Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Country Harvest Bread

Over the holidays I was so busy baking cookies and cakes that I hadn't baked any bread at all. I have to admit that I resorted to buying a few loaves which doesn't happen much when I'm in full bread baking mode. I didn't even have a loaf in the freezer in reserve. Well that was going to change today. I missed having my bread in the morning toasted with jam so I decided to make my good old reliable Country Harvest Bread from Canada's Best Bread Machine Baking Recipes by Donna Washburn & Heather Butt. This is a wholesome loaf of bread made with whole wheat flour, bread flour, a touch of honey and flax, sesame, and sunflower seeds. I use my bread machine because it does a good job of kneading, but that's where its function stops because after the dough has risen I shape it and use my oven to bake the bread. The recipe straight out of the book works really well, but because I like to improve the bread's flavour, I converted this recipe to the sponge method as described in The Bread Bible by RLB. I also increased the recipe by 25% so that I get two loaves, one for now and one for the freezer for a later date. If you don't have a bread machine you can use a stand mixer.

I mix the sponge in a bowl and poured this mixture into the bread pan. I combine the flour mixture together with the yeast and sprinkle this over the sponge and allow it to sit for 1 to 4 hours, any longer and it should go in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. I turn the machine on and after a 20 minute it begins its cycle and I add the honey and shortening to the mixture and let is mix for a minute or so and then turn the machine off. I immediately turn the machine on again (my machine doesn't have a pause button) and it goes into the 20 minute warming again which is just the right time for the autolyse and add the salt and seeds when the kneading begins and allow the machine to finish the kneading cycle. I remove the dough from the machine and place it into a greased bowl for the risings.

I divide the dough into two portions and shape into loaves. One hour later the loaves are ready for the preheated oven and about 35 minutes later two lovely loaves are ready.

I love the texture of the crumb and the crunch from the seeds and it makes great sandwiches but I really look forward to breakfast when I make this bread.

Country Harvest Bread

· 360 grams water
· 25 grams skim milk powder
· 20 grams honey
· 100 grams whole wheat flour
· 200 grams bread flour
· 1 tsp. instant yeast

Flour Mixture

· 110 grams whole wheat flour
· 165 grams bread flour
· 1 tsp. instant yeast

Add in

· 20 grams honey
· 35 grams shortening

After the autolyse add

· 2 tsp. salt
· 40 grams flax seed
· 20 grams sesame seeds
· 45 grams sunflower seeds

In a bowl combine the sponge ingredients and mix for 2 minutes to incorporate air and pour into the bread machine pan.
Mix the flour mixture together and lightly spoon over the sponge. Allow the mixture to ferment for 1 to 4 hours.
Turn on the machine on dough setting and mix the sponge and flour for a few minutes until combined, then turn of the machine. Turn on the machine again, there will be a 15 to 20 minute period before the machine begins again.
When the machine starts add the salt, flax, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Allow the machine to run its cycle. Remove the bread dough and place it in a greased container to rise.
When the dough has doubled in about 1 hour deflate it and return to bowl to rise again until doubled. Remove the dough from the container gently deflate and divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Let the dough rest 5 minutes and then shape into two loaves and place the loaves in two greased loaf pans. Cover with plastic or place into a large clear plastic bag and let them rise until the dough has risen about 1 inch above the rim of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. one hour before baking.
Spray the loaves with water place them in the oven and throw in 1 cup of ice cubes in the pan on the floor of the oven. Turn heat down to 425°F and bake for 35 to 45 minutes
Allow to cool completely.


++MIRA++ said...

this looks yum.i love seeds in my bread.ive never baked it myself tho, can u send me some?lol

doughadear said...

I often see some pretty amazing food on blogs and wish it could be sent to me too!

Melinda said...

You bake such pretty loaves Orianna!
It does sound a good all rounder bread.
I've never had a bread machine, but I have read lots of other bread machine owners use it like you do. My Kitchen Aid groans at the kneading I make it do. This time last year it went kaput. I think it was the bagel dough! Thank goodness KA fixed it under warranty. It was 3 days out of warranty, so that was good of them. Mind you, I would have been livid if they hadn't! I am fickle when it comes to 3 days out of warranty, I guess.
I sure am enjoying being able to see all the wonderful things you are baking. I love that you have a blog now! Yeah!
I made Pioneer Womans cinnamon rolls today. The recipe says it makes 8...it made 30 rolls! I have cinnamon rolls for the village now!
they turned out delicious and bountiful! We had loads of snow last night, again. The last snow from Christmas had only just melted and now there is another 14 inches of snow out there. My little dachshund hates it! Cheers

doughadear said...

Hello Melinda,
Thank you.
My KitchenAid works really hard for me too! I'm just grateful that after all these years (it was a Christmas present from hubby and my children when they were very young) it is still mixing and kneading beautifully.
I love cinnamon rolls and I'm sure your neighbours are loving that you ended up with so many.
Do you get much snow in the winter?
The past two years we had so much snow we didn't know what to do with it. This year has been better even though it has been terribly cold for the last few days(-10 C) but if we continue to have moderate snow falls, this winter will be tolerable.

Anonymous said...

this is Brandon Lincoln from Prince Rupert Baker Boy I want to know if adding honey to a canadian harvest bread recipe that uses harvest base would prevvent it from droping when you bake it
flax seed has oil in it so adding honey would create emulsification
pulling togather the water and oil like a lotion in the mix
will that protect the yeast and make a softer skin
please respond to