with nut butter on top for breakfast.

100% Whole Wheat Seed Bread

  • 2 3/4 cups hot water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp molasses or agave nectar or honey or omit completely
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats 
  • 6 cups (max) 100% whole wheat flour, divided
  • 2 tbsp dry active yeast
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • rolled oats

Place the first four ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Add 2 cups whole wheat flour. Mix. Add dry active yeast. Combine 1 cup ground flax seed, 1/2 cups oats and 3 cups whole wheat flour in separate bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until an even consistency.

Continue to slowly add flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough does not stick to the sides of the bowl; however, the dough will be slightly tacky to the touch. Do not over mix or the bread will be tough.

Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise for about 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

The dough will become almost double in size. Punch the dough down until the dough becomes close to the original size. Knead the dough on a floured/oat (adding oats to the surface is optional) surface (I used a silpat mat) and shape into a ball, using enough flour so the dough is not sticky. 

Divide the ball in half and repeat, forming each half of dough into a ball and rolling each ball in the flour. 

Shape the balls of dough into loaves by turning the dough under itself over and over. When the dough is shaped correctly, the sides and ends will be sealed at the bottom of the loaf. The top and sides of the loafs will be smooth. 

Spread seeds and oats on surface. Roll the top of the bread over the seed and oat mixture until covered. Grease two bread pans with nonstick spray and drop the loaves into the pans. Let the loaves rise until almost doubled.  

Bake (in 350 degree oven) for 40 minutes (or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapping on the bottom), remove the bread from the oven and let the bread cool completely (I cut two slices for Matt and me to enjoy immediately...you can't beat warm, fresh bread!). 

Wrap bread in tinfoil and store on counter or in fridge. The bread can also be put in the freezer for long term keeping; however, I would put in freezer safe bag. Thaw bread completely before eating.