Sharing Bread...share a loaf, or half!

I love to make bread for my family, and for others. It is a great accompaniment to a casserole or a mason jar of homemade soup given to a family who just had a baby, or who are recovering from a sickness. I have been making homemade bread on a regular basis for the last couple years. It is the best smell in the world to have bread baking in your oven. King Arthur Flour has a great blog that featured this bread for World Bread Day. I have been wanting to try it ever since. I absolutely love the idea of making two mini loaves in one bread pan. It is the perfect size to share, or to freeze for another day. This bread tastes wonderful, and you feel good eating it since it is healthful as it contains oatmeal and flax seed. I did not have ascorbic acid and decided I could leave it out after reading the comments on the reviews if I allowed plenty of time for rising. It came out great without it, so don't let that stop you from trying this recipe. Also, I used regular yeast and not SAF. If you haven't used demerara sugar before, you can purchase it in the regular grocery store in the baking aisle. You can also get it in the bulk bins at the Co-op. I will be making this bread again and again. It was a huge hit with my family!

This is my bread fresh out of the oven!

Recipe for Sharing Bread, from KAF
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 cup King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour, organic preferred
1/8 teaspoon ascorbic acid
1/4 teaspoon sugar, Demerara preferred
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast, SAF Red or SAF Gold preferred
2 cups cool water

all of the starter
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
4 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt OR 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
6 tablespoons Demerara sugar or granulated sugar
4 teaspoons instant yeast, SAF Red or SAF Gold preferred
1/4 cup flax seed, ground
4 tablespoons butter or 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup lukewarm water
*The amount of water will vary here. If your starter has rested less than 2 days, and doesn't have any freestanding liquid at the bottom, use 1/2 cup water. If the starter is very liquid and soupy, use just 2 to 4 tablespoons water.

1) To make the starter: Combine the bread flour, whole wheat flour, ascorbic acid, sugar, yeast, and water in a large bowl. Mix to combine, cover, and let rest at room temperature for 4 hours, or up to about 2 days.

2) When you're ready to make bread, stir the starter to recombine it with any freestanding liquid it's generated. Mix the starter with the oats, 1 1/2 cups of the bread flour, and the remaining dough ingredients. Mix thoroughly, then add the remaining 3 cups of bread flour.

3) Knead to make a smooth, supple dough. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or other container, cover, and allow it to rise till doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

4) Gently deflate the dough, and divide it in half. Shape each half into a 9" log.

5) Lightly grease two 9" x 5" loaf pans. Place one log in each pan. To make two loaves in each pan, divide each half of the dough in half again; and shape each of the four pieces into a ball. Place two balls, side by side, in each pan.

6) Cover the pans, and let the dough rise till it's crowned about 1" over the rim of the pan. This will take about 60 to 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 350°F.

7) Uncover the pans, and bake the bread for 20 minutes. Tent lightly with foil, and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until the center of the loaf registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer.

8) Remove the bread from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool. After about 5 minutes, turn the loaves out of the pans to cool completely on the rack. If you've made two loaves in a single pan, wait till they're completely cool to gently separate, cutting with a knife if necessary.

Yield: 2 large loaves, or 4 smaller loaves.



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