Thursday, July 14, 2011

Whole Grain Flax Bread

So yesterday was a little interesting... Just when I thought me and Mother Earth were getting on so well we got a huge hail storm. It basically took out my flowers (really was it necessary to take half of her sweet head?),
My petunias look like there was a massacre,
And just look at the house numbers? Now how am I going to remember where I live?

Isn't there supposed to be two lights?

Oh... there it is. Perfect.

And that's when I noticed the worst! My basil, my sweet sweet sweet yummy delicious pesto-making-basil! What happened to your lush leaves!
And let's not even talk about my sweet tomato plants. They didn't do anything to deserve this kind of treatment. 

I mean really, they were just young little plants trying to make it in this mad-crazy-windy world.

And it looks like this outside.

So I did what any normal person would do.

I put this on...
And got to work making the most delicious bread. The recipe is hand crafted, tested, and proven to be the best. Okay, I'm the only judge, but whatevs.
It helped me get through the day after the flower-garden-house massacre all from hail. That also punched huge holes in our window screens.

I want some yummy homemade bread. 

Don't you? The smell and the kneading and the crying just make me feel better. The crying isn't necessary, it's just sort of my thing.

Okay.. on with the recipe.

Whole Grain Flax Bread
Makes one two-pound loaf

2 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
3 tablespoons Powdered Milk
1 1/2 tsp. Instant Yeast
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 Cup Milled Flax Seed; Plus 2 tbsp.
1/2 Cup Oats; plus 3 tbsp.
1 1/2 tbsp. Honey
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Cups Water, a little warmer than room temperature

*If you don't have powdered milk you can use 1 1/4 cups milk and omit the water, however the bread turns out lighter with the milk powder.
1. Stir together the bread flour, whole-wheat flour, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir together to combine using a whisk.

2. Then add the oats, milled flax seed, and salt.  Stir to combine.
2. Add the honey, olive oil, and water. Stir until the ingredients form a ball. If there is still flour in the bottom of the bowl, dribble in additional water. The dough should feel soft and slightly sticky. It is better for it to be a little too soft that to be too stiff so add water until you get to here.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and kneed the dough for 7-10 minutes. It's a great arm work out!
4. Place the dough in a greased metal bowl. Cover with saran wrap and set in a warm spot and allow the dough to rise for 60 to 90 minutes. My favorite place for dough to rise is on top of the dryer while I am drying clothes. It is warm and perfect! Try it! The dough will double in size. If it hasn't doubled, let it continue rising until it has.
5. Sprinkle an additional 1 tbsp. flax seed and 2 tablespoons oats onto a dry surface. Turn the dough onto this surface. Then sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp. of milled flax and oats on the dough. Begin gently rolling the dough out by hand into a 6 inch by 10 inch rectangle using your bread pan as a guide. You don't want it to be any wider than the bread pan you plan to put it into.
6. Spray your pan with baking spray and place the dough in the pan. Sprinkle with any remaining oat and milled flax that didn't get picked up off the rolling surface. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another hour to hour and a half. You want the dough to rise above the rim of the baking pan. That's how you know it's time to pop it in the oven.
7. Once the dough has doubled in size again. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
8. Place the bread in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 3o minutes rotate the bread 180 degrees to promote even cooking and heating and cook for another 15-30 minutes. The bread is done when the top is golden brown and the top crust sounds hollow when thumped. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes and slice and eat!
Servings: 16

Nutritional Skinny:

95 calories / 2.6 g fat / 21 g carbohydrates / 2.3 g fiber / 4.3 g protein

Mental Health Tid Bit: On days when I feel beat up or rung up and hung to dry, I try to take really deep breaths and be really gentle with myself. Just like we would with an toddler who accidentally plugged the toilet with legos. Baking bread is soothing and something that I always manage to do without a hitch even on the most harried days. Here's to home made bread, sunshine, and plant boosters!


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