26 February 2008

spend some time in the kitchen

Let's be honest here. When it's cold and yucky out, don't we all head to the kitchen? Or is that just me? At least in my house, the kitchen is always the warmest room in the apartment. Most likely because I'm constantly cooking or baking. I just realized that this is my sixth post this month about food. Wait a minute, I thought this was a crafting blog? Anyways, we all know that food is comforting, and the bottom line is that we all need some comfort this month.

I would recommend some nice bread.

Or maybe a good bowl of chili and a piece of cornbread.

Or if you need something to get you going in the morning, how about some nice warm oatmeal with some almonds and raisins, topped with brown sugar.

Since I had such great response to the last bread recipe I shared (check these out!), I'll give you another one. Don't forget: if you want to be in the running for my blogaversary giveaway, leave a comment here before midnight tomorrow. I'll announce the winner on Thursday.

Flaxseed Loaf (from The Bread Bible)

2 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup pumpernickel flour (I didn't have this, so I just used whole wheat instead of this)
1/2 cup flaxseed (the recipe recommends coarsely grinding or cracking the whole flaxseeds for better digestion, but not to use pre-ground flaxseeds. This might be a good idea, but it seems fine in my experience to leave the seeds whole).
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbl honey
1 3/4 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
2 tsp salt

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the water, honey, flaxseed, pumpernickel flour (or whole wheat), and yeast. Then stir in the salt, whole wheat flour, and all-purpose flour until mixed well. Knead the dough in the bowl for about five minutes, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for another 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky, but don't add too much more flour. Cover dough with an inverted bowl and let it rest for about 20 minutes (this will make it easier to knead). Knead for another 5 minutes (dough should be elastic and still cling to your fingers, but not be too sticky) and then place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a dishtowel and let the dough rise for about an hour (until doubled).

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press down on it to flatten it slightly. Shape the dough into a loaf and place in a lightly greased loaf pan. (I like to first spray the top of the loaf with a little water and dip it in more flaxseeds-they don't stay that well, but I like the look). It should be about 1/2 inch from the top of the pan. Cover with a large bowl or oiled plastic wrap, and allow dough to rise until center is about 1 inch about the sides of the pan. This should take about 45-60 minutes. Note: this bread will rise a lot in the oven, so don't worry if it looks like it's not big enough.

About 1 hour before you're going to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 375. Place a baking stone or extra baking sheet in the oven, and place a cast iron skilled or baking sheet on the floor of the oven. When dough is ready, slash with a serrated knife. Set the loaf pan on top of the baking stone or sheet and quickly toss about 1/2 cup of ice cubes onto the baking sheet that is on the floor of the oven. Close the oven door. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the bread is golden brown. Halfway through baking, turn the pan around for even baking. Remove the bread from the oven and place on a wire rack. Allow it to cool at least 2 hours before slicing.


  1. Thanks for the recipe...I can't wait to try it! In the past week, I've made three different kinds of cupcakes, two different cookie batches, and two pans of peanut butter fudge. Bread would be nice, especially before I put my entire family into some awful sugar shock. Yum, bread and chili-that would just be perfect right now!

  2. mmm... yummy. stop teasing me with all these yummy breads!! I'm still going to give that other one another try. I'm just waiting for the right day when I'm not too busy. THEN... I'm going to try this recipe... it sounds right up my ally.

    I've been meaning to ask you... how big should the loaves be for the other recipe you shared?? Mine were sorta small... so I thought I'd ask before I try again.

  3. That bread looks amazing! I'll have to try making it sometime. Unfortunately, the oatmeal fits my schedule better these days (although it looks good too, so perhaps I shouldn't complain).