Tuesday 6 December 2011

CC Country grain and soy bread

Breakfast!  People seem to either love it or hate it.  I love it.  Can't leave the house without it.  Even if I am going out to brunch.  For the Cookbook Challenge Breakfast theme I thought of all sort of fancy foods - pancakes, tofu scrambles, sausages, muffins.  Yet I haven't had much time for special breakfasts lately so I thought I would share what I often have for breakfast.  Bread!  Mostly toast!  With promite, peanut butter and/or cheese.

The bread I chose is one from Julia Stafford's Vegetarian CookingJulia Stafford is well known in Australia for her healthy eating cookbooks, especially Taste of Life.  I was pleased to finally try her country grain and soy bread.  It has lots of interesting and healthy ingredients.  She noted that it made great toast and I agree.  The crust was so nubbly with the bulgar wheat that it has a lovely crunch when toasted.

Making the bread wasn't without some challenges.  It gave rise to the following questions:

Q. Is salt necessary in bread dough?

A. The recipe didn't call for any salt.  I spoke to my mum about it.  She said she didn't always use salt in bread.  I know that salt retards the dough rising so I guess this might have risen even faster if I hadn't added some salt.  Even with some salt added, I found this a sweetish bread.

Q. Have supermarkets stopped selling cracked wheat (bulger, bulghar)?

I looked in a couple of supermarkets.  I asked the shelf packers and mostly got gormless replies but one person hunted for it for me and still couldn't find it.  I was surprised how hard it was to find in a supermarket as I thought tabouli was quite a common salad.  Fortunately I live among many Middle Eastern groceries so I could still buy it.  There the main challenge was what sort to buy - fine, medium, coarse, white, wholemeal.  I think I bought fine wholemeal.

Q. Must one have a dough hook to make bread?

Some days it seems I am the only person in the world without a dough hook.  It can be a bit of a challenge with some recipes.  I let my ingredients rest instead of kneading with a dough hook.  Last week I found solace in buying Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf. 

It was quite some time ago that I made this bread so my memories are a bit hazy.  My loaf was a little deflated when it came out of the oven.  I think I let it rise a little too much but maybe it was just my lack of a dough hook.  I meant to add chia seeds because I love them but forgot.  I have added it to the recipe to remind myself next time.

I am sending this bread to YeastSpotting.  This is the weekly round up of bloggers' breads by Susan of Wild Yeast.  If you love your bread like I do, you might like to check out her festive YeastSpotting that will be posted tomorrow.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Cheese & pesto muffins and breakfast routine
This time two years ago: Christening Cake
This time three years ago: St Andrew’s Day Haggis
This time four years ago: Cool Green Spring Soup

Country grain and soy bread
From Julia Stafford's Vegetarian Cookbook

14g dried yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
1 tbsp honey (I used agave)
2 cups white bread flour
1 1/2 cups wholemeal plain flour
1/2 cup soy flour
1/2 cup cracked wheat
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp salt (optional)

Combine yeast, lukewarm water, honey and flours.  Knead with a dough hook for about 5 minutes.  (I don't have a dough hook so I left my mixture to rest for 30 minutes and then kneaded it but next time I will add all the ingredients together.)  Add seeds and cracked wheat and salt if using.  Knead another few minutes until bread is soft and supple.  Return dough to scraped out bowl.  Cover with a damp tea towel and let rise for about 30 minutes until it has doubled in size.  Punch down and knead briefly.  Place in greased bread tin, cover and set aside to rise another 30 minutes.  Bake in 230 C oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.  Cool on a rack.

On the Stereo: 
Equinoxe: Jean-Michel Jarre


  1. I'm the same way! Can't leave the house without breakfast.

    there's nothing quite like waking up to a good slice of homemade bread...this looks great!

  2. THat is some pretty perfect looking bread you have there!

  3. I wish I ate breakfast more but I don't like eating so early in the morning. Breakfast at night however is a different thing, I love that! :P

  4. I can't survive without my brekky either! Cereals have never been my thing, all I need is a bit of toast and/or a smoothie to get me going. This bread looks great, I love all of the grains and seeds but it does sound a bit sweet for my taste. I don't have a dough hook either so you're definitely not alone there!

  5. Your loaves look fantastic. Like you, I love breakfast and I always have to have something if I'm off to a brunch.

  6. Your bread always looks so delicious, far better than most bakeries! I want to reach in and steal some :)

  7. Nice to know this sort of baking is possible without dough hooks and the like - it looks like a great recipe choice and I would happily swap my fruit / yoghurt / cereal breakfasts to try this!

  8. Thanks Joanne - exactly how I feel - love it when I make bread and wake up knowing it is there for breakfast

    Thanks Lisa - very kind

    Thanks Lorraine - never think to have breakfast at night - ie cereal - but love the idea of breakfast for dinner - ie fry ups

    Thanks Mel - nice to know others survive without a dough hook - I'm not a big cereal fan - occasionally get into a muesli and yoghurt phase but love my toast

    Thanks hotly spiced - brunch is just a second breakfast isn't it!

    Thanks Katie - I'm not sure I would claim better than most bakeries but I think my home made bread beats what supermarkets have to offer (actually I heard that bakeries in Australia are taking on the supermarkets cheap bread but claiming it is not that great)

    Thanks Kari - it is possible - just sometimes needs a bit of lateral thinking to get around my lack of a dough hook

  9. This is lovely looking crusty bread - and nothing beats freshly made bread for brekky.

  10. I know we live in different countries, but my regular grocery store doesn't carry bulgur either. I think you definitely don't need a dough hook to make bread, you just knead by hand instead. I used to use a dough hook when I was scared of bread. I love the sound of this bread that's crunchy when toasted!


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