There is just nothing like a fresh and luke warm slice of bread!
This loaf was a bit of an experiment to see if I could find a way to make the whole grain loaves a little more fluffy. The issue with dark flour bread is that they often get very dense and it is not easy to make them airy and appealing to the eye and palate, especially that of the small monkey’s. This little experiment was somewhat of a success. The loaf did not turn out anywhere near as fluffy as the ones you buy at the supermarket, but then I did not use any proving enhancers or enzymes either. The only difference I did was that I added a teaspoon of baking powder to see how that would affect the dough. And I have to admit, it seemed to have a good effect.
350 grams all purpose flour
150 grams whole grain spelt flour
100 grams rolled oats
100 ml soy milk
7 grams salt
20 grams butter (if you want a vegan version, use a non-dairy butter)
7 grams dry yeast
1 tsp baking powder
250 ml water (lukewarm)
In a small bowl, soak the rolled oats in the soy milk.
Set aside and let it soak for a few minutes.
In your stand mixer, add all the dry ingredients and mix on low speed. Add the rolled oats mixture, butter and water.
Hold a little of the water though as you don’t want the dough to get too wet. Rather add a little extra during the mixing if needed. Let the machine work on the dough on medium speed for 10 minutes until it is nice and firm and elastic.
Let the dough prove for 1-2 hours until at least double in size. Then turn it onto a lightly floured baking surface and knead by hand to the shape you want. Let if prove for another hour before cooking it at 220 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.
If you are using a proving basket like I did, then you need to gently turn it onto a baking tray to cook. You can also use a normal bread tin and cook it in the tin, or just make free form bread on the baking tray. Use the method you prefer. 🙂
When using a proving basket, the bread gets a really beautiful pattern, but it is a little tricky to turn onto the baking tray without knocking the air out of the loaf.
Once the bread is cooked, leave it to cool on a rack or similar to release the steam. If you leave it on the baking tray, it will likely get a little soggy on the bottom.
Fresh bread is definitely best enjoyed while it is still a little warm, but it will be good for half a week as well and works very well for breakfasts and lunchboxes. It is a filling and mild flavored bread that fits with any topping.
Involve your kids:
Baking is the perfect activity to involve your kids on. They can help measure ingredients and pour into the bowl. While doing so, you can take the opportunity to practice numbers and later maths by adding up the various numbers. So far, my oldest will tell me the numbers on the scale and help measure out some of the ingredients, while my youngest happily will help put them into the machine. Give them some of the utensils to use and let them practice a little too with spatulas and a baking bowl. Sometimes I give them some ingredients in the bowls to play with, other times they are just as happy to just pretend to be baking.
As always when involving you kids, enjoy the time together, embrace patience and expect mess! 🙂