sábado, marzo 15, 2008

Tanja's sunflower & pumpkin seed wholemeal bread


[Down to the last morsel]

As I butter the last piece of homemade bread that my friend Tanja baked for me, I pondered upon the possibilities of the aroma of freshly baked bread coming out of my own oven. I think what really appeals to me about making your own bread is knowing what goes in the ingredients. As a German living in Singapore, I bet what drove Tanja into making her own breads is the lack of hearty country loafs available. The local palate ranges from the fluffy to the chewy, more like a brioche than a bread.

Cookies, brownies, sweetbreads, all the baked goods not requiring proper machinery, I've been able to churn out with ease. But there's a whole lot of dog-eared pages in my recipe books that are classified for a later time when I've got more kitchen space for that bright red heavy-duty KitchenAid cake mixer... and now I'm toying with the idea of a bread machine.

It ain't gonna be an easy task, selecting the perfect bread machine. So far the ones I've seen on the market are pretty much aesthetically challenged. Armed with the curiosity of how bread machines actually work, I scoured the Net and found a fact sheet titled "Selecting a Bread Machine." How wild is that? There are also loads of discussions and forums on the Net about hand-kneading versus using the bread machine. I suppose there's no fool-proof way. Both methods require lots of trials to perfect the recipe.

For Weekend Herb Blogging, which I'm hosting this week, I thought it would be fun to feature Tanja's own adapted recipe. She's kind enough to sit down and transcribe it for me. I had thought about sending the recipe to my mum who is an avid baker and bakes her own bread as well. This recipe is really precious since it's the labored result of all of Tanja's trials and errors. THANK YOU TANJA!! For those who are gonna really try it out, I hope you get to taste the same wholesome goodness as this last piece I'm savoring.

Wholesome Bread a la Tanja

200gm plain flour
150gm wholemeal flour
1 packet dry yeast (about 1 tbsp)
1.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice or rice vinegar
1 potato
30gm wheat grain
30gm barley grain (or any other preferred grain)
40gm sunflower seeds
40gm pumpkin seeds
300ml water
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp sugar

Cook potato in about 300ml of boiling water in a saucepan. Add wheat and barley into the boiling water to soften them, half way through before potato is done. Drain and place cooked ingredients plus 250ml of the cooking water into a food processor or blender. Give it a few pulses until it becomes a mushy consistence. Add salt and sugar and let it cool down a little.

Mix both the plain and wholemeal flour and the yeast together and build a mountain with a hollow in the middle. Add the processed mushy grain fluid into the hollow, followed with butter and lemon juice (or vinegar).

Mix it all together and form a dough. The longer you knead the dough, the better it will rise, so keep kneading. Place moist and clean dish towel over dough and let it rest and rise for about 30 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, roast seeds in a dry Teflon pan (do not add any fats). Stir them every now and then and watch them carefully to prevent scorching. Let them cool, while waiting the dough to rise.

Knead dough again, add more flour when needed and add the roasted seeds. Knead carefully and leave it to rest again for an additional 30 to 45 minutes.

Now more kneading to be done; add some flour when needed and knead until you have a dough firm enough to form your desired loaf shape. Leave it on an oven-tray letting it rest and rise for another 10 minutes. Bake in preheated oven (180ºC) for 50 to 60 minutes.

Tip: You can place a cup of water into the oven; the water vapor will give your loaf a crispy crust.


11 Hand-picked Olive[s]:

Anonymous Anónimo picked an olive...

This bread looks fantastically delicious. I will have to try it out when I have the time to do it. I have never bake a bread before ...but i'm so tempted to try this one. :)

1:49 a. m., marzo 16, 2008

Blogger Elizabeth picked an olive...

You don't have to have a Kitchen Aid or a bread machine to make bread! I make all our bread by hand - it's not very difficult and doesn't really take that much time.

Because I don't have a bread machine, I don't really know all that much about them. But I do get the impression that they are not nearly as forgiving as a person if the ingredients are not measured absolutely.

And there is something really satisfying about kneading bread.

If you want to make German-style rye breads that have a stiffer dough, the kneading can be done by picking up the dough and dropping it on the counter several times. (It's rather satisfying to do this.)


5:52 a. m., marzo 16, 2008

Anonymous Anónimo picked an olive...

None left? I don't blame you because I can smell the warm aroma of this wonderful bread through my computer screen already.
We've yet to use a bread machine, but I have a friend who swears by it. She just puts everything in the machine in one shot and throws it in the oven. Then voila! She has beautiful bread.

6:00 a. m., marzo 16, 2008

Blogger Y picked an olive...

That bread looks really really good. I love that it's got different seeds in it. And isn't it great, to be given homemade bread as a gift!

8:01 a. m., marzo 16, 2008

Anonymous Anónimo picked an olive...

yum, this looks lovely and dense. and thanks for the tip about the cup of water in the oven!

9:26 a. m., marzo 16, 2008

Blogger Katie Zeller picked an olive...

I baked my own bread when we lived in Andorra for the similar reasons. There we couldn't get anything suitable for sandwiches - other than bland white. And mon mari dearly loves his sandwiches....
This is a great sounding loaf... I've copied the recipe ;-))

6:59 p. m., marzo 16, 2008

Blogger Johanna GGG picked an olive...

that looks delicious - I wanted to just make a quick bread last night and it was too hot so I imagine the singapore climate doesn't help people get enthused about baking bread - but it looks so worth it

BTW - I have emailed you something for WHB but my email but was being a bit funny so I hope you got it - will check the round up when it is up!

2:45 p. m., marzo 17, 2008

Blogger Mari picked an olive...

Thanks for sharing this recipe! I've got some whole wheat flour that needs to be used, so I'm going try this one out.

6:51 p. m., marzo 17, 2008

Blogger *kel picked an olive...

Elizabeth -- really, you can make perfect breads without a machine? I'll put myself to work soon and i'll let you know the results!

White on Rice Couple -- I know that's what I heard too. Oh well, we can try by hand and see if it works.

y -- yes, absolutely.. doesn't it make a great surprise gesture to someone dear? love food gifts!

zoe -- yes, very dense bread. If you try the recipe let me know how it turns out.

Katiez -- yeah, these kind of artisan bread makes a sandwich even more flavorful and nutritious.

Johanna -- yup, in fact in Singapore it's just easier and cheaper to buy a ready-made cake or bread. But definitely not healthier, i don't think so...

M Cupcake -- you go girl, glad my recipe came in handy!

10:12 p. m., marzo 17, 2008

Blogger Elizabeth picked an olive...

I don't know that you could call the bread we make "perfect" but it is really really good. And absolutely, you don't need a machine. If you think about it, people have been making bread for centuries without the use of bread machines and Kitchen Aids.

It really couldn't be easier to do either. I'll be really interested to hear how it goes.


P.S. My husband recently made his first loaf of bread by using our pizza recipe and shaping it into a boule. (The pizza dough also makes great pizza....)

4:28 a. m., marzo 18, 2008

Anonymous Anónimo picked an olive...

Great posting Kel, created a great bread hunger in me! We all have it. Bread and cereal grains are the "staff of life" in many countries. But people like me with gluten allergy must eliminate wheat completely.

My blood cholesterol went up once bread fiber was gone from my diet. Then I discovered alternative breads in the health food stores, but my small Millet loaf is costing me 33 cents for each small slice. In view of the weakening dollar and with the encouragement of your blog, I believe I will bake my own!

Now, must shop for strange ingredients such as potato, bean, corn, millet, soy flours, arrow root etc. It is amazing what you can make bread from! I hope to write soon about my experiences!

6:23 p. m., marzo 18, 2008


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