Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season are rapidly approaching. If you are planning to bake a fruitcake for the Holiday Season, this should be done soon, so as give the cake a few weeks to mature. I will post my recipe for a delicious, moist fruit cake next week.
In the meantime, a few thoughts on brown bread. Soup and brown bread make a delicious and light, but filling meal. Brown bread also pairs well with leftover turkey. We have an easy stir brown bread recipe in our book (page 178) that I often make. It is very similar to the popular brown seed loaves one gets in South Africa.
Last week one of our readers asked whether this recipe could be made with whole wheat flour only, instead of the suggested half whole wheat flour, half white flour.
In the presence of moisture and warmth, yeast breaks down the sugars in the dough and gives off carbon dioxide bubbles. These are trapped in the network of gluten strands that are present in the dough, and this causes the bread to rise. Since whole wheat flour has less gluten than white, the air bubbles are not held securely and the bread collapses, resulting in a dense, flat loaf. I discovered a product on the market that addresses this issue. Wheat Gluten Flour gives flour a “gluten boost”.
Below is a revised brown seed loaf recipe in which only whole wheat flour is used.
- 1⁄2 cup bulgur (bulgar), medium or coarse
- 1 cup boiling water
- 4 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons wheat gluten flour
- 11⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 1⁄4-ounce sachets instant active dry yeast or 1 tablespoon instant active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ⅓ cup oil
- 21⁄4-21⁄2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Place the bulgur and boiling water in a small bowl. Set aside for at least 40 minutes.
- Mix all the remaining ingredients, excluding the warm water and sesame seeds, in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the bulgur with any unabsorbed water.
- Stir in the warm water to form a soft dough. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
- Divide between 2 oiled and lightly floured bread tins (9x5x3 inches).
- Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top.
- Put the tins in a warm place for 40-60 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes and then at 350°F for a further 25-30 minutes.
- Remove from the tins and cool on a cooling rack.