April 22, 2010

Olive oil Bread

I learned to make bread from my mom; she got us all started. My dad makes bread, my brother makes bread....I come from a bread loving, bread making family. So now that I am married and homeschooling I did not want to lose this precious commodity because of the time it takes to make fresh baked bread. My husband did not want to live without it either :) SO...I tried a few recipes and found one that is both versatile and quick and very tasty. Oh did I mention it is healthy too? The basic recipe is from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook its called Olive Oil Bread because there is 3/4 cup of delicious olive oil in one loaf.

The basic recipe is wonderful all by itself, but we tried jazzing it up a bit by tossing in chopped black olives, or grated gorgonzola cheese. Both are wonderful. In the last few years though I have been more aware how white flour has it's real dangers especially for a bread loving eatin' family. So I have adjusted the basic recipe to contain whole wheat flour (sprouted if available) and a little flax flour for fiber. That is what gives this loaf the darker color. I also add sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. The revised recipe is below if you would like to try it.

Hearty Healthy Olive Oil Bread
In a Big Bowl Combine:
1T yeast
2 cups water
3/4 cups olive oil
1 T salt
4 1/2 cups sprouted whole wheat
1/2 cup flax flour
1/8 sun flower seeds
1/8 pumpkin seeds
Knead and let rise for about 1 hour. Shape into a round ball, place onto a pan sprinkled with cornmeal or semolina and bake for 30-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

The best part about this bread is the short time I spend to make it. In the morning after breakfast dishes are cleaned up, I simply mix together the recipe, knead it, and let it rise in a warm place with a moist towel over it while I play games with..oh, I mean teach the kids. When we break for snack time I punch it down, shape it and put it in the oven to bake. I take the timer with me (this is very important) while I finish up with the boys lessons. Then out comes hot delicious bread that fills even the emptiest tummies of three little boys and their dad. I sometimes get a few slices myself :) Pass the butter please...

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