Monday, September 28, 2009

Bread for chewing

I've been wanting bread worth chewing. Store-bought bread is too fluffy for the mood I'm in of late. I decided to do up a bread with seeds and chewiness - whole wheat, sunflower seeds, wheat berries, oatmeal and using some of the buckwheat honey I picked up at a local farm market. The honey tastes more like molasses, which works well with the whole wheat flavor. If you don't have buckwheat honey, I'd say just use half and half honey and molasses to mimic the flavor.

To cook the wheat berries, put at least 1/2 cup (3/4 works better) and at least twice as much water in a small saucepan on the stove. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Taste one to see if it's tender, if so, they're done. If not, keep simmering until tender - it will depend on type of wheat and how dry they are. Any left over can be eaten with milk and sugar for breakfast if you're OK with a fairly bland cereal. The extra wheat berries also can be used to make wheat berry salads with celery, onion, a bit of tomato, etc and a vinaigrette.

Sunny Honey Oat Wheat Bread

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cups buckwheat honey
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 packet or 2 1/2 tsp of dried yeast
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cooking oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup cooked wheat berries
1 cup sunflower seed
3 cups all purpose flour, approximately

In a large bowl, soak the oats in the boiling water with the honey for 1 1/2 hours.

Add yeast, salt, cooking oil and whole wheat flour; mix well. Add wheat berries, and sunflower seeds and mix well. Add all purpose flour 1/2 cup at a time; mix by spoon until too stiff to mix, then begin to knead in flour until the dough becomes resilient and the seeds begin to show through the dough.

Let rise approximately an hour (if using rapid-rise yeast) or until doubled. Split the dough in half, shape for two prepared 8X4 inch (greased) pans. Let rise approximately 45 minutes until about an inch above the edge of the pan. Heat the oven to 350 degrees about 15 to 20 minutes before baking.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes until the loaf sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

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