Sunday, January 24, 2010

Whole Wheat Bread with Flax Seeds

Thursday night, after making that calzone and cinnamon roll dinner, I attended an activity sponsored by our church about Heart Healthy Eating.  Needless to say I was instantly reminded of the unhealthy dinner I had just eaten, and vowed to do better.  Actually, I'm pretty healthy most of the time, eating mostly whole-grains, and a fair amounts of fruits and veggies, etc.  ANYWAY, the one thing that I left with was the benefits of Flax Seeds.

Flax seeds are apparently the best source of Omega-3 fatty acids out there, better than salmon or walnuts or anything else by a large margin.  Omega's are the ones that improve your good (HDL) cholesterol and lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol.  Flax seeds also have lots of fiber, and other scientific things that I can't remember but are very good for us.  So on Friday when I went to the store I bought some flax seeds.

First thing to know about flax seeds is that they can jam up your very expensive wheat grinder, and if you don't have a husband who can fix things that's very bad news.  The good thing is that a coffee grinder grinds them perfectly without any jamming.  First lesson learned!

So I decided to make some whole wheat bread with both ground flax seeds as well as some whole flax seeds, just to see how it would work out.  Honestly, this is the best bread I've ever tasted.  I love it.  We ate half a loaf with dinner last night and the rest of it is already gone today.  I'm going to make more tomorrow, but this time double the recipe so I can eat it for longer than a day.  So here it is!

Whole Wheat Bread with Flax Seeds

1 cup scalded milk (scalded means you bring it to a boil, then immediately remove from heat)
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 T canola oil
1 T yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 egg
2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup ground flax seeds (flax meal)
3 T whole flax seeds

In a large bowl, combine the scalded milk, honey, salt, and oil.  Let sit until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.  In a small bowl, combine the yeast and warm water.  Let sit 5 minutes.  Add the egg to the milk mixture and mix well, then add the yeast mixture and stir again.  Add the flours and flax meal and mix until a soft dough forms, then add the whole flax seeds and stir until evenly distributed.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5-8 minutes.  Shape into a smooth ball and place in a greased bowl.  Brush the top of the dough with oil, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1- 1 1/2 hours.  Punch dough down, then shape into a loaf shape.  Place in a greased loaf pan and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let rise in warm place until double, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Bake at 375F for 30 minutes.  Makes one loaf, though recipe is easily doubled or tripled.

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