Grainy Goodness: Bread

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As a community, we love our wholesome bread. This recipie provides for a simple and hearty piece of toast or freshly sliced bread.  The process goes over two or three days. It’s simple and effective. To my surprise, I managed to make a few loafs yesterday without killing the 100 year old whole-wheat starter we have. Pressure is off!

Over the next few days, you need:

1 cup of whole-wheat starter

6 teaspoons of sugar

6 cups of luke warm water

6-8 cups of whole wheat flour

¾ cup of olive oil

¾ cup of honey

2 cups of rolled oats

2 cups of sunflower seeds

1 cup of flax seeds

Begin with aprrox. 1 cup of whole-wheat starter (as you follow this recipe, you will be able to save another cup of starter for your next batch of bread) at room temperature. Mix 2 cups of luke warm water with 2 teaspoons of sugar. Mix this with the starter until it has a soupy consistency and all lumps are no longer. Now, you must ‘dry it out’. This consists of about 2 or 3 cups of whole-wheat flour being slowly mixed in. You know the dough is ‘dried out’ if it does not stick to the sides of the bowl- so it is really up to you how much flour you add. Trust your intuition.

Now, let is rise. Give it 8- 12 hours and cover it with a tea towel or plastic bag. Keep it at room temperature.

At this point, the bread should have a nice rise to it. Put the dough in a big bowl and this is where the work out comes in. You need 4 teaspoons of sugar dissolved in 4 cups of luke warm water and add this to the dough. Get it to that ‘soupy’ place once again, then you can start ‘drying it out’.  You will be adding about 4 cups of whole-wheat flour– give or take. You will be the best judge of this. Once it is coming off the sides of the bowl well, separate about 1 cup of dough to be your starter for the next batch. Put it in Tupperware (leaving some room for it to rise) and into the fridge.

Now, back to the bread. We all love wholesome, nourishing food and here comes all the good stuff:

¾ cup of olive oil

¾ cup of honey

mix it in, stirring well and simultaneously toning your biceps.

Once that is well mixed in, add:

2 cups of rolled oats

2 cups of sunflower seeds

1 cup of flax seeds

Now you need a flat surface- sprinkle generous amounts of flour (can be whole wheat or regular) and place the dough on top. Work those biceps by kneading the bread, adding flour so it doesn’t stick to the surface. Do this until the bread feels dry. Place back in the bowl and allow it to rise for 4 to 6 hours.

Ok, oven time: heat the oven to 400°F (we also tend to bake our bread in the cob oven- check out our natural building on our website to get inspired!). Now, proceed to loafing. You will need 4 bread pans smothered in olive oil. Sprinkle flour on a flat surface. Use this surface to cut the dough into quarters, allowing each quarter to be a loaf of bread. Gently knead and form the loaves. Place them in the bread tins and put them in the oven for 15 minutes.  Turn the oven down to 350°F and let them bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Et voila, bread. Fresh and tasty as it comes, and ready to feed every gluten loving person out there.

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