Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"The Daily Bread Project"--A Healthy Winner



I will continue to tinker with other breads, but my "white bread girl" has eaten this bread for school lunch EVERY DAY for the past 2 weeks. Not only has she eaten it for lunch, she has eaten it just as "bread and butter", with cheese on the side. It's that good!

SC has enjoyed it in PB&J  and turkey/cheese sandwiches. But the flavor by itself is so lovely that I find myself snatching bits of it from the bread box, no butter, no nothin'.

Better still, this is a healthy bread with some of the fiber my younger girl really, REALLY needs--2 grams per slice according to an analysis I ran on it.While the base flour is standard AP flour, it's got some white wheat flour, some oatmeal and two kinds of bran. It's got some milk for calcium, some healthy fat, and maple syrup as the sweetener.  It's not as low calorie as I'd like, but it can be sliced fairly thinly. And in terms of packing a healthy lunch for my girls, it really works.

Note: I wrote this several weeks ago and in that time I suddenly started finding the bread dough was way too sticky. If you find that's the case, next batch try reducing the water to 6 oz, or  add a little extra flour.

And there WILL be a next batch. This bread is addictive!

Oatmeal Bread
(adapted from a recipe in "Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day")
7 oz warm water
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 3/4 tsp (1 packet) yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 cup canola oil
1/4 cup oat bran
1/6 cup wheat bran
3/4 old fashioned oatmeal (rolled oats)
1/2 cup white wheat flour
2 1/8 cups all purpose flour

Combine all ingredients in a plastic container (4 qt or larger). A rubber spoon or scraper is helpful in mixing this thoroughly.

Cover loosely and let rise at least 2 hours. At that point this can go in the fridge for several days, or you can use it immediately.

When you're ready to use the dough, sprinkle it with flour. If it is too sticky to scoop up, work a little extra flour into it until you can handle it.

Stretch the dough into a ball, turning it in quarter turns, and tucking the ends under. Then flatten it a bit and shape it to fit into a loaf pan.

Place in a greased loaf pan and let rise for 40-60  minutes if it hasn't been in the fridge , 2 hours if it has.

Slash the dough on the top with a sharp knife (crosswise slashes on the diagonal) and brush melted butter, canola oil, or spray margarine across the top.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes.

Let it cool for a few minutes, then turn onto a cooling rack and brush again with butter/oil.
Let cool completely before slicing!

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