This is an original recipe. The challenge: to make a healthy bread without too much added sugar. This bread can be made on the dough cycle in a bread machine (just add ingredients in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Often, it’s liquid first, then dry, with yeast on top.) Directions below are for hand mixing or mixing with a stand mixer using a dough hook. Baking directions will be the same regardless of whether the dough is hand mixed, done in a mixer or in a bread machine.
Makes 2 loaves. I have not yet worked this recipe out for a single loaf. Just cutting each ingredient in half doesn’t always work.
HEALTHY WHEAT BREAD
1 1/2 cup warm water, divided
2 TBL honey (or molasses)
1 TBL active dry yeast
3 TBL butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup quick oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
2 TBL vital gluten
1 TBL sugar
1 TBL cocoa powder
2 tsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup bread flour
First, make sure the water is nice and warm. Not too hot, not too cold, or you will murder the yeast. Measure 1/2 cup water into your mixing bowl. Add the yeast and honey, give it a quick stir, and walk away for about 5 minutes. When you come back, it should be foamy and bubbly on top. (If not, your yeast is dead which means it was no good to start with or the water temperature was not right.)
Add butter and remaining warm water. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together, except for the bread flour. A quick spin with a chopstick will do it. It does not have to be perfectly mixed. Add this mixture to your mixing bowl and start the mixer on a very low speed. If hand mixing, use a very sturdy wooden spoon. Very slowly, a little at a time, add in the bread flour. As the dough takes in the flour, it will start to “climb” up the dough hook and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
You might need to add a little extra flour, but try not to go too much above 1 3/4 cup unless it’s super-humid that day (humidity in the air definitely affects bread dough!)
Shake a little more flour onto your table or counter and dump the dough out of the mixing bowl. Knead it on the table for about 5 minutes. Again, try not to add in too much flour. To knead, push most of the dough away from you, then fold it over on itself, turn 90 degrees, and repeat. Ultimately you want the dough to feel just a little less sticky than the glue on a post-it note. It’s not going to be super-smooth because of the oatmeal and flaxseed, but it shouldn’t stick all over your hands and should have some spring to it.
Now take a clean mixing bowl and oil the inside of it. Put the dough into the bowl. It will need to rise for 1 hour. You can set the bowl, uncovered, in your microwave without turning it on, or you can cover it with a tea towel and set it somewhere there is no draft.
After about an hour (a little more time won’t matter–you have about 15 minutes leeway here, but don’t go under an hour) you will notice that the dough is larger in size. It probably will not double in size since whole wheat bread doesn’t rise as high as bread made with only white flour. This is the fun part. Take that bowl of risen dough and punch your fist right into it. It will deflate! Sprinkle a little extra oatmeal on the table. Dump the dough back on your table and knead it about 1 more minute. Then divide it in half. Pat each piece until it’s about 3/4 inch thick and then roll it up like a jelly roll.
Oil two bread pans (or use baking spray). Place each shaped loaf into a pan. Then give it another hour to rise, using the same method you used before. Again, an extra 15 minutes won’t matter. After rising, it should at least be over the tops of the pans.
Preheat the oven to 350, then bake the bread for about 35 minutes. When the bread is done, cool it on a rack (preferably out of the pan). Don’t slice it until it’s completely cool.
VARIATION: Add 2 TBL orange zest to the dough when you mix in the flaxseed and oatmeal.
CARB COUNT: assuming 20 slices per loaf of bread, this recipe yields 10 carbs per slice. Carb count based on information from Calorie King book. 200 carbs per loaf; best to calculate after you count the slices you get from each loaf–it will vary depending on the bread pan you use.
copyright 2014 Barb Szyszkiewicz