Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Healthier Whole Wheat Bread & Honey Apple Butter

I don't think I ask much of Mountain Man.. well, ok.. I don't think ask too much of Mountain Man. But one thing I will ask of him is bread- sandwich bread to be specific.

Bread making scares me. I feel like there is so much involved: the yeast, the rising, the waiting, the kneading, the waiting...I get overwhelmed just thinking about it! I'll make up a mean quick bread any day, but throwing yeast in the mix totally intimidates me. I guess I should try it out some time though...

In the mean time, I think MM does a pretty good job in the bread department and I'm going to let him keep doing a good job. :)

For this edition of "In the Kitchen with Mountain Man" the recipes are completely his, but the narration is completely mine- with a lot of help.

Healthier Whole Wheat Bread
1st rise: 1 hour
2nd rise: 40 minutes
Oven: 425-350
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Makes 1 large loaf

2 cups warm water
3 TBS active dry yeast
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar

1 cup bread flour
1 cup oat flour
1/4 cup quick oats (coarsely ground)
1/4 cup flax seeds
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/8 cup flax seeds

In a large bowl, whisk together water, yeast, honey and sugar. Let proof/stand about 5 minutes. (For those of you as unfamiliar with bread terms as I am, "proofing" basically means letting the yeast become active and the mixture begins to foam)
Mix bread, oat, and 1 cup of whole wheat flour, flax seeds and oats.
Add flour mixture to wet mixture, adding the rest of whole wheat flour, one cup at a time, as you go until dough needs to be turned out onto a lightly floured surface.
Knead dough for about 8-10 minutes, dough should be elastic-y.
Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with saran wrap (spray with Pam first).
Let the dough rest for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
Prepare lightly floured surface with a sprinkling of sesame and flax seeds.
After the dough has napped an hour, turn dough back out on lightly floured surface and lightly deflate. Roll the dough in the seeds until covered.
Transfer seed covered dough into loaf pan and cover again with saran wrap, this time letting it rest for about 40 minutes.

While resting, preheat oven to 425.
After the dough is well rested, remove saran wrap and immediately turn oven temperature down to 350.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Transfer loaf to cooling rack until ready to eat.

Honey Apple Butter
1 whole apple
2 cups water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup butter, 2 sticks
1/4 cup honey

Quarter apple- removing seeds and stem (but not the core-it will dissolve).
Bring water and vinegar to a boil. Add apple pieces and sprinkle about 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, dash of nutmeg and dash of cloves into pot.
Boil for 20-30 minutes or until apples are extremely soft.
Remove apples and puree in food processor.
In a medium sized bowl, melt butter, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 cup honey in microwave.
Mix in pureed apples.
Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp nutmeg (or less depending on taste preferences).
Refrigerate until mixture becomes solid again.

Slather on some Healthier Whole Wheat Bread and you're ready to start your day!

Happy Baking!