I was wanting to make a very healthy bread, packed with nutrients, iron, and overall goodness. A bread that can boost the system, and help one recover from a long illness. So, I partially followed a recipe from Eat More Whole Grains, and adapted it to my preference. Bread is versatile (other than the basic water, yeast, and flour!), so go ahead and experiment! I was pleased with how fluffy this bread turned out, even though it has so many hearty ingredients.
Hearty Harvest Bread
3 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 Tbsp yeast
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup flax, ground (I use my coffee grinder)
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup cracked grain (I used Red River ceral)
1 cup lentil puree*
2 Tbsp vinegar/lemon juice (keeps bread more moist)
1 chewable vitamin C (I have powder vitamin C, keeps bread moist longer, optional)
3/4 cup oatmeal, cooked**
1/4 cup molasses (I used blackstrap, richer in iron)
11-15 cups flour (I used spelt)
If using regular yeast: dissolve yeast, and water, let sit 3 minutes. (If using instant yeast, simply add it in with the flour – saves a step!)
Add remaining ingredients, except flour, and mix briefly. Add flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Knead to develop the gluten. Depending if you knead by machine or hand, it may take 8-12 minutes (4 minutes for spelt flour). Place in a slightly greased bowl, cover, let rise until it doubles in volume (about 1hr). Punch down, let rise another 30-45 min until it has risen again. Punch down, divide into 4 sections, shape into loaves. Place in greased bread pans, cover and let rise until doubled. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cover the tops with foil paper towards the end of cooking time if the crusts get darker than desired. Cool completely on cooling rack.
Freezes well! When thawing out, remove loaf from bag so the moisture doesn’t make bread soggy.
** I put 1/3 cup of quick oatmeal in a bowl, add 2/3 cup water, microwave for 1 minute, and voila! Ready to throw into the bread.