Wednesday, February 06, 2008

"Best" Brown Bread

Norene's Best Brown Bread
Adapted from Norene's Healthy Kitchen

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Bread machine just for kneading the dough: 1½ hours
Second rising: 30 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes (or until bread sounds hollow when you tap it with your knuckles)

Ingredients: I used a bread machine so it’s important that the ingredients are added to the machine in the following order:
½ cup 1% milk (Norene uses skim) at room temperature
½ cup water (room temperature)
1 tbsp soft margarine (room temperature)
1½ tsp salt
¼ cup molasses
2 ¼ cups home-style white bread flour (Norene uses all purpose)
1 cup rye flour
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ¼ tsp bread machine yeast

1. Place all the ingredients in a bread maker in the order given and set to “dough”.

2. Remove dough from the bread machine, shape into a loaf and place in a lightly greased 9x5 loaf pan. Cover and let rise until double (about 30 minutes or so). It’s cold and drafty in my kitchen (open plan great rooms are lovely usually, but not for finding warm places for dough to rise) so I preheat the oven to 200°F/90°C (lowest setting) and as soon as the oven reaches that temperature I turn it off, leave the door open for a minute or two, add the covered loaf , close the door and let it sit until it doubles. Norene’s great tip…it’s ready if you stick your finger deeply into the loaf and it doesn’t bounce right back.

3. REMOVE THE BREAD FROM THE OVEN!!! Then preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Remove the bread from the loaf pan (this is my way, Norene leave’s hers in). Form a longer loaf and score 3 times diagonally across the top. This should be shallow cuts. That way the bread sort of reminds me of the Montreal rye bread I miss. Place the loaf on parchment paper on a heavy baking sheet and place in the center of the oven for 30 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when you knock it – another great Norene tip)

Last great tip…if you want the crust crunchy, spray a little water on the bottom of the oven once or twice during baking. The hot mist does its magic somehow.

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