This week I didn’t know what I was going to make. After a lot of thought, I decided a nice loaf of bread would be nice. I tweaked this recipe a little; in the end it was so good! We sliced it up like sandwich bread and made BLT’s. My husband and I ate sandwiches all weekend, and I don’t ever want to go back to store-bought bread again.
Ingredients: Monique of Ambitious Kitchen
1 1/4 cups almond milk
3 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup rolled oats
3 TBS melted butter (or coconut oil)
2 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (substitute bread flour)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (substitute pumpkin seeds)
2 TBS flaxseeds (substitute poppy seeds)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Extra oats, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds for sprinkling on top
1. Heat milk in a separate saucepan over low heat until milk is warm (about 115 degrees F). Remove from pan, stir in oats, yeast and honey. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes until yeast begins to foam. Next, stir in melted butter (or oil). Add in whole wheat flour, salt and cinnamon and mix with a spoon until a dough begins to form. Add in sunflower seeds and flaxseeds and gently mix into the dough. Place dough onto a well-floured surface and knead the dough with your hands for 8-10 minutes. Another option is to use the dough hook, oil or butter greased bowl, turning the dough over to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and allow the dough to rise for a little over an hour or until doubled in size.
- Make sure you give it the right amount of time to rise. This is one area you can’t skimp on. I set a timer and just did something else for a few hours.
- Yeast is a tricky thing because if the milk is too hot the yeast will die, but if the milk is not hot enough then the yeast won’t react. That is the tricky part. I just test the milk by putting my finger in the middle of the pan. If the milk is hot to the touch, then it is the right temperature. If it burns, it’s too hot. Above is the yeast after 10 minutes. You can see how it is foamy; that means the yeast is reacting.
2. Lightly butter or grease a 8×4 inch loaf pan. After the dough has risen, knead it just a few more times (about 1 minute), then shape the dough into a loaf and place in a prepared pan, tucking the ends in. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and a towel and allow it to rise again for another hour or until the loaf has risen to the brim of the pan.
- Make sure you don’t over-knead or your bread will turn out chewy. To knead it just take your fingers and fold it from the outside in. If you overwork yeast, it turns against you.
3. Once the dough has risen again, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Beat the egg in a small bowl and brush over the top of the dough (Please note that you won’t need to use all of the egg wash, but only a small amount). Sprinkle a few more oats and sunflower seeds on top of the dough. You can also add sesame seeds if you’d like. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until loaf is golden brown on top and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove bread from the pan and place on wire rack to finish cooling for at least 2 hours. Do not cut the bread before it is completely cooled. Bread should be wrapped tightly and stored at room temperature.
- Make sure when you egg wash the bread you use a light touch. I had 1/4 cup of all the seeds and oats I used and sprinkled it on top of the bread.
- When you finally cut it open, a way to check if it is cooked all the way is by pressing your finger into the middle. If it springs back, it is fully cooked. If the bread doesn’t spring back, then it could have used a little more time cooking.
- If your bread doesn’t seem cooked but it is getting pretty dark, you can always pull it out and put tinfoil on the top. This will stop the browning process.
In the end, this may become one of my favorite breads. It is so easy to make, and it could so easily have ingredients added or substituted. Since it uses honey and not sugar it is also good for you, with no preservatives. Once you feel comfortable with the bread, that is when you can start experimenting with other seeds or nuts. I think even dried berries would be good.