I bake a loaf of this every few days…
Dump in a 4.5-quart mixer bowl:
- 1/2 Tbsp dry yeast
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dried milk
- 1-1/2 cup warm water
I find it’s easiest to mush the three dry ingredients together so the brown sugar coats everything, then stir in the water. Let it sit for ten minutes or so if you have the patience, then, with the yeast up & running, add the goodies:
- 1/2 cup flax seed meal
- 1/2 cup bread flour
- 1/2 cup rye flour
- 1/2 cup wheat flour
- 3 cups wheat flour (easier to measure that way)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
Put the dough hook on the mixer, screw down the bowl, and let ‘er grind on lowest speed until the dough gets nice & cohesive. Dump out the dough, oil the bowl, throw the lump back in, and roll it around to coat all sides.
Put a lid on the bowl and let it rise overnight; perhaps in the oven after warming. If your yeast is more enthusiastic than ours it’ll take less time, but this is bread of unparalleled density.
I’ve been baking this bread in a classic Pyrex Bake-A-Round that we’ve been toting unused from house to house ever since we got it as a wedding present. Turns out it’s really slick for this purpose. You can certainly use an ordinary loaf pan.
Whatever you use to contain the dough: butter it thoroughly, pop in the dough without mushing it too much, and let it rise for another hour or two. If you’re using a B-A-R tube, push-and-hold the ends to plump up the middle just before you pop it in the oven. Best if you add aluminum foil caps to the end to keep ’em soft.
Bake at 325 F for maybe 50 minutes. Cool on a rack while you get the peanut butter out of the refrigerator. Slather with PB, give thanks to the yeasty-beasties, eat.
Speaking of which, it’s worth noting that our tap water now comes with chloramines that seem to kill yeast stone cold dead. We run the water through a Brita filter, but it’s not clear how much that helps; our yeast seems rather dispirited even in filtered water.
[Update: A new batch of yeast reveals that we were using dead yeast. I’d bought several pounds of the stuff, as we use a lot of it, but evidently it aged out. Now we know.]
This recipe started life as the Fundamental Tassajara Whole-Wheat Bread recipe, but has mutated over the years. The flax seed meal adds a surprisingly good taste.
Update: if you’re in a hurry, dump the just-mixed dough out of the bowl, roll it into a log that barely fits into the B-A-R tube, slide it to the middle, cap the ends, and pop the B-A-R into a warm oven (ours hits 170, more or less). Let the yeasty beasties fart for an hour or two, then fire up the oven with the B-A-R inside; you can even use the Automatic Oven setting. Works like a champ!