As requested, here is the recipe the loaf of bread pictured in the last post. This recipe produces a 2 pound loaf of tasty, soft sandwich bread with a little added crunch. It is quite yummy!
2 1/2 cups unbleached high gluten bread flour
(I use King Arthur unbleached bread flour)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. yeast (I use SAF red instant yeast....I highly recommend it)
2 tbsp. butter at room temperature
1/2 cup water at 110 degrees
3/4 cup water at room temperature
sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, wheat bulgar, flax seeds, etc.
(1 beaten egg for egg wash)
Here is what I do:
Sprinkle the yeast onto the 1/2 cup of water at 110 degrees (I add about a half tsp. of sugar to this mix)....let the yeast/water sit on the counter while you mix up the rest. The yeast will start to grow (this indicates that your yeast is active).
Mix your dry ingredients and add the water, yeast/water mix, honey, and butter and continue to mix. I use a Kitchenaid mixer. Add just a little water as necessary to mix in the dry flour in the bottom of the mixing bowl. Once the ingredients become sticky and doughy , switch to the dough hook on your mixer.
It is at this point that I add my seeds....
I use about 1/2 cup sunflower seeds and enough of the wheat bulgar, sesame seeds, and flax seeds combined to make another 1/2 cup or less. I don't measure....I just dump.
Then I begin to knead by hand on the counter top (sprinkled with a little flour). Your total time kneading should be about 10 minutes (6 minutes by machine if possible, then 4 by hand.) Your dough should be soft and supple....not stiff.
Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer dough to bowl, rolling it around to coat the dough with oil.
I cover the bowl with a cotton tea towel. Set dough bowl in a draft free location and allow to rise at room temperature (for about 2 hours...or until the dough is double in size)
Remove dough from bowl and press into a large 3/4 in. thick rectangle on the counter.
Roll the dough and fold under the ends until it looks like this
and fits perfectly end to end in your loaf pan. I spray my loaf pan with organic olive oil, first.
Proof, or allow to rise one more time until bread is above the level of the pan....
Make an egg wash by beating one egg. With a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg all over the top of the bread. Sprinkle sesame seeds, or flax seeds, or oatmeal or a combination of these over the egg wash.
Bake at 350 degrees with oven rack in the middle...and bread pan on top of a sheet pan. (I preheat the oven to 360 degrees and right before putting the loaf in the oven, I pour a little water into the bottom of the oven to create steam. Then I quick put the loaf in the steamy oven and turn the temperature back to 350 degrees). Bake for 30 minutes and then rotate the bread pan 90 degrees and bake for another 15 to 30 minutes. Your bread is done when the crust is a golden brown color. It should sound hollow when tapped.
Remove the loaf from the pan and cool the bread on a wire rack so no moisture condenses on it. DO NOT cut the bread until it is completely at room temperature! The bread continues to improve as it cools....so complete cooling is essential!