I have been making bread most of my adult life. There is something so satisfying about mixing, kneading, shaping and baking a loaf of your own bread. And that first bite, when still warm from the oven — well words can’t describe it.
I tried to tinker with the bread machines. I bought a really expensive one from Williams Sonoma. I used it twice and gave it to a neighbor. It just wasn’t the same. It was cheating. In fact, I went so far in the other direction that I now buy my own berries and mill my own flour. I have become a bread snob.
So every Sunday I make my favorite batch of bread, which the recipe is here. It makes wonderful bread, and even better croutons. It is made with Einkorn flour which I got from David Meuer at meuerfarm.com.
5 c. organic bread flour
3-1.2 c. warm water
1/3 cup honey (or sugar)
1 T. yeast
1/3 c. melted butter (I use Earth’s Balance)
1/3 c. honey/sugar
1 T. sea salt
2-3 T. Millet
1/3 c. Sunflower Seeds
1/3 c. Oats
1/3 c. Sesame Seeds
3-4 c. Einkorn Flour
Mix the warm water, 1/3 cup honey and the yeast in the mixing bowl and let sit for 10 minutes to proof the yeast. Once it becomes bubbly mix in 5 cups of the bread flour and let sit 20-30 minutes. This is called the sponge. You should see a lot of bubbles forming. This is good. The yeast is happy!
Now comes the fun part and this can be changed out however you like, depending on your mood. I usually put in the millet, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and oats. pour on the melted butter, another 1/3 cup of honey (or sugar) and the salt and mix in. I use a mixer with a dough hook, but you can do it manually if you like.
Once mixed add the einkorn flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough starts to form and pull away from the sides of the mixer. Put on a clean surface with a little more flour and knead until smooth, about 5-10 minutes. The gluten will start to develop and the dough should become smoother. It won’t be totally smooth as you have all the other seeds and oats in there but you will see the dough starting to form.
Grease a large bowl (I use coconut oil), put the dough top side down and flip over so the dough is coated with oil, cover with a dish towel and cover in a warm area until double. It will take about an hour more or less, but will depend on the temperature in your kitchen.
After the dough has risen, punch it down, and divide into three portions. Shape them into loaves and put them in bread pans, also grease with the coconut oil, cover with the dishtowel and allow them to rise for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the bread has risen to about an inch over the top of the bread pan, I slice the top of the bread 3-4 times with a razer blade and put in the oven.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Remove the loaves from the pan, brush with earth balance and allow to cool on a rack.
That’s it! Wonderful bread! I usually give a loaf to a friend, bring a loaf to work and keep one at home. Any bread that is left over will be made into croutons.
Let me know if you make this, or have any questions!