10 March, 2016

Delicious, Healthy, Wholewheat Bread. (Version 1: With Rice Flour and Flax powder.)

Pretty much everyone who tasted this bread has agreed that it’s like cake, it tastes that good, even just plain. 
With the added goodness ot whole, red-rice flour and flax seeds.

It is a flavourful, moist, soft, yet dense and richly satisfying bread.

Ideally, freshly milled flours are recommended for best results. I have a small home mill and I usually mill the required quantity of flours just before kneading. 

But if not possible, any good quality strong (again, preferably organic) wholewheat flour would do. 

Rice flour (I used organic, store-bought) need not be red, though recommended.

The flax seeds should definitely be freshly ground.

Wholewheat bread is something that I often home-bake because it’s not easily available.

I’m referring to the real wholewheat bread of course, not the non-food, chemical-laden, commercial variety that is mostly sold by that name in stores and bakeries. Where maida (refined flour) lurks in the dubious guise of "wheat flour" that misleads one into thinking that it is "whole wheat flour", which it is not.

This recipe is a keeper, one that I’ve made often, and if you try it just once, it is sure to be a regular on your table, too.

Recipe source:  Navadarshanam, as part of various learnings, during a workshop.

Ingredients (For two large, or three small loaves):

Whole wheat flour – 4 cups, freshly-milled, organic (if possible)
Organic red rice flour – 2 cups
Flax seed – 1 cup, coarse powder, freshly ground/milled 
Jaggery – 4 Tablespoons, grated/powdered
Active dried Yeast – 1 Tablespoon
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Oil – 4 Tablespoons

In a bowl, add a quarter cup lukewarm water to the jaggery and yeast and leave to proof (say around fifteen minutes) till frothy.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then  add the frothed yeast, the oil, (all the remaining ingredients), and knead really, really well together till the dough becomes elastic and soft.

Leave, covered with a damp cloth or lid, to rise in a warm place till doubled in bulk.

This is the first rise.
Depending on the weather (a warmer environment will make it rise faster), might take around two hours or so.

Gently deflate the dough, kneading it again lightly.

This is called knock-back.
An essential step (one of the main reasons being to redistribute the air pockets more evenly in the dough) before baking the bread.

After knocking back, the dough can be shaped and placed on a greased baking tray, or put into a well-greased loaf pan.

Slash with a sharp knife or blade. A single, linear slash will do.
This pattern was on special request. :)

Lightly brush the tops with oil or milk, slash the larger shapes and the loaf bread on top to allow the steam to escape. Seeds or nuts can be added now as a topping if desired.

Watermelon seeds as topping.

I’ve made a loaf in a pan as well as a wide baton, and some dinner rolls. As topping,I used my favorite watermelon seeds.

Cover, and allow to rise again, till doubled in bulk.

Bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees Centigrade for 45 minutes to one hour, or till done.

Smaller rolls will get done faster, keep an eye on them.  Excellent if brushed with some butter immediately after removing from the oven. Cool on a wire rack.

Allow the loaf to rest in the pan for a few minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool.

To test for done-ness, tap the loaf firmly - it should produce a hollow brick sound.
The crust should be firm.

Turn out and cool on wire racks completely before slicing. Keeps for two days.

Tastes great plain. toasted, in sandwiches or even panfried with some fresh home-made butter as a snack which i packed as here in this picture.
Let them us eat cake this bread!

And now, a word from our sponsor.                                                (Just kidding!)

Note: This is the second of five posts, the first of which was featured here, which includes a product from my organic textile range Greener Grasses. It is a bit of an old story, so I won't go into all the details! Although I did picture the series in a row, I'm bringing them up non-sequentially. What prompted me this time was the near-scare I recently received of nearly losing all my archived pictures! So expect three more posts (at least) very fast, with products from some of my favorite projects in home linen from Greener Grasses. (And henceforth, regular posts because of my near-scare!) :D

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