Whole Wheat Bread with Honey, Sunflower Seeds & Oats

YUM! I wanted to make bread. It was a daunting task but I was up for it. After perusing the internet, I decided to start small and start simple. I adapted a simple yet highly rated recipe from http://www.allrecipes.com and made a few alterations to accommodate my desire for a bread with seeds and nuts….and honestly for my first time it came out great. Next time I would definitely let the bread rise more….but the taste was still awesome!

Ingredients:

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
5/8 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon and 2-1/4 teaspoons honey
1-2/3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted (i used vegan butter)
1 tablespoon and 2-1/4 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup and 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons butter, melted (i used vegan butter)

My alterations:
– I added in ½ cup of sunflower seeds. This was a great idea. I probably could add even more next time.
– I rolled the entire dough in oats right before I put it in the oven. Another great idea, courtesy of america’s test kitchens (the show)!!! This was so good and spiced up an otherwise basic bread.

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and honey. Add bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly. NOTE:This took me about an hour although the recipe said 30 minutes.

2. Mix in melted butter, honey, and salt. Stir in whole wheat flour and seeds. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky – just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take additional flour, although for me it didn’t. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled. NOTE:This rising took 3-4 hours. I suspect I could have left it longer which may have contributed to the final result of the bread not being as fluffy as I had hoped. My warm place? THE DRYER! (Dont turn it on, obviously!)

3. Punch down. (Roll in oats, if you want). Place in a greased pan and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch. NOTE:I actually didn’t do this last time because I was running out of time…but in retrospect this was probably really important and would have helped my bread be fluffier!!!

4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

End product: EDIBLE, FRESH, HOME MADE BREAD!! Albeit not as fluffy as I expected. Next time: Gotta let it rise more and NOT skip step 3!! I would also add more seeds and nuts. But this tasted great and it was pretty liberating to make bread from scratch 🙂 Tastes the best TOASTED!

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