Power Grain Bread
Whole grains and just a touch of molasses are packed into this flavourful bread.
1 cup Highwood Crossing Organic Power Grains Hot Cereal
2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons Highwood Crossing Organic Canola Oil
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons black strap molasses
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
4-6 cups Highwood Crossing Organic All-Purpose or Whole Wheat Flour (or mixture of both)
Combine the Power Grains, boiling water, honey, oil and salt in a large bowl and let sit for 1 hour.
Mix the molasses, warm water and yeast, cover and let sit for 10 minutes or until frothy.
Combine the molasses mixture and the power grains mixture and gradually add 4-6 cups (depending on humidity and age of the flour) of an all-purpose flour and whole-wheat flour blend to make a workable mass. We usually use 2-3 cups whole-wheat and then add in whatever amount of all-purpose needed (you could use more all-purpose flour and it will lighten the loaf, but it won’t be as nutritious). At some point you won’t be able to use the spoon to incorporate any more of the flour and then it’s best to dump ingredients onto a lightly floured counter.
How can you tell when enough flour has been added to make good dough? You don’t want too stiff of dough (too much flour that it makes it hard to knead). It is better to start kneading with a bit stickier dough and gradually add more flour as you knead. Too stiff dough doesn’t rise well and is very tough to shape into loaves. Most of the time we use about 5 – 5 ½ cups or flour.
Knead the mass into a ball of dough. Swoosh flour mass into a round-ish shape with both hands, kneading and turning dough a quarter turn as you go. You may need to dust the counter with a bit more flour as the dough may stick to the counter. Try just to dust, not to add a lot of flour. Keep kneading for about 8 to 10 minutes total time.
Put dough into a large oiled bowl. Roll dough in oil to cover the whole surface and cover bowl with lid or cloth. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size. Some people put dough in a clear plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and put a mark on the side so they know when dough has doubled.
Grease or oil two 9x5 inch bread pans and have ready.
Deflate the dough by pressing your fists into the risen dough. Turn out onto lightly floured counter and divide into 2 pieces with a knife. Tuck the rough cut side into the dough and shape with your hands into a tight oval shape. Set into greased pans. The loaves now need to proof until double in size. We have found that clear plastic garbage bags work great for this proofing stage. Set each pan inside the bags and tuck up the ends, forming a large air-pocket for loaves to rise within, without touching the bag. This way you can watch them rise and can tell when they have doubled – usually about 1 hour, but it depends on the temperature in the house. Set them on top of the fridge for extra warmth.
Preheat oven to 375ºF about 20 minutes before the loaves are ready to bake. Once they have doubled, bake for about 30-40 minutes or until golden and when tapped on the bottom of the pan, there is a hollow sound.
Makes 2 loaves