Thursday, February 14

Whole Grain Mixed Berry Bread

Happy Valentines Day!!

I was thinking since it is v-day, I should make something red or pink. Enter berry pink-ish, red-ish flavorful bread. It's better than those sugar cookies that my hubby appeared with while he was "helping" me shop. Hahaha. Okay grocery shopping isn't his thing. I know. I should be thinking sweet romantic thoughts about my spouse. But after 9 valentines days, the jig is up. He can buy me all the flowers he wants. But I know hes still the guy who is going make my life a bit harder, a bit messier, but ALOT more fun. My husband is way more adventurous than I am. Without him I would stay inside with my magazines, books, and wouldn't ever have dreamed I could move to someplace beautiful and warm like California or even attempt the heat of Arizona. Hes the guy who sees a mountain and starts planning a babysitter so we can go hiking. He is one of a kind. Happy v-day to my music loving, bible reading, amazing father, attentive husband, hard working, fast food junkie, somewhat old ( I have to say that he just turned 30 and is still freaked out about it), poetry reading, computer savvy, and romantic at heart husband.  

Okay done with the mushy stuff on to the food.... Yay! Try this you'll love it. It tastes great & looks pretty too.  Note: It can be made in advance (up to 4 days). 

Recipe comes from page 197 Whole Wheat Mixed Berry Bread from the excellent cookbook Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day

3 cups all purpose flour*
1 cup 100% wheat flour*
1 packet  of yeast  3/4 Tbs if using a jar
1/2 Tbs salt, kosher
1/8 cup vital wheat gluten
1 1/8 cup lukewarm water
1/8 cup of honey
1 1/2 cup of mixed frozen berries, defrosted with their juices ( I used organic)
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tbs water)
Raw sugar for sprinkling

Note: The original recipe called for 2 cups of whole wheat white flour and 2 cups of all purpose flour. I didn't have whole wheat white and only had 1 cup of whole wheat.
Worked well.... actually.  The whole wheat didn't make it feel to heavy as sometimes it can do. That was the the only change I made to the recipe besides halving it. 

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a very large 2.5 qt bowl

2. Mix together the water, honey, berries & their juices in a smaller bowl

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients with a large spoon

4. Cover the large bowl with a towel and let it rest at room temperature for 2 hours

5. Dough can be baked at this point or stored in a covered but not airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

6. If baking: Grease a loaf pan with butter, stretch the ball, add a bit of flour if needed to prevent sticking to your hands, place it in the loaf pan and let it rest one more time loosely covered with plastic wrap for 60 minutes

7. If you, like me, refrigerated your dough, Pull it out of the fridge and continue with step 6 increasing the resting time to 1 hr and 45 minutes. 

8. Just before the resting time is complete. Preheat the oven to 375. Just before baking, paint some egg wash on the top of the loaf. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake it for 45-50 minutes. Should be richly brown and firm and sound hallow when tapping it. 

9. It it cool for a few minutes minutes then remove it from the pan using a knife along the sides to make sure it will have a smooth removal. Let it cool a few more minutes before slicing but serve while its still warm. 

My family liked a combination of butter and honey spread on theirs to increase the sweetness. I liked the subtle sweet taste of the berries so I only put butter on mine. Was delicious! 

Makes 1 loaf serves 4-6 people - one or two slices each.
May your day be filled with love, all things pink and red, and all things sweet :) 
Happy valentines day from my Az kitchen to yours!

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