January 31, 2010

Making Bread

As I have said before the New Year always brings new resolutions for me. Aside from the most important, be a better wife and mother, eat healthier, exercise more, most of my resolutions are related to my ongoing goal of becoming a domestic goddess.

Naturally making home made bread fits this bill. And of course my idol, Ms. Martha, has an entire article devoted to bread making in the February issue of MS Living. It's like she can read my mind.

Her recipe is for classic white bread with three variations to also make multi-grain, cinnamon-raisin and rye. I choose to make the multi-grain version.

Yummy right?

Multi-grain Bread- MS Living
Makes 2 loaves

1/3 cup bulgur
Two 1/4 oz envelopes active dry yeast
2 1/4 cups warm water
3 T plus 2 t honey
4 T unsalted butter, melted plus more for bowl and pans.
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and dusting
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup rye flour
2 T coarse salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup crushed flaxseeds (did you know that whole flaxseeds are not digested; therefore you do not reap the benefits of flaxseed if it is not crushed).
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds (I actually didn't add the sunflower seeds because I am not a fan of seeds in my bread).
1 egg white mixed with water

1. Soak bulgur in 1/2 cup warm water for 20 minutes; set aside. Sprinkle yeast over 1/2 cup water. Add 2 t honey. Whisk until yeast dissolves. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle or dough-hook attachment. Add butter and remaining 1 1/2 cups water and 3 T honey. Whisk flour with salt; add 3 cups to yeast. Mix on low speed until smooth. Add soaked bulgur, rolled oats, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds. Add remaining 4 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing until dough comes away from sides of bowl and forms a ragged, slightly sticky ball. Butter a large bowl.

2. Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball. Transfer to prepared bowl; cover with plastic wrap.

3. Let dough stand in a warm place until it doubles in volume (it should not spring back when pressed), about 1 hour. Butter two 4 1/2 by 8 1/2 inch loaf pans. Punch down dough; divide in half.

4. Shape 1 dough half into an 8 1/2 inch long rectangle (about 1/2 inch thick). Fold long sides of dough in to middle; overlapping slightly. Press seam to seal. Transfer dough, seam side down, to pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Brush each leaf with egg wash and sprinkle with oats. Dab tops with egg wash to help adhere. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drape loaves with plastic; let stand until dough rises about 1 inch above top of pans, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake, rotating pans after 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown, about 45 minutes. Transfer to wire racks. Let cool slightly, turn out loaves. Let cool completely before slicing. Loaves can be stored at room temperature for three days or frozen for up to three months.

I served the fresh bread with homemade organic tomato soup- mmmmm (recipe coming soon). Oscar and I loved this so much, I have decided to make bread every Friday to have fresh bread for breakfast on Saturday morning and for the rest of the week's lunches.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

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