Breakfast Bread

goodmorningbread

This has been my go-to bread lately, mainly because it’s forgiving in terms of rise times and ratios, and has a heartiness that works great for morning toast, a little salt, little butter, little coffee, perfect.  It’s essentially a multigrain bread based loosely off Peter Rhinehart’s Anadama Bread Recipe.  Rhinehart is expert at fully explaining all the steps and purposes within his bread recipes.  I experimented a lot in the past year with his book “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice,” and had decent results converting his recipes for high altitude conditions while we were living in Santa Fe.  Now that I’m back at sea level, recipes don’t need adjustment, but I have found that rise times want to be more exact on most bread formulas.  Since I’m usually doing something while doing something else (I hate the term multi-tasking and don’t believe it’s even possible), a more forgiving recipe is ideal.  Plus this is the kind of bread where you can throw whatever you’ve got around in.  Herbs, raisins, tahini, random flours, who cares.  Just watch the water content if you’re adding and subtracting.  The only way to really screw it up seems to be by adding too much wetness, which I did a few times when I added sprouted grains that were too soggy.  Try to dry whatever it is you want to add, herbs, olives, garlic, etc., and maybe switch the molasses for a quarter cup of honey if you’re going savory.  Good luck and enjoy.

Breakfast Bread Recipe

Soaker:

1 cup coarse ground cornmeal

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup flax seed

1 1/2 cups water 

Dough 1:

Soaker

2 cups bread flower

2 tsp instant yeast

3/4 cup water

Dough 2:

Dough 1

2 cups whole wheat flower

1 cup rye flower

1 1/2 tsp coarse salt

6 tbs molasses

2 tbs butter

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

Prepare your soaker the day/night before you’re going to bake.  Just mix it up and cover it on the counter.

The next day combine the soaker with other ingredients to make Dough 1.  Let it sit for ninety minutes covered on the counter.

Add the rest of the ingredients to Dough 1, thus making Dough 2.  Mix it around in the bowl, using your hand as a paddle, then just pour the whole mess onto the counter.

Start kneading.  By hand.  I know everybody wants a reason to use their dumb stand mixer, but don’t be fooled, if you let a machine do your mixing, you’re missing out on the best part of bread baking, even better than eating.  Our lives are plastic.  Do not pass over your chance to experience creation.

Knead for around five minutes until it’s got a little spring.  If it’s too dry and doesn’t stick well to itself, add a little water.  If it’s too wet and tacky, add a little flour, doesn’t matter which kind.  Let it rest for a minute while you wash the dishes and clean up a bit.  After you’ve cleaned the ingredient bowl, throw a little olive oil in there.  Go back to kneading.  I doubt you could over knead this bread if you tried, so don’t stress about whether it’s done or not.  Eventually the dough should tell you, “You’re done, I don’t need your help anymore.”  Once it tells you, roll it in the olive oil, and leave it  covered in the bowl for around ninety minutes.  It should double in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl and cut it into smaller pieces.  You should always give a little bread away to somebody you appreciate, so maybe cut it in half and then one half in half again.  I usually just pull and tuck the pieces into boule shapes and set them on baking sheets, but you can also tuck the pieces into thick log shapes and bake them in loaf pans, just make sure you oil and dust the metal with corn meal so the bread will pull away easily.  You can also dust/rub some cornmeal onto the surface of the bread for that rustic look.  Let the bread proof for around an hour.

I usually don’t score the top of this bread since it doesn’t spring enough for the look to be quite right.  Stick it in the oven at 350 for twenty minutes.  Rotate the bread and let it go for anther twenty.  Ovens are all different so keep an eye on everything towards the end.  The smaller breads gotta come out before the big boys.  Boules are easier to check for doneness.  Just thump the bottom with your finger.  It should thump and not thimp.

Let the bread sit out on the counter for at least an hour before slicing.  It’s still baking during that time, so don’t play yourself and cut into it early.  Whatever is left over should be sliced and frozen.

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