Monday, April 3, 2017

Homemade Loaf Bread

A sweet friend of mine, who is always whipping up something wholesome and delicious in the kitchen, would graciously give our family a loaf of her homemade bread whenever we would get together. This bread tasted like honey, but it was filled with whole wheat that she would grind herself from berries, flax seed, and coconut oil. After so many loaves I just had to ask her for her recipe, and I am so glad that she was willing to share. Her recipe came from the company that she buys her wheat berries from and she tweaked and customize it to make it work for her, and after trying my hand at baking this recipe I found that I need to make a few slight changes to make this beautiful sweet loaf bread my own. (One of those changes being I use store bought flour, and she uses fresh wheat berries that she then grinds into flour lol).

After weeks and weeks of baking this bread, that leaves my house smelling amazing, I finally have this recipe memorized.

1 Tablespoon dry active yeast

1 1/2 cups of warm water

1 egg

1/3 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil)

1/3 cup honey (or sugar)

1/2 cup ground flax seed (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups whole wheat flour (or white flour)

Proof your yeast by mixing it with warm water and allowing it to sit and foam for 5 minutes. If it does not bubble throw it out, your yeast is bad.

In your kitchen aid mixer using a dough hook, stir in your egg, oil, and honey into your yeast mixture, followed by half of your flour and your salt. Next add in your ground flax seed, and then the rest of your flour. Stir until your dough forms into a ball and is only slightly sticky. If you feel like your dough is too sticky add in a little more flour.

Next, take your dough and knead it on a floured surface for 8 to 10 minutes. You'll be surprised by how long 8 minutes can take, but don't skip this part. Kneading your bread helps develop the gluten needed to make your bread light and airy.

Place your kneaded dough in a bowl and cover with a towel and allow it to rise until it is double its size. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. I usually set a timer for 45 minutes.

My kneaded dough before it rises. Look at those yummy healthy looking flax seed specks!
After your dough rises punch it down and try to get all the air bubble out of your dough while you shape it into your loaf. Most of the time I just make a sandwich bread loaf in a loaf pan, but sometimes I shape my dough into a french bread, or I'll split it into 18-20 dinner rolls. What ever your shape, allow your dough to rise again for another 30 to 45 minutes. Then bake your bread in a 325 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. My friend's recipe says to bake for 30 minutes, but I have to bake mine for at least 40 minutes. Everyone's oven is different. So if your bread doesn't turn out the way you think it should, try again and play with different temperatures and bake time.

This bread is so light and sweet! And I just love the flax seed in this bread! Spread a slice of this bread with butter and drizzle with honey, and oh my! You're in heaven.

But I have a confession to make, my slightly less healthier white bread version without flax seed and made with white flour, might be my favorite. The dough when making this bread is so soft, and so pretty. Both breads are sweet, light, airy, and chewy. My white bread is more of a guilty pleasure, where as my flax seed bread is my go to, guilt free, weekly sandwich bread.

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