This beautiful, old-fashioned whole-wheat loaf is the sort of bread that craves sprouts, grainy mustard, hot house tomatoes, Swiss or slices of Havarti cheese and then some vegetarian fillings or smoked turkey. It makes superb toast.
1 /2 cups warm water
5 51/2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 cups whole-wheat bread flour (or whole wheat all purpose)
1/2 cup warm buttermilk (or water)
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoon’s baker’s caramel*
5 tablespoons canola oil
2-3 cups white unbleached bread flour
½ cup chopped sunflower seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds or oatmeal
*Available at baker suppliers online or use Kitchen Bouquet
Stack two baking sheets together and line the top one with parchment paper. Spray two 9 by 5 inch loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray and place on baking sheets.
In a mixer bowl, hand whisk the water and yeast together and let stand 2-3 minutes to dissolve the yeast. Fold in the whole wheat flour, buttermilk, and then the salt, honey, brown sugar, oil, baker’s caramel and one cup of the white flour and mix briefly. Let the dough stand 15 minutes and then, with a dough hook, knead on slowest speed of mixer, adding in additional white flour as required to get a soft but cohesive, somewhat tacky dough, 8-10 minutes. Fold in sunflower seeds.
Remove the dough hook and spray the dough with non-stick cooking spray. Cover the entire mixer, bowl and all, with a large plastic bag. Let the dough rise, about 45-90 minutes, until almost doubled in size.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and gently deflate. Divide the dough in two. Sprinkle the work surface liberally with sesame seeds or oatmeal. Roll or press each portion on the board and then shape each portion into an oblong loaf and place in bread pans. Alternatively, shape into one or two oval shapes and place on baking sheet to bake free form. Spray the dough with non-stick cooking spray and cover with a large plastic bag and let rise until quite puffy, about 45-90 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake breads for 15 minutes and then reduce temperature to 350 F until it is well browned.
Cool well. Makes two loaves (these freeze well one month)
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