Sunday, March 18, 2012

Multigrain Seed n' Nut Bread

High fiber bread is defined as any bread that has 5 grams of fiber or higher.  It's important to check this when you buy bread at the grocery store because so many of them claim to be high fiber but aren't. 5 in this  instance is the lucky number, a bread with 5 grams of fiber allows you to the deduct the fiber from the total Carbohydrate count of the bread so for example if you are eating a slice of Aunt Millie's Bakehouse Fiber for Life Honey Crunchy Oat Bread you will see the total fiber is 6 grams and the total Carbohydrate is 25 Grams you deduct the fiber from the Carbohydrate so in reality each slice is only 19 grams.  This was something I was taught by a nutritionist when I first found out that I was a Type 1 diabetic a few years back.  I believe it is because the fiber isn't digested and passes right through you.

Quickly it became clear that how many food claims on packaged food were lies.  Case in point "significant source of fiber!"  the package says and you look and it has 3 grams....NOT a significant source of fiber, yet some how they get away with it.

So back to this bread recipe.    This was a recipe I found online and was immediately impressed by how  wonderful it looked.  I also liked the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink ingredient list in particular the ground up, uncooked brown rice.  One of the categories for this bread as listed on the website I found it is: High Fiber.  Of course no fiber per slice is given for it, but given all the seeds, nuts and grains that go into making it and how delicious it tastes I'm just going to it is actually high fiber as I plan to make this on  a regular basis! 

Here is my adaptation:
 Multigrain Seed n' Nut Bread

This is a two day process. 

Day 1:  In a spice grinder or blender add 1/2 cup brown rice (Basamati is my favorite) and grind it until it is the texture of sand.  

Add the ground rice to a big bowl along with: 2 1/2 cups of Whole Wheat Bread Flour (available in NYC at the Union Square market both Wild Hive and Cayuga Pure Organics sell it) 2 cups of unbleached or Half White bread flour, 1/3 cup rolled oats, 2 Tablespoons Wheat germ, 3 Tablespoons Sunflower Seeds,  2 Tablespoons each of: Flax Seeds, Poppy Seeds, and Sesame Seeds, 2 1/2 Teaspoons of Sea Salt and 1 1/2 teaspoon of Yeast.

Give this mixture a quick stir to get everything integrated.

In a medium size bowl add 1/4 cups of Honey, being aware that the stronger the flavor of the honey the more pronounced it will be in the finished bread.  I like strong flavored honey, in this instance I used the local honey I had on hand which was Wild Flower Honey and fairly mild.  Add 2 1/2 cups of warm water to the honey and whisk until the honey melts.  Pour all at once into the dry ingredients. 

Start out mixing this big mess with a spatula or wooden spoon, when it becomes impossible to manage any more use your hands.  It should be on the wet and sticky side, if it's not add more water.   It should not be a perfect ball of dough bliss at this stage, but rather a ragged mass of a mess. If you feel the need you can add a little bit of flour to bring it together, but be careful not to over work it or to make it too dry.  

Cover with a slightly dampened rag and or an old plastic bag or some parchment paper and a rubber band around the bowl (I hate suggesting anyone buy plastic wrap it's so unnecessary and wasteful and reused plastic bag that someone brought wine in is perfectly fine) and place in the fridge for about 4 hours.   Ideally start to make this before dinner time,  so that the dough can rest in the fridge until it's bed time when you can then remove it from the fridge and leave it out over night. It can proof for 12-16 hours.  

Day 2:

Get out some flour and lightly sprinkle the wet dough with it and then with well floured hands form the mass into a ball, adding flour as you need.

Place the ball of dough into a bread form or a stainless steel bowl the size of a round loaf of bread.

Cover again and let rest for about 2 hours.

At the 1 1/2  hour point turn on your oven to 500 F.  When it has reached temperature place a dutch oven or any other baking dish with a lid you have, into the oven (this is what you will bake the bread in) let the empty container heat for 30 minutes.  

In a small bowl mix together 1 Tablespoon Flax, Sesame and Poppy Seeds.  It should be noted here that you can add flavored seeds like Fennel, Cumin or Caraway to this bread, both in the dough and in the seed topping.  I would add 1 Tablespoon into the dough and another tablespoon on top if you are going to try this.  Fennel and Golden Raisins are a popular combo these days and I think would work well in the context of this bread.

When the dough is finished proofing gently turn it out onto a floured surface and using either an egg white or whole milk brush the entire surface of the bread, then cover the loaf with the seed mixture.  Don't press too hard!  Often I tuck the edges of the bread under to make a better shape as sometimes it can get unwieldy and not be the perfect round I want it to be.  Using a sharp knife, serrated or not or a bread blade cut a 1/2 inch deep circle around the top of the loaf about two inches from the top and then another one another 2 inches further down the loaf (see picture).

Take the hot pot out of the oven.  Gently coax the dough onto a dough cutter or pizza peel.
Remove the hot lid (be careful!) and place the bread into the container, cover and place back into the over.  Turn the temperature down to 450F and cook covered for about 20 minutes.

Don't worry if you smell something burning, some seeds will fall off the bread and into the cooking vessel - these loose seeds cook way faster than the bread and can burn and smell, not to worry.

At the 20 minute point remove the lid and cook for roughly another 20 minutes.  You are looking for a gold brown loaf of bread that has a slightly hollow sound when tapped.

When done remove form the cooking vessel and cool to room temperature on a wire rack.  This bread is wonderful spread with mustard and  cheddar cheese or spread with Quark and topped with Smoked Salmon! Personally I love it sliced thin, toasted and slathered in peanut butter to go with my morning cups of coffee (yes cups).

Lastly, after using this basic no kneed technique for years I still find the transference of the bread to the pot can be tricky.  At the end of the day you should not worry how perfect your loaf looks because it's how it tastes that matter and the taste of this loaf is a winner!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds great, love using as much whole grains as possible along with nuts and seeds. Can't wait to try this.

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