Friday, December 16, 2011

Edible Giftable: Ashland Bread

Nevermind the finger poke from some random kid in the middle, this is good looking bread. Aside for less than obvious looks, this bread is among the fastest, easiest bread I know how to make. I rotate bread recipes regularly since that's how I roll. But do keep a a few standards I return to again and again. This is one of those select few. I got rather addicted to it for some time. Because I could go from thinking about homemade seeded whole wheat loaf of bread, to eating a nutty, warm and fresh seeded whole wheat loaf of bread in about an hour. 

 Did I mention this bread is yeasted, and freezes nicely? A perfect sandwich loaf and lovely slice of toast, and still comes together in about about hour. Yes, you could say I am a fan. 

Perfect to get and to give, easy to make and delightful to eat. This "wonder" bread comes to you from the cookbook, With Love and Butter from Holly B's bakery floating on Lopez Island in the Puget Sound. Now, I have never been to that bakery, and I don't even own the cookbook- but I really would like to. This bread speaks volumes about the kind of stuff them must be putting out there and I would like to sample more of it.
But for now, I am happily making do with this fabulous go-to recipe.

Ashland Bread
from With Love and Butter
A yeasted batter bread, Ashland Bread receives only one, brief rising. Yields 2 medium loaves

6 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
3 cups warm water
3/8 cup (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) honey
3 tablespoons quick-rise yeast
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup wheat germ
4 tablespoons brown sesame seeds (available in natural foods and Asian foods stores)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Generously butter two 4 x 8-inch loaf pans and sprinkle one tablespoon sunflower seeds in each.

Place the remaining 4 tablespoons sunflower seeds and the rest of the ingredients in a mixer bowl and blend with the dough hook at medium speed for 8 minutes, or stir by hand energetically for 15 minutes. Divide the batter between the 2 pans. Loosely drape with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place just until the batter reaches the top edge of the pans. This will take only 10 to 14 minutes if you're using fine-grained whole wheat flour and 20 to 30 minutes with a coarser grind. When you set the loaves to rise, preheat the oven to 400 degree F with the rack in the center position.

Remove the plastic wrap and bake the bread for 15 minutes, rotate the pans, and bake another 15 minutes. The bread will be firm to the touch and molasses-colored, but won't rise much above the rim of the pan (don't look for a rounded top). Remove from the pans and cool on a rack. toast and enjoy with butter or cheese.

1 comment:

  1. Sandra,
    The second I saw this recipe I knew I was in the mood to try it. Baking always brings in the warmth of the Christmas spirit to me and what better thing than bread. I didn't have any bran or germ so I used 1 cup of flax seed and 1 cup of white flour instead. It is sensational. I loved this recipe. I might eat my weight in bread today. Warm from the oven with real butter and my eyes have rolled back in my head more than once. Thanks for sharing. I will have to make it again.


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