Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Busy People's Bread

I'm sore! Really sore!!! My trainer is happy! Really Happy!!! I've been killing myself at the gym and that has put a huge smile on his face. He has set me an Iron Man Challenge and I have accepted his challenge, not because I want to push myself beyond my current fitness level, but because I am BONKERS!

In order to restore some sanity back into my life, I decided to bake some bread (isn't that what every one does?) A bread that would restore both my mental and physical health. A bread full of life-affirming things like  whole wheat flour, honey (Attiki honey from Greece, the mother of all honeys), chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sour dough starter. Things that make you feel good and give you the energy to face another 100 crunches and 80 military presses.


I have a pet, it lives in my fridge and I feed it flour and water every week. You're really staring to worry about me now, aren't you?  It's ok, I'm fine... really! I'm talking about my sour dough starter. I have my own sour dough starter (because, as we have already established, I am completely nuts) and I use it in lot's of the breads I bake. If you don't have a sour dough starter, the original recipe just uses yeast which will still give you a great result. 


Look at this gorgeous thing. It's practically glowing with health. But it's also delicious and in my book, delicious bread is one of the things that make life good and totally worth running a few extra kilometres for... Yep, I really did just say that!

I'm so pleased with this healthful, satisfying loaf that I could give myself a high five. Actually, it'll have to be a low five as I'm so sore I can't raise my arms above shoulder level at the moment.

Busy People's Bread
from Annabel Langbein's The Free Range Cook
makes 1 loaf

1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons honey
1 cup cold water
3 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast granules
1/4 sour dough starter (if you have it, leave it out if you don't)
1 1/2 cups high-grade white flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup white chia seeds
1/4 cup LSA meal (a mix of ground linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds)
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven to just 80 degrees C (fan-forced) and grease and line a 20cm x10cm loaf pan with baking paper.

In a large bowl, mix the boiling water with the honey to dissolve. Add the cold water, yeast and sour dough starter (if using) and put to one side for 10 minutes.

Whisk the yeast mixture then add the white and whole wheat flour, salt, sun flower seeds, chia seeds and LSA meal and mix with a large spoon until evenly combined. (The mixture will be quite wet).

Pour mixture into the pan, spread evenly and flatten the top. Sprinkle the pumpkins over the top and run a sharp knife through the top of the loaf in at least 3 or 4 places so it rises evenly without splitting.

Bake for 20 minutes at 80 degrees C (The loaf will rise in the oven during this time, meaning you don't have to wait for it to "prove" like most yeasted breads). After 20 minutes, turn the oven up to 210 degrees C (fan-forced) and bake for another 30-40 minutes. When cooked, the loaf will sound hollow when tapped. Turn out while it is still hot and cool on a cooling rack.

My trainer would probably call it an excuse to eat more carbs, I'm calling it recovery food. But what would I know? I'm just a crazy, bread-baking, iron-pumping maniac.

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