I could probably make this with my eyes closed. In fact I may well have! This is a simple bread recipe that lends itself to many different additions. I’ve made it for weddings, fund-raisers and just for the family. When I’m catering, I use one loaf for 8 guests, and rarely have any leftovers. I use my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook, but there’s no reason you can’t make this with hand kneading. In these photos, I was making a version using pistachios and toasted ground flax.
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2 c warm water
1/4 c molasses
1 T yeast
5½ – 6 c unbleached white flour
1 T salt
1/4 c olive oil
about 1/2 c each of raw sunflower seeds and raw pumpkin seeds
cornmeal for the pan
Proof yeast in molasses sweetened water in the mixer bowl.Whisk in 2 c of flour.Whisk in the salt and oil.
Adding 2 more cups of flour, either using the dough hook or a wooden spoon. Mix until well incorporated.Add in seeds; mix.
Start to knead the dough. Add in flour about 1/4 c at a time, until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Put in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel.
Let rise until doubled, about an hour. I put mine on top of the fridge where it’s a bit warmer. When the wood stove’s on in the winter, I’ll put it within range of its heat.
Punch down; knead for 5 minutes.
Let rise again until doubled.
Punch down and form into 3 equal sized oblong loaves (they’ll be just over 500 grams each).
Sprinkle cornmeal on an 11 x 17 baking sheet.
Place the loaves on the sheet, with enough room between that they’ll rise and cook separately.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel.
Let rise until almost doubled. Usually if I turn the oven on at this point, the bread’s ready to go in when the oven’s ready.
Before baking, rub the loaves gently with flour, and slash evenly across the tops.
Bake at 450° for 10 minutes; and then lower to 375° and bake for another 17 minutes.
Loaves should sound hollow when tapped.
Let loaves sit out until cool, to form a crust.Options: as well as seeds, you can use pistachios, walnuts, chopped dried apricot or cranberries or a combination of. I would only use about another 1/2 c of any other addition. Wheat germ, oat bran and ground flax can be added – use about 1/2 c and reduce the flour to accommodate the addition.
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