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Monday, June 14, 2010

Suzanne's Flax Bread

There are so many different types of bread out there and this recipe is a sure-fire success. It's now a stand-by in my kitchen since it's so easily adaptable and convenient. The dough rises either overnight or all day, making it perfect to fit into any schedule. I usually make the dough in the morning and bake it at night since by the time evening comes and the kids are asleep I'm ready to go to sleep myself. I used to do all this baking/cooking during Mister M's nap times, but now having two children, I find that I have to be willing to do everything while he's awake since otherwise I'd never get anything done. He's been fascinated by the mixer for a while (he has my old littler one to play with, unplugged of course), so now we do my baking together. It takes longer, but resolves the whining-child-at-my-feet issue I was having.

My sister came out to visit when I had the new baby and she loved this bread so I'm re-naming it for her.

Suzanne's Flax Bread
Makes 4 loaves


4 c. warm water
1/2 tbsp. traditional yeast
2 c. milk (I use homo)
3 c. whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. honey
10-12 c. all purpose flour
2 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. ground flax seed


Mix water and yeast. Stir to dissolve, then add milk. Stir in the whole wheat flour, it'll be quite lumpy, but don't worry about it. Add your honey and stir, then add about 4 cups of the all purpose flour and mix until it becomes a smooth batter.

Add the salt and oil, mixing after each addition. Add the flax seed and another 4-5 cups of flour. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth and elastic dough. I've done this both by hand and in my mixer, it works well either way.

Place in a large lightly oiled bowl to rise. During the summer I let it rise on top of my fridge, but in the frigid Canadian winter I put it in the oven and leave the oven light on for some warmth. Let rise overnight or 8-12 hours, whatever is most convenient.

Punch down dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and using a pastry scraper or a sharp knife cut the dough into four pieces. Working with one piece at a time, leaving the others covered with a towel, shape dough into a loaf and place it in your pan. Leave to rise 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400F. Bake loaves for 10 minutes, then turn down temperature to 375F without opening the door. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate pans and bake for another 20 minutes. Loaves should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Brush tops with margarine, but wait until mostly cooled to slice.

This makes great toast because it's nice and dense without being too heavy. No huge airpockets for your peanut butter to melt into. Sorry I don't have a photo, I'll take one next time!

ETA: Found a photo of the dough before I put it aside to rise.

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