Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I hope your week is off to a good start!
I baked some bread over the weekend, and it's kind of on the healthy side. Go figure. Have to say, I still marvel at the bread making process. It kind of reminds me of my film processing days. The picture would magically appear in my chemical tray, just like the dough magically doubles in size Usually. Hopefully. ;) It's all like one big science experiment to me.
Whole Wheat Bread with Maple and Walnuts - makes one loaf
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (about 105f)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 pure maple syrup (use the strongest grade you can find)
1.5 teaspoons maple extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons quick rising yeast
Place all ingredients, in order listed, into a large bowl. I mixed everything by hand, as I prefer to do it this way, but you can use a heavy duty mixer with a dough hook to do it as well. If dough is a little sticky add a handful of flour at a time. Knead for 8 minutes, or blend in mixer for 8 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise in a warm area until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
Butter a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Butter a sheet of plastic wrap. Place dough on lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Shape dough into an 8x3 inch log. Place in prepared pan and cover loosely with buttered plastic wrap (buttered side down). Allow dough to rise in a warm, draft free, area until centre is about 1 1/2 inches higher than pan, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350f. Carefully pull plastic wrap off dough. Place bread in oven and bake until deep golden in colour, and an instant read thermometer inserted in centre, reads 180f - about 30 minutes.
Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
This bread is perfect with goat cheese or with cheddar, then placed in a toaster oven to melt. Maple, walnuts and cheddar. Mmm.
Have a good day! Back on Thursday.