Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Chia Poppy Wheat Bread

-2 C Whole Wheat Flour
-1 C AP flour
-1/4 C Almond Flour
-1 packet instant yeast
-1.5 C warm water
-healthy pinch of salt
-Optional addition: herbs of choice

-Handful of oats
-1 TB each of chia seeds and poppy seeds

Combine the warm water and yeast in your mixing bowl and let sit about 10 minutes or until foamy.  Add in 1 C of the whole wheat flour and stir, then add in the rest of the flour, salt, and any desired herbs.

The dough should be on the sticky side.  Oil a bowl and transfer the dough to it.  Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour.  When nice and poofy, dust your counter with flour, having more on reserve to use as needed, and turn your dough out.  Sprinkle about 1/4th of the chia-poppy-oat combo onto the dough and start kneading.

Now, I only ended up using half of my chia mixture.  I think you can tell a lot by how something feels, and I just did not think that it would hold the rest of it.  I also think that eliminating the oats would be just fine if you don't want to mess with them, in which case it should handle all of the seeds just fine.

Knead it a couple minutes until it is smooth and no longer sticky.  Grease your loaf pan and plop in your dough. I brushed mine with oil and sprinkled more chia and oats on top, which worked fairly well but would have been better if I had used an eggwash.  So keep that in mind. Cover again with a towel and let rise for another forty-five minutes to an hour. Right before baking, slash the top 2-3 places to let it vent while baking.

I baked mine at 400 for about 35 minutes.  If you like crustier breads, cook at 450 until golden brown.  Let it cool on a wire rack.

Now, I know that true bread making gurus are going to hate me and that this is a bread sin, but after I cut mine with it still slightly warm, I popped it in a plastic bag.  I know, I can hear your anguish from here.  However, I will not apologize because I wanted the crust to soften back up a bit and it did.  So I got my way...which is really the important part of this story ;).

I think the most important thing to know is that the more mix-ins you mix in, the drier it may be.  With the exception of poppy seeds as I don't know much about their tendencies, chia and oats both soak up moisture.  My bread did not turn out dry and crumbly but it did turn out very hearty.  It eats a bit stronger than a typical bread.  The best way for me to describe it is more along the lines of an English muffin, and if you have ever had English muffin bread it is almost dead on to that.

I would like to try it without the oats and just using the seeds.  I am not sure how that would change things.  I really liked it as is though.

To describe the taste, oddly enough I would say it tasted like a saltine cracker.  It was not overly salty, mind you, but it tasted rich and buttery, like I think of crackers.  I used to eat butter on crackers as a kid all the time and I still would here if I ever could get through a pack of crackers before they go bad, and the first piece I tried from this loaf (with butter on it no less) made me think exactly of all that yummy happiness I feel with buttered crackers.... strange but true.

Now, how I would make this bread better....I would quite frankly add herbs.  After eating this bread I legitimately think that it would be perfectly complemented by my good friends basil and rosemary.  It has that natural heartier flavor and texture and you can tell it would hold up well to flavor.

I definitely liked this recipe enough that I would make it again.  This all started because Meijer was ONCE AGAIN out of my very favorite Eurograin bread and I was quite sad.  So I looked up a few recipes for using chia in bread and then gave them a healthy dose of shenanigans and went to work.  I always encourage people to do the same with my recipes:

Take what you like from here, mix it with what you like from there, and make it your own. 

That is what I really like about cooking, very few strict rules need be followed (except food safety rules of course).  Things are very adaptable, and even when a first recipe sucks (like my pork tonight) it may turn in to something good a day or so later (like the pizza it is going to become). 

And now, I know that if I don't find my beloved bread at Meijer (did everyone just start shopping there or what?! I miss my bread dangit!) I can whip up some pretty tasty carbs here.  The slices may not be as evenly cut, but they toast just the same.

That is the other thing about this bread, it holds up well to a toaster.  It actually is so much like the English muffin bread that I bought last week when my bread was not available at the store that it surprises me a little.  I may have stumbled upon a very convenient shenanigan.  I had to crank my toaster up a little passed 3 to even start getting color on it, which would have really darkened some of my other bread.   Mine was not crumbly when it came out of my toaster, either.

I slathered it with butter of course.

Anyway, I hope to get in to more and more fun bread shenanigans over the course of this current challenge.  I am, after all, a carbivore.

Happy crafting!
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