Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Kind of Health Bread

A few days ago I made a video and did a post about this stupid expensive "health" bread at Whole Foods - 4 slices for 2.99 - made by Eli's.

So I decided to have a go at making my own.

I add lots of seeds and nuts and made it with a freshly ground organic whole wheat flour I got from the market that is so fresh and authentic that the people at Cayuga Farms who sold it to me told me to refrigerate it and if in a month I'd not used it to put it in the freezer. This flour is dated the day it is ground, in this instance it was the day before I bought it! This flour has no relationship to the dry processed powder that passes for flour in the grocery store.

I have no idea how much fiber is actually in this bread, but I am doing research into how I can find out. If need be I'll write to Marion Nestle, but I hope online somewhere is a lab that will analyse it for me. Stay tuned.

Health Bread

Mix in a large bowl: 3 cups very freshly ground organic whole wheat flour, 1 T molasses, 1 T honey, 2 T sesame seeds, 2 T Flax Seeds, 2 T Sunflower Seeds, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon organic yeast.

Mix well with a wooden spoon or your hands. Cover (I use two tea towels and some times a large plate, but if you use plastic an old plastic bag works as well) leave over night or for at least 12 hours.

Dust a surface (marble or some other kind of stone if you have one) generously with whole wheat flour, scoop the dough out of the bowl and dust it with flour as well. With minimum fuss shape the dough into a round. This dough is very heavy and pretty resilient so don't get anxious.

Cove with a very well floured tea towel or just turn a large bowl over it. Let rise for two hours

30 minutes before it is ready to bake preheat the oven to 500 F and place in it a covered baking dish, I use a Spanish clay one but enameled cast iron, or even pyrex would do the trick.

When you are ready to bake the bread uncover it, it will have flattened out, I like to fold the edges in and create a higher boule shape, don't worry it will rise while cooking. I like a tall loaf of bread, make sure you have well floured hands as this can be sticky dough.

Take the hot covered dish out of the over, take the lid off place the dough in the dish, put the lid back on and put it in the oven.

Cook covered for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes take the lid off and cook open for another 20 minutes or until the bread has a nice browned top and a hollow sound when you tap it.

Let cool. It occurred to me tonight that 1/2 cup chopped dates would be a delightful if not altogether health addition to this bread.

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