February 21, 2008

La Gringa's Herbed Wheat Bread

La Gringa's herbed wheat breadLa Gringa's Herbed Wheat Bread

(No time to get my rooster video 'musicified' and uploaded today so it's going to be another recipe day.)

This is a recipe that I make to fool myself into thinking that I'm eating rye bread. Heheh! I haven't ever found rye flour in La Ceiba so this is as close as I can get.

It's a lazy recipe, using the bread maker for making the dough. I always shape and bake the loaves and rolls by hand, though. It just isn't as good baked in the bread maker. If you don't use a bread maker, just use your normal procedures for mixing, kneading, and rising the dough. If you want to bake it in the bread maker, cut the recipe in half as this recipe will overflow your machine.

La Gringa's Herbed Wheat Bread
Makes 2 free form loaves

2 1/4 cups water
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups unbleached flour
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. dry milk powder
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. instant yeast
4 tbsp. caraway seeds
2 tbsp. dill seed
1 tbsp. dill weed

add any other herbs or seeds you think would taste good (This time I used 1 tsp. thyme and 2 tsp. celery seed as well.)

Optional glaze: beat one small egg with 1 tsp. of water and a dash of salt. Sesame, poppy, or caraway seeds for topping, if desired

Place all ingredients except herbs in your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Process on the dough cycle. Adjust the flour or water if the dough is too stiff or too sticky. It should be a relatively heavy dough but not dry.

Add the herbs and seeds at the beep or towards the end the last knead cycle if your machine doesn't beep to remind you.

When the rising cycles are complete, remove the dough from the machine to a lightly floured pastry board. Punch it down, cover with a clean cloth and let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Turn on the oven for one minute and then turn it off.

I usually knead it by hand a few times after that just for good measure and then shape into two long free form loaves or a couple of dozen dinner rolls. Place on a lightly greased cooking sheet(s). Prepare the optional glaze, brush on the loaves, and sprinkle with sesame, poppy, or caraway seeds. Slash loaves on the diagonal, if desired.

Check the oven to make sure that it is just barely warm but not too hot. Let the loaves rise in the warm oven for about 25-30 minutes or until not quite double.

Remove from oven, cover with a cloth while you preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). When the oven is preheated, place the pans inside and reduce the temperature to 400°F (204°C). Bake about 20-25 minutes for rolls or about 30-35 minutes for loaves. The inside temperature of the loaves should be about 200°F (93°C) when done.

Enjoy hot with a slather of butter!

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