Daily Bread

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My teenagers eat a good amount of bread. Is it a teenager thing? When I was that age (looong time ago, haha!) I remember my brothers going through a few loaves of white bread a day. I don't know how healthy it was, this steady diet of bread.

Anyway, my kids don't eat white bread, and I've never been too keen on the store-bought wheat bread, either. So a few years ago I bought a bread machine. I love the bread I can make! We use it almost every day. I usually don't use the machine to bake the bread, just to make the dough. I find that the bread machine-baked bread is too clumsy to slice. I prefer the "Italian" style loaf-- a kneaded, elongated loaf resting free. I program the machine to make dough, and I knead it and rise it myself on a pan. The smell of rising and baking bread all day long is delicious.

Once in a while I find a really good recipe and tweak it just a little. I've been using a terrific bread machine recipe and I think I finally have it perfected. Naturally, I thought I'd share it with you!

A few notes:

This recipe is a great way to get some uber-nutritious ingredients in the daily diet. I use whole flaxseed in the dough, but I've used milled flaxseed and it works just as wonderfully. Flaxseed is very good for you.

I've also discovered a terrific substitute for white granulated sugar: sucanat. I found it in the Bulk Food section of my local grocery store (Hannaford's has a great selection of bulk foods). Yet it is a little too pricey to buy regularly at retail. I did some searching and found a terrific price online, at Amazon.com's Gourmet Food section. I didn't even know they had a Gourmet Food section before!

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Sucanat is sugar made from the juices of the sugar cane. It is milder and less acrid than refined sugar. It also serves as a terrific replacement for sugar in coffee or tea. Since using sucanat in my coffee, I no longer have that annoying buzz or light-headedness that I got from the refined sugar. Sucanat is a direct replacement for refined sugar: that is, if a recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of refined sugar, you can use 2 tablespoons of sucanat as a substitute. But like I said, sucanat is much more expensive than refined sugar, so it helps to shop around for a good deal. I think Amazon has it for $1.69 a pound right now.

Here's the recipe. Be sure to make your measurements exact.

Mrs. Mecomber's Flax Seed Bread (for bread machines)

In your bread machine bucket, place the following ingredients in this order:
1 and 1/2 cups hot water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons flaxseed (whole) or ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups flour (I usually use 3 cups white flour with 1 cup wheat or graham flour)
2 Tablespoons refined sugar or sucanat

Now with your finger, make a small well in the flour mixture. In this little depression, add:

2 teaspoons bread machine yeast (the quick-rising kind)

I set my bread machine to "dough" setting (usually 1 and 1/2 hours). I knead it (only a little, just enough to make the shape of the loaf), rise it (on a lightly greased cookie sheet, covered with a cloth, for 30 to 60 minutes), and bake it (about 1/2 hour at 350) myself. You can bake it in the bread machine easily enough, though.

This bread is terrific when served still warm. Yum! Leftovers make very good toast for the morning. Enjoy!

4 remarks
Jennifer in OR said...

Hi, I enjoyed your comments at Consent of the Governed! Demand debate - on both evolution and global warming. And thanks for the recipe - I use my bread machine in the exact way you do, and we love the smell of fresh baking bread as much as we love eating it.

1:22 AM  
Mrs Mecomber said...

Hi Jennifer, and thanks for visiting! Ah, another Dough Girl! Welcome! Yes, we get very intense about our bread.

You are right about the evolution issue-- there needs to be a LOT more debate. There is no conclusive evidence, yet supporters of the philosophy love to throw around long fancy words to intimidate others. I am not intimidated, because long fancy words do not equal evidence. And to top it off, evolution is not only non-factual, it is extremely silly. Yet I believe that most people have been hoodwinked into it, and a healthy discussion usually helps.

9:41 AM  
Jennifer in OR said...

I like that you call it a "philosophy" because evolutionary theory is not a science. Glad to meet someone who seems to actually believe Genesis. :-)

12:19 PM  
Mrs Mecomber said...

Nice to meet you, too, Jennifer! My husband is a brainy science biology guy who has been studying this for eons. Yep, we believe Genesis!

Yah, I'd call evolution a "religion" like some others do, but then I realized that it would make Christianity look bad. Evolution is what one guy said, "a fairy tale for adults."

Thank you for your comments!

12:36 PM  

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