Monday, August 26, 2013

Light Wheat and Flax Sandwich Bread (sourdough)


A light wheat bread with 30% whole wheat flour and 6% ground flax seeds.  A nutritious, soft, and sweet loaf.

Light Wheat and Flax Sandwich Bread (sourdough):  A light wheat bread with 30% whole wheat flour and 6% ground flax seeds.  A nutritious, soft, and sweet loaf.

I have been playing around with one of my favorite sandwich bread recipes.  This original recipe comes from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice but I have tweaked it a bit trying to make it my own.

I substituted part of the flour with flax seed meal, used coconut oil instead of shortening, and used kefir instead of water and powdered milk.  The loaf is soft and very flavorful.

The coconut oil makes it a bit sweeter so you could cut down on the sugar, but I like it.  I have made this with kefir and with water and I don't notice much of a difference, maybe the kefir (or milk) one is a bit more tender.

I have made this sourdough and with commercial yeast but usually I do a mix because I need to use my sourdough starter but I'm in a rush so I 'spike' it with commercial yeast (just add 1/2 tsp instant yeast).  When I have the time and do the sourdough version it adds a great sour flavor that mixes well with the sweetness.

I enjoy playing around with my bread recipes so I frequently am adding or subtracting things but I think I have this recipe just the way I like it.


100 g sourdough barm (100%hydration--equal parts, by weight, flour and water)
230 g bread flour
140 g whole wheat flour
  28 g flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
  19 g brown sugar
    9 g salt
  25 g coconut oil
229 g kefir or milk, at room temperature

Let the sourdough barm come up to room temperature then add everything to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Stir with the paddle attachment until mixture forms a ball and all of the flour is hydrated.

Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 6-10 minutes until dough is smooth and tacky but not sticky.  Dough should be soft and elastic.  Place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat the dough all over with oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 4 hours or until doubled in size (about 2 if 'spiking').

Shape dough into a sandwich loaf and place in a greased 4x8 inch loaf pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and proof for about 2 hours or until dough is cresting over the lip of the pan (about 1 if 'spiking').  Brush top of loaf with egg, sprinkle on some flax seed meal (optional), and score down the center of the loaf (optional).

Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 50 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees half way through for even browning.  Remove bread from pan immediately and cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.


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