Bake More Bread.

If you’re not much of a “bread person,” keep reading.

I have mixed emotions about bread. It’s hard enough having a health conscious mind, and combined with culinary training I find myself scrutinizing nutrition labels when buying bread, wondering why and how so many ingredients are used to produce a simple loaf. On the rare chance I remember to buy bread at the grocery store, I always reach for Ezekiel bread. It is carbohydrate induced heaven, but it’s actually good for you. If I am near a local baker, I keep walking. It’s a pride thing.

Last week I ran out of bread and it was cold outside (by Floridian standards) so I opted to nix the  five minute jaunt to the supermarket and bake my own. The downside of bread making at home is the wait. Add all your ingredients, let the dough double in size and so on and so forth. This process can take hours, unless you have a proofing box, which is strange- and if you do please invite me over. If you don’t have a standing mixer with a dough hook, get ready to knead that bread-to-be for a solid ten minutes. You could go the Jim Lahey NY Times “No Knead Bread” route, which yields a crusty, drool worthy loaf, but that involves letting the dough rise overnight. The recipe possibilities were leaning toward a custom quick bread. I wanted to create something similar to a multigrain bread with the outer crunch of oats and chewiness when toasted. The results were a little too satisfying, leaving me on the head-over-heels in love side of my love/hate relationship with bread. The loaf that was supposed to last a week only survived three days.

Quick Sandwich Bread – yields one medium loaf

1 cup organic unbleached all purpose flour

1 cup organic whole wheat flour

1 cup spelt flour

3 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp sea salt

2 1/2 tbsp organic barley malt syrup

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cups So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage, or any milk alternative

1/4 cup flax seeds

1/4 cup raw oats for topping

Preheat the oven to 450F. In a large bowl, add all the flours with the baking powder and salt. Mix to combine. Make a small well in the center of the flour and pour in the malt syrup, olive oil and coconut milk. Use a wooden spoon to mix until completely combined. Add the flax seeds and fold to incorporate. Be careful not to overmix as it will result in a tough or rubbery bread.

Grease a 9 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour the dough into the pan and press the oats on top, pushing down to stick into the top. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, rotating as needed. Let the bread cool completely out of the loaf pan on a wire rack.

Once cool, slice with a serrated bread knife and store in the refrigerator.



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