Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sunflower-Wheat Loaf

This whole wheat bread is delicious as breakfast toast!

Dissolve 1 packet yeast (about 2 and 1/4 teaspoons) in 1 cup warm water - check with a thermometer to make sure that the water temperature is between 100 and 110 degrees. Let stand 5 minutes.

Lightly spoon 2 cups whole wheat flour into measuring cups, and level with a knife. Add the wheat flour to the yeast mixture, along with 1/4 cup agave nectar (in place of honey), 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, 1 tablespoon dark molasses, and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring to combine. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour; this process will create a "sponge," which will keep your final product from becoming too dense.

Add 1/4 cup wheat germ and 2 tablespoons cornmeal to the sponge. Lightly spoon 1 cup bread flour into a measuring cup, and level with a knife, then add to the dough as well; stir until a soft dough forms - since the sponge wasn't as wet as bread batter normally is, it took a few minutes for all the flour to stir in, so be patient!

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes (punch the dough down with the heel of your palm, fold it in half, turn it a quarter turn on the work surface, and repeat!). You can add up to 1/4 cup more bread flour as needed so the dough doesn't stick to your hands, although it should still be tacky - I used about 2 tablespoons more flour. At the end of kneading, start adding 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds and 1/4 cup dried blueberries, kneading them into the dough in batches until incorporated.

Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning so the top of the dough is coated as well. Cover and let rise for 1 hour, ideally some place about 85 degrees and free from drafts.

Punch the dough down and let it rest for 5 minutes, then roll out on a floured surface into a 14x7-inch rectangle. Starting on the short (7-inch) end, roll up tightly, pressing so that you eliminate any air pockets, and pinching the ends and the seam to seal them. Place the roll, seam-side down, in an 8x4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Coat the top of the dough with cooking spray as well, then cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes - the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Let cool on a wire rack. You'll have 16 slices of 160 calories each.

whole wheat flour $3.69
dried blueberries $7.49

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance