There are few things in life more comforting than a warm loaf of fresh made bread. I recently tried my hand at baking some at home—and despite getting flour in every crevice of my kitchen, I have to say it was a breeze. Sure it’s a sticky situation (currently still pickin’ out dough from my hair), but the benefits drastically outweigh the mess. One particular perk from this endeavor was my entire apartment filling up with the lingering scent of bready goodness which lead me to pondering if I should buy a bread scented candle...who would make such a thing?! The mere thought of it makes me want to eat the entire contents of my refrigerator. Regardless, if I ever come across one it will be an impulse purchase I’ll never regret. I digress—the point I’m trying to make is sometimes you just need to roll up your sleeves, and get your bake on. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started on breadmaking without needing any fancy equipment, or culinary degree.
Honey + Flaxseed Wheat Loaf:
6 cups of bread flour
1 cup of flax seeds (ground)
2 ½ cups of warm water
1 packet of instant yeast
4 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
Olive oil and old fashioned oats for coating the top.
Yes, it really is this simple…
Combine your dry ingredients into an extra large bowl. In another extra large bowl, collect your water from your sink tap— waiting until the temperature is on the verge of hot, but not scalding. Think of it this way, if your finger burns then the yeast will likely not survive. Into your warm water, add the packet of yeast, and honey. Allow this to sit for about 10 minutes, it will be frothy on top once it’s ready for flour.
Now add 3 cups of flour, stir it in with a wooden spoon (or silicone spatula) and slowly add 1 cup of flour after you reach a pancake mix type consistency. Once you’ve added all the flour keep stirring and scraping down the sides of the bowl in a circular motion until a large dough ball forms.
Dust your kitchen counter surface with some bread flour and lightly knead your dough until you form a large disc of dough. At this point you can cut the dough in half or fourths and reshape it into a circular loaf-like shape. With your fingers or a basting brush, lightly coat the top of the loaf with olive oil and sprinkle some old fashioned oats over top. This not only makes it pretty, but enhances the flavor.
No loaf pan required, just a lightly greased baking sheet, or pizza stones work as well. If you use a pizza stone make sure you dust it with some flour after you season it with a layer of olive oil.
Let it rest on a flat surface with a cotton towel covering it before baking. Between 12-18 hours for best results. This is called proofing.
Once proofed, you can bake the loaves at 425˚F for 20 minutes, a few minutes more if you like crunchy crust. No more than 6- 10 minutes depending on your oven. Keep an eye on it! Unless you like burnt toast.
Cheers, to breaking bread with someone you love.