Saturday, November 12, 2011

Whole Grain Seed Loaf with Honey Butter

I am sure you are thinking ANOTHER bread recipe? For those readers who don't make bread, please, please consider giving it a try! It is not as hard as you think, and the results of having fresh, hot homemade bread will make you feel like a domestic goddess, I promise. Your family will love you for it too. For those readers who do make bread, here is a unique recipe full of whole grains that is guilt free. I try to use whole grains whenever possible, and this recipe is chock full of them. If you have little kids who don't care for seeds, you can do what I did here - grind them up so you still get the same nutritional value, without the little bits of crunch. If you love seeds, then leave 'em whole. I enjoy making edible gifts, and giving a loaf of bread is always accepted with a big smile. This loaf was given to Ethan's speech therapist on her last day. It was a nice way to say thank you for all her time and effort with Ethan. I paired this gift with a little jar of honey butter, which my family really loves to enjoy with any loaf of bread.
Whole Grain Seed Loaf
recipe from Maggie at flour child
makes 2 loaves

Ingredients:
⅓ cups honey
4-½ teaspoons active dry yeast
4 cups warm water (should feel neither hot nor cold when you dip your finger in it)
6-7 cups whole wheat flour (I used half whole wheat and half white whole wheat)
2 cups old fashioned (NOT instant) oats
1 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted!!!!!) - whole or grain
½ cups coarse corn meal
½ cups ground flax seed
3 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
1-2 cups (only as needed) unbleached all purpose flour, for kneading and shaping loaves
cooking spray (to coat bowls and loaf pans)

Directions:In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, stir the honey and yeast into the water and let sit for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is foamy. (If your mixture fails to foam within 10 minutes, your yeast is not active and you’ll need to start over with new yeast.)
If you want to grind your sunflower seeds, you can do it in a food processor (I have a mini Cuisinart), or in a coffee grinder. Just don't let it go too long, it will turn into sunflower seed butter. Make sure you use unsalted sunflower seeds. I made the mistake of using salted by accident once, and it ruined the dough. I didn't notice until I about to shape the loaves that it was beyond salty and ruined. It was a sad moment when I realized the time and ingredients that were wasted.

Meanwhile, in a very large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, oats, sunflower seeds, cornmeal, flax meal and salt. Add the liquid yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a stiff dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes, adding small amounts of all purpose flour as needed to prevent it from sticking. (Note: I divided the dough and used my Kitchen Aid mixer to knead it in two parts.)
Divide the dough (if you haven’t already, as I did in Step 2) and place each piece into a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover with towels or plastic wrap and set the dough in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes, or until it’s doubled in size and indentations remain when you press it with your fingers.
After rising… Working with one portion of dough at a time, punch it down and turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Dust with flour and roll into a rectangle about 10 x 15 inches. Starting with the short edge, roll up the rectangle tightly, pressing as you go to rid it of air pockets. Pinch the end seam tightly together and tuck in the sides. Place each roll, seam side down, in a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray, tucking the edges of the roll under if needed. Cover with towels or plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to rise for another 45 minutes or until doubled again in size.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover loaves and place in oven on center rack; bake for about 40 minutes or until they’re browned and sound hollow when tapped.
TIP: To get a brown and chewy crust, use a spray bottle to periodically (about every 10 minutes) spray the bottom and sides of the oven with water. (Open the oven door just enough to spray the water into the oven, then close it immediately.) Steam is an element you can easily add to your home baking repertoire to make your bread more bakery-like.
To make the honey butter, mix together 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter with 1/3 cup honey.
Store butter in the fridge in a cute little jar, also perfect for make your bread gift extra special.
Let bread cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes, and then slice and enjoy!
Delicious as it is, or toasted and smeared with honey butter.
This is a great snack too.We ate one loaf (pretty quickly) and packaged the second loaf in a plastic bread bag. It is nice to list the ingredients when you give a loaf full of different ingredients, in case the receiver has any allergies.


Bread making can be fun and a great way to share appreciation and love. I hope you give it a try!

1 comment:

  1. It does have a lot of grains in it! I might have to try this . . . Kate likes English muffins for a snack so she might go for this.

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