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28 March 2009 @ 02:19 am
Nut'n'honey  
Mike suggested just putting a bunch of spare coffee cups on a ring together and hanging them where I hang my measuring cups since I tend too often just to grab whatever is handy and eye measurements. He was pretty suspicious when he saw me actually measure out amounts for this loaf, I think he thought I was working from a recipe until I went out to grab my notebook to take notes.

I used spelt flour for this. Spelt is a very old grain in the wheat family that's pretty healthy. It's got enough gluten to work fine by itself in a yeast bread, and it's got a slightly sweet, nutty taste. It's lower in total fiber than unbleached white flour, but has 4 times the dietary fiber. It's also fairly high in iron compared to unbleached white wheat flour. You can find spelt flour in any decent health food store or grocery store with a health food section. I used Bob's Red Mill spelt flour.
The mixed nuts are from the 10 lbs of nuts I have, and optional if you don't have a husband who brought home an awful lot of nuts from work. (insert obligatory joke here)
The honey I used is an organic orange blossom honey, but any honey would do.

So.. on with the recipe. Makes one fairly big loaf.
Nut and Honey Bread
1/4 cup warm water
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. yeast or one packet
Mix sugar and water, sprinkle yeast on top and let set for 10 minutes to proof.

1 cup warm milk
2 Tbsp. butter (melted or at least softened, which you can do easily buy putting in the warm milk)
1/3 cup honey
3.5-4 cups spelt flour (or whole wheat would work well too if you can't find spelt)
1/2 cup of finely chopped nuts- optional, I used salted nuts so I didn't add salt
1/2 tsp salt, if you use salted nuts, you can omit.
some oil or butter to coat the loaf during rising.

Mix the milk, honey, butter and salt, and pour into the yeast mixture. Add one cup of flour to the mix, and stir, mix in nuts.
Add 1 1/2 cups of flour and stir in well. It will look like a batter at this point.
Add one cup of flour, and knead adding a little flour at a time until it forms a dough. I wound up using just exactly 4 cups of flour. After the ball of dough is smooth and elastic, knead only for a couple minutes more, spelt flour gluten is a little more fragile than wheat flour gluten so you don't want to over knead.
Oil ball of dough, and put in a covered bowl in a warm place to rise until doubled, about an hour. Punch it down, and form a loaf in a greased bread pan or just form a round on a greased cookie sheet. Oil top of the loaf, and cover and let rise for 45 minutes. Put in a preheated 425° F oven for 30-35 minutes until nice and brown on top.
This makes a nice sweet loaf of bread that tastes really good with butter. I'll let you know later what Mike and E think.