It’s been pretty hot lately, so I haven’t been in much of a bread baking mood. But I recently made up a huge batch of gazpacho and it’s just not the same if you don’t have some good bread to go alongside a good soup – whether it is a hot soup or a cold one. So, I looked into my pantry and started to put together a couple of nice, hearty loaves of Honey and Flaxseed Bread.
This bread is a little bit sweet and a little bit nutty, with a nice whole grain flavor to it. I attribute its whole grain heartiness to the combination of flaxseeds and whole wheat flour in the dough, although the bread is moister and less crumbly than a completely whole grain bread might be because I included some all purpose flour to try and keep prevent it from getting too heavy. Honey really speeds up browning when it comes to baked goods, so this bread will develop a fairly thick, dark crust as it bakes. If your crust starts to get too dark (i.e. if it starts to burn in spots), simply tent a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the loaf and let it continue to bake.
The recipe given below makes one medium-sized loaf. It doubles very well if you’re going to want more than one, and all the instructions are exactly the same as given, though the risen dough should be shaped into two loaves before baking. I prefer to have the option to make just one loaf at a time unless I know I’m going to be baking for a crowd, so I’m leaving the recipe as written for a single loaf of bread.
Honey and Flaxseed Bread
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup honey
3 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water, warm (100-110F), divided
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 – 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1 1/2 tsp salt
In a large bowl, stir together yeast with 1/4 cup of the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Stir in honey, flaxseeds, vegetable oil, remaining water and 1 cup white whole wheat flour, mixing until smooth.
Add in 1 cup of the all purpose flour, along with the salt, and stir until a dough starts to come together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add additional flour gradually until dough is no longer sticky. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-8 minutes, adding additional flour as needed.
Shape into a round, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
When dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and gently shape it into a slightly oblong loaf.
Bake at 400F for about 35 minutes, until the bread is a very dark brown, and an internal read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads 200F.
Cool bread on a wire rack before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf; recipe can easily be doubled.