As you know, I like baking bread. I can make bread frugally, it’s delicious because it’s fresh, and Liesbeth really really loves it. Like, loves it so much that she’s always “reminding” me that it’s time for me to make more bread because she’s running out. She eats a sandwich for lunch every day and she frowns upon store-bought bread now. It’s sweet. The only problem with making my own bread is that sometimes it’s damned near impossible to find time for all of the mixing, resting, kneading, rising, and baking. It pretty much takes all day to make two loaves of bread, and as it turns out, I’m not typically home all day.
Soooo… I was really excited when my friend handed me a copy of the book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Of course, I wasn’t really quite sure how that was going to work, but I was very interested to try a new and faster method of baking bread. It turns out that the idea behind this bread is you mix up all the ingredients and then let it chill in your refrigerator overnight. The next day, you can just cut off a piece of dough, mold it into a loaf, let it rise and bake it. No kneading necessary. I wasn’t quite so sure about that idea, but I was excited to try. I started out with the basic white boule recipe: the master recipe for the book upon which all the variations are based. Normally we prefer a whole grain bread, but this first batch was for the sake of experiementation. It wasn’t the best bread I’ve ever tasted. In retrospect, I think the dough was not moist enough and it ended up being dry, dense, and very chewy. My mistake
For the round two, I studied a few other recipes in the book and decided to create my own. It is loosely based on the 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread, but I changed a few things in order to customize the bread to the ingredients we had on hand. Luckily for us, round two turned out really yummy! Liesbeth and I both think it is a great sandwich bread- soft and moist but not too sweet. Without further ado, here is my recipe:
Melissa’s Five-Minutes-Per-Day Flaxseed Wheat Bread
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (I used soy this time)
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (or two packets)
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup ground flax seeds
1/3 cup warm water
5 tablespoons canola or other neutral-flavored oil
3 cups bread flour
3 cups whole wheat flour plus a bit more to even out texture
1. Mix ground flax seeds and 1/3 cup warm water in a bowl and allow to sit for a few minutes.
2. Meanwhile, mix together lukewarm water, milk, yeast, salt, brown sugar, and oil.
3. Add in flax seed mixture and stir.
4. Stir in flour. If mixture is too sticky, add in more whole wheat four with your hands. Dough should be very moist, slightly sticky, and take the form of the bowl. Loosely cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise until doubled.
5. Put covered dough in the fridge and keep it there overnight.
6. The next day, remove half of the dough from the bowl by cutting it with a bread knife. Shape the dough into a loaf shape and place in a lightly oiled loaf pan. Allow to rise 1 hour 45 minutes, 2 hours if your house is pretty chilly.
7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Place an empty pan on a rack that won’t interfere with where you want your bread loaf to go.
8. When oven is ready, place bread dough into the oven and fill empty pan with one cup of hot tap water. Close the oven and allow the steam to do its magic.
9. Bake 45 minutes. Bread is ready when it is lightly browned on top and firm to touch.
10. Allow to cool before slicing- if you can!
11. The remaining dough can sit in the fridge for up to about 5 days before baking.
Sadly, I have no pictures to show for this because I was making bread in a hurry! I guess that’s the point though, right?