I have purposed in my heart to stop buying bread products and, instead, make them myself. However, when you have fallen in love with a particular store-bought bread (Country Harvest Flax is my all-time favorite!!), it can be difficult to find a recipe you like. You find yourself comparing everything to that soft, tasty yet good-for-you loaf. In my attempt to recreate that wonderful bread, I have tried a few recipes. Most failed. Usually too heavy. I don't want a really hearty, really heavy wheat loaf. I also don't want a colon-clogging loaf of white nothingness. I think I finally found "the one!" The recipe I keep making over and over. It is soft. It is full of flax (a prerequisite for me!), it contains lots of whole wheat and it is delicious! And, I will happily share the recipe with you!
FLAX 'N BRAN COUNTRY WHEAT BREAD
6 3/4 tsp. yeast
3 cups warm water
3/4 cup sugar
Mix this together and let the yeast bubble up and then add:
1 tbsp. and 1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp. oil
1 cup ground flax
1/2 cup 100% natural wheat bran
1/2 cup wheat germ
3 cups whole-wheat flour*
1 tsp lemon juice
Mix together well then let stand for 10 minutes. I was told the lemon juice softens the whole-wheat flour, creating a softer loaf of bread.
5 tbsp. whole flax seeds
approximately 5 cups white flour
Mix well and knead for 10 minutes. Dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Place in a greased bowl and then spray the top of the dough with oil,too. Cover with a piece of waxed paper and a tea towel then place in the oven with the oven light turned on. Let rise for 1 hour. Punch down dough and divide into 4 loaves. Place dough into greased bread pans. Spray tops of loaves with oil again, cover with waxed paper and tea towel. Place back into oven for 1 hour rising time. Remove from oven, preheat oven to 375F. Bake for approximately 25 minutes (I usually check at about 20 minutes) or until golden brown. Slice and enjoy!
* I use home-milled whole-grain whole-wheat flour. I am sure store-bought whole-wheat flour would work just as well.
**For a softer crust, cover loaves with a tea towel while cooling. The steam cannot escape as easily, creating a softer crust.
Doesn't that look yummy? My dough is currently rising and I look forward to slathering that first hot slice with butter and savoring every moment of home-baked goodness!