Thursday, August 12, 2010

Whole Wheat Flax Bread

Once you start making your own bread at home, I doubt you will stop!  It is soooooo easy and healthy.  There is nothing sweeter than the smell of bread baking.

Think about it.  A loaf of organic, whole-grain bread will set you back about $5 in the market.  You can make it at home for $2/loaf or less. 

This recipe is Vegan if you don't use the optional whey and if you replace the honey with raw sugar.

I get my organic flax meal and yeast at Costco in bulk.

Wheat flour can spoil fairly quickly, so I buy mine in bulk at the natural food market near our home.  Bulk flour turns over in the store much faster than bagged flour, so it is fresher.  Plus, you only need to buy the amount you really need so you won't waste anything!

I have never had this recipe fail.  Every loaf has been perfect.

Whole Wheat Flax Bread

3 cups fairly warm water (or whey left over from yogurt/cheese making, warmed in the microwave)
2 tablespoons (2 packages) active dry yeast

Combine in a mixing bowl and stir until dissolved.  Set aside until bubbly, 5 minutes.

3 cups organic whole wheat bread flour
3 tablespoons honey (for vegan, replace with raw sugar or agave syrup/stevia to taste)
3 tablespoons oil (neutral oil, like safflower or canola)

Add and stir until smooth.

2-3 cups organic bread flour
1 1/2 cups flax seed meal (sometimes called milled flax seed)
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds (optional - but highly recommended)
2 tablespoons poppy seeds (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup flax seeds (optional)

Add, stirring in enough flour to make a stiff, smooth dough.  Knead about 10 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, turn to grease both sides, cover with a damp dish towel, and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down, divide in half, and let rest 5 minutes.

Shape into loaves and place in greased loaf pans (grease with oil for vegan) or shape into round loaves and place on a greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.

Cover with damp dish towel, and let rise again, about 1 hour.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.  You will know the loaves are done when you tap on the bottom and they sound hollow.

This freezes beautifully!

Adapted slightly from Simply in Season, by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert (page 288).

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