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Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Tale of Unlucky Bread: Sunflower Seed and Honey Wheat Bread

A couple of weeks ago, I found a promising recipe for Sunflower Seed and Honey Wheat Bread and decided to make a batch yesterday afternoon.  Not sure what happened to my sanity but I forgot to half the recipe, even though it was clear that cramming 7+ cups of flour into my breadmaker was not a good idea. 

By the time I got to flour, it was too late so I took a risk and let it rise.  For about an hour, I was too engrossed in work to check on progress.  When I did, I saw that my poor breadmaker did not have enough time during the mixing cycle to thoroughly mix liquids and flour, so there was still quite a bit of flour on top.  At that point, I should have cut my losses and started a smaller batch.  But I was too stubborn so I mixed the dough by hand and reset the Dough cycle. 

After another hour and a half, I again remembered that I was making bread! :)  The dough spilled over the rim, creating a huge mess... :(  S. walked into the door not to the aroma of freshly-baked bread but to the sight of me digging whole-wheat dough from inside the breadmaker (not a very appetizing sight, sigh...).  Wisely, he did not comment.  I love you for that, S.!

So I salvaged the dough from inside the bucket into the bowl, discarded the overflow, and cleaned the breadmaker.  We had dinner sans my planned fresh bread.  S. finally asked, cautiously, what happened to my bread.  We had a good laugh about the runaway dough.  I decided to use the salvaged dough by adding some flour (it was too runny), kneading, and letting it rise for an hour in the warm moist environment (my trick is to boil some water in the microwave).  Lo and behold, the bread did rise.  Not as high as expected but, given the circumstances and the fact that whole wheat bread does not rise as well anyway, I was happy.  I baked two loaves and we were, finally, treated to the aroma of freshly baked bread.  It turned out to be a bit more dense than expected but not bad at all.

So I let bread cool and then placed both loaves into plastic bags, to keep bread fresh.  This morning, I was shocked to see a hole in one bag.  Apparently, we have a mouse!!!  We had no choice but throw away the tainted loaf but enjoyed the other loaf, still safely inside the plastic bag (we did inspect and re-inspect to be sure!) for breakfast, lightly toasted.

S. went to get a humane trap so we can get rid of our "guest."

So here is the recipe!  Don't forget to half it if you have a regular-size breadmaker! :)

2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
3-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
1/4 cup bread flour
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
3 teaspoons salt
6-1/2 to 7-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sunflower kernels (I used finely chopped walnuts)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Use the Dough cycle in your breadmaker.  Let rise for at least an hour in a warm moist environment.  Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes or until sounds hollow when tapped.

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