Breaking bread

Sometime in my late 30s, I realized that bread had stopped being my friend.

Carbs had always been a steady staple of my diet – from gushy white bread, buttered and dipped in a saucer of maple syrup when I was a kid, to massive muffins that often doubled as a meal in university. When I was pregnant, I craved big bowls of breakfast cereal.  When I woke up from my C-section, the first thing I asked for (after the baby, of course), was toast.

The older I got, the heavier these things sat in my gut – and the more I noticed a clear correlation between carbs, tighter pants and ass-dragging. I wasn’t the only one, and together we started looking for solutions, from reducing carbs and gluten to trying different grains and blends.

The secret, it turned out, was making and baking our own – finding a quick and simple recipe without all the additives – and unpleasant side effects – of store-bought. We’ve tweaked, tested and shared this version to rave reviews.

 

Stacey’s favourite bread recipe

bread-and-granolaIn a medium bowl, combine:

  • 3 cups of lukewarm water
  • 1 ½ tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ tbsp. salt

In a large bowl (or in your stand mixer with doughhook) combine:

  • 5 ½ cups of white flour
  • ¾ cup of whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • ½ cup mixed seeds and grains (sunflower, chia, pumpkin, steel-cut oats, etc.)

Next:

  • Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well
  • Cover bowl with a clean towel and let bread rise at least two hours. Meanwhile, cover a large baking stone or cookie sheet with parchment paper, lightly dusted with flour.
  • After two hours, dough will be sticky. Coat your hands well with flour, knead four to six times, and divide the dough into two or three pieces (depending on desired size of loaves).
  • Shape each loaf and place seam-down on baking sheet. Dust top lightly with flour.
  • Cover loaves lightly with a tea towel and let rise another 30 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 450F
  • Make three or four slashes in bread top to allow gases to escape. Sprinkle lightly with seeds and coarse salt.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a rack before serving.

This bread is great on its own, and even better with whipped butter. A couple of our favourites:

Whipped honey-cinnamon butter

In a food processor or stand mixer, combine:

  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Whip until smooth and creamy

Lemon-herb butter

In a food processor or stand mixer, combine:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 tbsp. dry thyme, parsley, basil, rosemary (or similar herbs)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp. oil oil

Whip until smooth and creamy

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