Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Boning Up with Bread

Somehow, even though I have a gazillion things on the go at any given time (I'm like a mother without kids, go figure!), I felt this indescribable urge to bake this morning. Not something quick and simple, either... no, I wanted to bake bread. So bread was made, and even though it looks butt-ugly, it is probably the healthiest loaf of anything that will be in our house for a few months (until the veggies from the garden start rolling in!).

This was actually a simple bread to make (just like most pan loaves) and since I have no aversion to working with yeast (it seems to like me and my kitchen!) I had some fun playing around with the contents of the dough. What emerged, smelling way too awesome for it's own good, was a 100% whole-grain bread that was perfect for lunchtime sandwiches, a nutty, fibre-rich bread pudding or french toast, or anything you could imagine! It's got flaxseed, skim milk powder, wheat gluten and honey in it... what could be better?

This bread was also the vessel I chose to try out the latest ingredient on my pantry shelf: Potato Milk. This was new to me! I had heard of (and tasted) soy, rice and almond "milks", as well as seen hemp and oat milk for sale, but never milk from potatoes! The brand I used, English Bay, is advertised as being free of lactose, fat, protein, preservatives, soy, rice, gluten, and MSG. It's also a great source of calcium (25% of the RDA per cup), and vegan. The taste, I'll admit, is not something I would be willing to drink straight, but boy, does it make good bread! If you're interested in finding out more, the beverages are available at Loblaws, IGA, Save-on/Overwaitea, Safeway and Federated-Coop stores in Canada.

On the topic of non-dairy milks, I stumbled on this article while getting my hyperlinks and personally find it absolutely ridiculous, unfounded, and frankly offensive. Even if soy is naturally high in estrogen, it will not turn a male child into a little girl no more than eating steak will turn your daughter into a strapping man. I have no tolerance for intolerant people... and yes, I am a walking contradiction.

Anyway, this recipe is important for women especially, since it is high in calcium from the milks, whole wheat and flaxseed that it contains. Each slice, or 1/16th of the (fairly large) loaf has 3% of your RDA, and considering most people eat more than one slice at a time, it will help add up the benefits! I'm passing this on to Susan from FoodBlogga, who has osteoperosis and is running an awareness event (Beautiful Bones), because I'm at risk for it too and its prevention is something everyone should be aware of!

The fibre content of this bread is of course also very high - almost 4g per slice - and so I'm passing this onto Art of Cooking's event , which is focusing this month on high-fibre foods!

So, now that I have officially worn out my intro, I present thee with:

Wheaten Milk and Honey Bread
Makes 16 slices
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp nonfat dry milk (optional, but great for texture)
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
5 tbsp ground flaxseed
  1. Whisk together yeast and water. Let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Heat milk to just above body temperature, stir in salt, honey, and milk powder and let cool to lukewarm.
  3. In a large mixing bowl (I use my stand mixer) whisk together flour, gluten and flaxseed.
  4. Pour in yeast mixture and milk mixture and beat until a fairly smooth dough forms.
  5. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes, until elastic.
  6. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 375F, grease a loaf pan.
  8. Punch down dough, shape into a loaf and place into the pan, tucking ends under.
  9. Cover and let rise again for 1 hour.
  10. Brush the top of the loaf with milk and bake for 40 minutes, tenting with foil after 20.
  11. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Note: Use fortified soy (or alternate) milk and soy milk powder if you do not consume dairy, and agave nectar for the honey if you are vegan. Sometimes, I add sesame or hemp seeds to the top of the loaf or dust it with flour for a decorative flare. For a sweeter bread, up the honey content to 1/3 cup and drop the water content to 1/2 cup.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 112.1
Total Fat: 1.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.2 mg
Sodium: 8.9 mg
Total Carbs: 20.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.8 g
Protein: 5.3 g


  1. Potato milk? That's new to me. I'll have to check that out. In fact, I love the way you managed to pack this bread with so many nutritious ingredients. Plus it looks so delicious! Thanks for a great BB entry.

    PS-Love your hair!

  2. as susan said...potato milk is really new to me too...anyways never thought we can do wonders with bread..nice entry to both the events !

  3. Yep - the people who're all strange about what hormones you get really aren't in touch with the world, are they? They should consider what happens to body-builders who take steroids: their bodies compensate by producing the antagonist hormone, which is why mega-doses of testosterone cause development of breast tissue (the body produces estrogen, to compensate). So, you'll always have a balance, based upon your physiology.

    As to the flax, I think you could stand to add a bit more, and you might even enjoy adding the seeds whole. Also, if you buy flax, don't buy it pre-ground, because that's mostly stale - the oils go rancid in a few days, apparently, so pre-ground is almost always stale, unless it's packed in an 'alternate atmosphere', and then you have to use it right after opening it.

    Check out this picture to see what I put into my loaves, in a usual batch. It's a bit hard to get a good rise out of loaves when you put this much 'stuff' into them, so you might start off with only 1 cup of the oat bran, but the 2 cups of flax seeds give a wonderful nutty flavor.

    If you do whole seeds, though, just don't use the dark ones - they make the bread look awful & mottled, as they show through.

    Do you have any shots of the sliced loaf?


Thanks for the feedback!