Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lacey's Thank Gawd It Turned Out Sundried Tomato 'n Carmelized Onion Sprouted Grain Bread

Bread. The final baking frontier. To many, me included, baking bread is a daunting task. Hell to be honest baking anything is a daunting task for me. I can make white banana bread. I'm beginning to think it is a "gift from God" to have that ability. Don't ask my how I do it either, cuz I haven't a clue...I have waited until the bananas are so freaking stinky they make me gag, and following my mothers recipe to a T, the shit still turns out white. At least I can take solace in the fact that I AM NOT ALONE. Thus, YOU are not alone either if you too have turned out white banana bread (although I am sure that I am a rarity in that regard), burnt cookies or just go for the Pillsbury can instead of making biscuts from scratch.

For a long time I gave up on baking. I just didn't do it. But my three year old daughter does much better when she doesn't eat wheat or too much dairy (and by better I mean she doesn't get ear infection after ear infection), so I've made the 110 mile trek to Whole Foods to stock up on gluten free stuff, soy yogurt, rice pasta and gads of other highly priced "non wheat" products. And about six plus months ago I picked up the book Essential Eating Sprouted Baking by Janie Quinn. I skimmed it once I brought it home and then it sat on the shelf for quite a while. I mean, it was about baking. Shudder...Baking.

Luckily I belong to a snazzy group of Four Chicks who encourage each other in the kitchen, even though we recently confessed to eating a shit ton of halloween candy early, and now here I sit typing up a freaking blog about baking bread. Go figure.

Since I'm supposed to be the Organic Chick in the group, here's what I got for the week:

I am using both buckwheat flour and sprouted wheat flour. Buckwheat is gluten free. That's really all I know about it, except for the fact that the consistency is like silt. It is super fine and not fluffy like regular flour at all. Sprouted flour is pretty cool stuff. Due to the way the grain is...processed...for lack of a better word, sprouted flour digests more like a vegetable than a starch. And from what I understand some people who have a gluten intolerance can eat sprouted grain products without issue. The word "enriched" does not come into play with sprouted flour. At all. Whatsoever. For that, we loves it much. (Read more about it here:, or google sprouted flour). Unfortunately sprouted flour is freaking expensive, and I've only been able to buy it online.

I'm also using organic milk, organic olive oil, organic sucranat, organic onion and garlic.

1/2 lbs total sundried tomatoes diced, sauteed onion and roasted garlic (I used my handy dandy weigher thingy)
1 1/2 olive oil
2 1/4 active dry yeast
2 tsp sucranat
1/4 cup milk
3 1/4 cup sprouted flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
2 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp herbs de provence (rosemary and thyme)
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese


Chop the onion and saute it. Set it aside to cool.

While the onion is cooking, place water in large bowl, add sucranat and stir to disolve. Next add the yeast to the bowl and let sit for ten minutes until it bubbles. Add milk to bowl and stir. (I used a Kitchenaide mixer)

Take out two cups of sprouted flour and start adding it to the wet mix slowly.

In a second bowl combine 1 1/4 cup of sprouted flour with the buckwheat flour, salt and dried herbs. Add this flour mix to the other slowly..I read something about salt slowing down the yeast processing, you don't want to add it too soon, so add it to the mix in the second batch of flour, blah blah blah -so I'm trying it.

Once you've added all the flour into the bowl and it is mixed up, add the onion/tomato/garlic and mix. Now add the cheese and mix. The dough at this point should be sticky - like when you put your hand to a Stick It Note sticky.

Place the dough on a lightly floured counter and start kneeding. Push the dough away from you with the heel of your hand, pull the flap back over, turn 1/4 turn and repeat. Do this for like 8-10 minutes. I set my kitchen timer so I wouldn't forget. At the end of all that, the dough should be elasticy and your hands should hurt. At least mine did. And bakers do this for a living? My God!

It should look like this:


Next coat a clean bowl with some olive oil, plop the dough in it, cover with saran wrap and let it sit. It needs to rise double its size. It took mine about and hour and a half to do that, and I had the oven going baking a butternut squash.


Now take out some aggression, but not too much, and punch the dough a couple times to alieve some gas. You'll hear a fizz/whiz sound when you do it.
Take the dough out, shape the bread into a round and put it on a lightly floured baking sheet. Cover (I used a warm towel that I nuked..yes I really did), and let it double in size again.

Preheat the oven, if you haven't already, to 450. Once the dough has doubled in size add some nice salt to the top with more herbs de provence, put it in the oven. Bake for ten minutes, reduce heat to 400 and let it cook.

Wa-la: BREAD!


The hubby and I both agree that the bread is damn good. The sundried tomato flavor is strong, but the onion and cheese balance it out nicely. The original recipe I used called for bread flour, and since I subbed that out for sprouted flour I added some sucranat, also not called for. It was a total guess on my part, but after studying up the bread recipes in Essential Eating, every bread recipe in that book calls for maple syrup or sugar (which can be subbed for sucranat and vice versa) and I've read on a few websites that sugar can help the yeast out - so I tried it. Go big, or throw it away I guess. And it worked.
I still think I might have been a bit too impatient on the second round of dough rising. I know that I definitely let the dough double in size the first time - I took pics for this blog and looked back at them to see (ha ha)..but I might have listened to the timer in my head a little too closely the second time. Next time I think I will be a bit more patient. Either way, the flavor of the bread is fantastic. And now that I've been successful in making bread, I will be ordering more expensive sprouted flour and trying even more recipes.
If there is any left over, I'll be using this bread for our sandwich blog next week. As it is such a strongly flavored bread, it will surely be a challenge attempting to pair it with veggies and/or meat to be successful. Looking forward to it!


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