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Sustainability through healthy living

   Oct 14

Bread Recipe Alternatives

I am never happy just going along with someone else’s instructions, so I took a few liberties with the recipes posted earlier.

Here are a few changes I made to the original recipes. First, I wanted to half the Basic Bread recipe while making the changes (so I didn’t totally blow 2 loaves if it turned out awful. A kitchen scale might come in handy for this one.

Here is the recipe again with the changes in bold:

  • 1 package dry yeast (1/4 oz)
  • 3/8 C warm water (6 T)
  • 1 1/3 C warm water (105-115F)
  • 1/8 C Honey (replacing the sugar) (2 T)
  • 1/2 T salt (1/4 oz)
  • 1 1/2 T olive oil (replacing the shortening) (.75 oz)
  • 5 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C oats (you will probably need a bit less flour thanks to the oats)
  • 2 T flax seed meal (just for fun)

As usual, start by dissolving the yeast and letting it proof. Put all of your ingredients (but only 2 C of flour) into a big bowl and mix until smooth. Add enough of the remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle (not a sticky mess)

Knead the dough on a lightly floured board (or with the dough hook in your stand mixer) until smooth and elastic (10 minutes). Put it in a big bowl that you have coated in olive oil, brush the top with oil and let rise (covered) until double (1.5 hours to let it get good and fluffy).

Punch it, divide in half, and roll it out into a rectangle (or shape into balls). Here’s where we get crazy again. Lightly coat the inside of the rectangle (that would be the upside since we’re rolling it into a loaf) with a mixture of honey & olive oil, then roll it into that tidy little rolled rectangle with all the seams sealed and put it into a greased pan seam side down (I don’t know that I have made a big enough deal about getting the rolling right. You want to roll it good & tight so you don’t end up with big air pockets in your loaf, unless you like that sort of thing). Brush the loaf with more oil & honey and let it rise for another hour.

Once your second rise is done, leave the loaf in the oven while you preheat it to 425F. Make sure your loaf is good and centered. Try putting the pan of water underneath for a softer crust. I’m guessing you could put oats on top, but I would wait until the bread is mostly done then brush it with more honey & olive oil to get the oats to stick. I’m thinking oats on top for the entire time might leave you with crispy oats, but I’m not 100% on that. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a deep golden brown you get a hollow sound when you tap it. Remove immediately when ready and start dipping into more of the honey/olive oil stuff for yummy times all around.

 

More alternatives:

For the Homemade Crusty White Bread, I also tried swapping out some of the flour. Instead of 6 C of all-purpose flour, I used 2 C stone ground wheat flour, 2 C white bread flour and 1.5 C oats. The rise times are different as well. Oh, hell, here’s the whole thing with my changes (which are in caps & bold):

  • 2 packages of active dry yeast (about 1/2 oz)
  • 2 C warm water 105-115F (to activate the yeast)-this part is kind of tricky. Too cold & the yeast doesn’t do anything, too hot & you kill it.
  • 2 T HONEY (to feed the yeast)
  • 1 T salt
  • 1/4 C salad oil (I use olive oil)
  • 2 C STONE GROUND WHEAT FLOUR
  • 2 C WHITE BREAD FLOUR (or wheat if you can find it)
  • 1.5 C OATS
  • 2 T flax seed meal (just for fun)

See above for dissolving & proofing yeast. It’s easy, just add water & honey. Put all of your ingredients (but only half the flours) into a big bowl and mix until smooth. Add enough of the remaining flours to make the dough easy to handle. I usually add 1/4 C at a time, alternating between the white & wheat. You will probably use all of the flour for once.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured board (or with the dough hook in your stand mixer) until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes). Put it in a big bowl, brush the top with oil and let rise (covered) until double (2.25 hours, I think it’s the wheat that makes it slower).

Punch it, divide in half, and roll it out into a rectangle (or shape into balls) and shape it into that tidy little rolled rectangle with all the seams sealed and put it into a greased pan seam side down. Brush those loaves with salad oil and let rise another 1.5 hours (again, double).

These bake at 400F for 35 minutes and will again sound hollow when done.

 

If the loaves seem a bit dry, try adding more oil & water or throw some shortening in there for fun. Wheat flour acts different than white flour. It doesn’t usually rise as fluffy, so a bit more yeast might be helpful. Mixing it with white also helps you avoid the brick o’ bread syndrome. Wheat bread is just naturally denser. If you buy wheat bread at the store that’s white & fluffy, double check to make sure it isn’t really enriched wheat flour which is the exact same as white flour only dyed brown to make you think it’s healthy. You want WHOLE wheat flour.

Other fun things to add are dried fruits, herbs like oregano or thyme or rosemary, sweet stuff like cinnamon and sugar rolled in the middle, the possibilities are endless. I do not cook as if it is an exact science (my baker friend might argue, but I’m not a pro, so I’m not going to stress about it). If you have a fun suggestion, please post it! I’d love to learn a new recipe. Also, if you know the secret to soft loaf bread that makes good sandwiches & has a soft crust, I need it. We currently buy the country sourdough from the Produce Market on Sutherland, but I would love to make some bread that Nathan actually likes on sandwiches.

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