Recently, my friend Ashley invited me over to teach me how to bake bread. Her recipe is 100% whole grain (using both whole wheat flour and quick oats), so I was worried that the resulting product would be as dense as a brick, and as dry as cardboard. However, as her little Allston apartment filled with the heavenly aroma of fresh baked bread (a must, if you have never experienced this smell), I knew I was in for a treat. This recipe is the softest, fluffiest whole grain bread I have ever tasted! The sugar (we used agave) is necessary to feed the yeast and create an airy texture, while the olive oil provides a moist texture and a rich flavor. And best of all, the recipe couldn’t be simpler.
100% Whole Grain Bread (Recipe by Ashley Higgs)
- 1 cup quick oats
- 2 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 package yeast
- 1 ½ cups lukewarm water
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 ½ tbsp. agave syrup (or 3 tbsp honey)
- Allow all dry ingredients to come to room temperature. In large bowl, stir all dry ingredients together for 1 minute.
- Add the olive oil, agave (or honey), and about 1 cup of water.
- Stir till mixed then knead for 6-8 minutes. You may have to add more water, but do so carefully – different flours respond to moisture differently. If you add too much water, that’s okay! Just add more flour in small increments. Add small amounts of water or flour as necessary. By the end of the kneading, the consistency of the dough will change and should feel moist but not sticky or dry.
- Cover bowl with a damp cloth and leave the dough to rise for 30 minutes. Dough should approximately double in size. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Punch the dough and knead again for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Shape dough and place in oiled (or nonstick) bread pan (or on a cookie sheet). Allow it to rise a second time for 30 minutes (or more if you like).
- Bake dough for 30 minutes.
- When finished baking, take bread out of bread pan immediately and put on a cooling rack. Enjoy! (Store in airtight container or bag and in the fridge if not eaten within 3 days).
I topped my bread with Strawberry Rhubarb jam from the farmers market.
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