I try to ‘create’ with my children regularly. Sometimes it comes naturally. Sometimes it is work to get motivated. I love to involve us in seasonal activities and often look to nature for inspiration.
And so “Make it Monday” is born. I will be posting a seasonal craft activity each Monday to share with you. I would also love to hear what you have been working on through the week…so share away!
I love bread. It is the ultimate comfort food (along with potatoes, but that is another story!). In England I was spoiled by the huge variety of wonderful (and inexpensive) bread. There are many things I love about my life here in the USA, but the price you need to pay for ‘nice’ bread is not one of them. So, as a way of ‘saving money’ I decided to make our own bread each week.
I am not a great baker. My problem is that I seem unable to stick to a recipe. So, in the past I have not had much luck with bread…..think of a heavy brick or a doughy mess and you are not far off.
Well, I enrolled my little helper (aka my eldest daughter) and we found a good, basic recipe that was open to many variations. We used the “Basic Bread Recipe” from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest but have evolved it over time.
So far we have tried a selection of variations and they have all been tasty and quickly eaten! Our routine is to make four loaves every Monday, and soup on Monday night with the fresh bread. My daughter loves to use a small amount to make into rolls which she shares with her little sister!
So, here is our amended recipe to share with you. Happy baking!
Easy Quinoa/Flax Bread Recipe
(Make sure that you have 3-4 hours to be at home for the recipe – you won’t be cooking for all of this time, but you will be around)
2 cups water (wrist temperature)
1 package (or 1 tbsp) active dry yeast
Drop of honey
4 1/2 cups (approx) wholewheat bread flour
4 cups (approx) unbleached white flour
4 tbsp oil (canola or olive)
1 cup flax seeds
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tbsp salt
A little oil for the bowl
Cornmeal for the pan
- Pour the water into a bowl. Add the honey and sprinkle on the yeast. Add 1 1/2 cups of wholewheat flour and mix.
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour. The ‘sponge mix’ should have doubled in size
- Add the oil, salt, quinoa and flax seeds and mix well.
- Gradually add the wholewheat and white flours until a thick dough is created. You will have to start using your hands for this. Keep adding flour until it stops being sticky.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10-15 minutes. This is a great activity to do with the children. ** I have also learned from experience that you do need to knead the dough a lot, less kneading makes for crumbly bread**
- Oil a bowl and roll the dough around to coat it. Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for at least an hour.
- Punch down the dough and knead again for 5 minutes or so.
- Now you can make it into 2 loaves, or divide up into rolls.
- Cover an leave to rise again (30 minutes or so) whilst you preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (ideally with a pizza stone warming in the oven)
- If you have a pizza stone in the oven you can pace the loaves straight onto this. Alternatively you can put them in the oven on a baking tray. Put a separate small cray with a few ice cubes into the oven and quickly close the door (this creates steam for a crispy crust).
- Cook loaves for 40 minutes. Bread rolls for 25-30 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack completely before cutting. Enjoy!
The great thing about this recipe is it’s flexibility.
* Replace the quinoa with any cooked grains – rice, barley, wheat berries, even oats.
* Replace the flaxseeds with any other seeds or seed mixes – sesame, sunflower, poppy etc
*Play around with the proportions of wholewheat flour and white flour to find what you like the best.