Vegan's Chronicles + [Vegan]

Rustic, nutty, whole wheat bread

Even though I'm now back in Seoul, I still have a couple of Cheonan eats to blog about. There's just been so many things going on that blog posts are getting a little backed up... oops.

Anyway~ whenever I'm home, one of my favorite times of the day is eating breakfast with my parents. It's kind of a family thing. We all sit down at the table and enjoy a filling, healthy breakfast, while talking about the upcoming day, etc. Unlike many other Korean families, we've never done the whole rice-and-kimchi-for-breakfast thing... just the thought of it makes my stomach turn. Instead, my parents are pretty 'Western' when it comes to breakfasts... bread with butter (non dairy), jam, marmite, or peanut butter, loads of fresh fruit, and always English breakfast tea. It's a morning routine. My mom especially loves thick, dense, rustic bread, probably because it reminds her of when we lived in Europe. Anyway, this type of rustic bread is really hard to find in Cheonan, so we decided to attempt our own loaf!

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I've only baked bread a few times before because it always seems like a scary adventure into the unknown. I can never get consistent results and it just takes too long... waiting for it to rise, kneading the dough, waiting again, and then baking etc. Even though one of my favorite smells in the world is that of fresh-baked bread, I'm too impatient to be a bread baker! However, I'm happy to say that things turned out deliciously and it was worth the extra labor.

I got the original recipe for this whole wheat bread from a Korean blogger, but made a few modifications. Instead of using half wheat, half white bread flour, I used only whole wheat flour. I also replaced the pine nuts (too expensive in Korea!) with chopped walnuts, pumpkin seeds and raisins. Even though I used the exact amount of water the recipe stated, the dough was a little dry and tough, probably because I used 100% whole wheat flour, so next time I will add a little more liquid. It still tasted delicious when it was done though! Oh, and since I halved the measurements, I got 1 loaf instead of 2.

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{ rustic, nutty, whole wheat bread }
makes 1 smallish loaf

4g instant dry yeast
1/2 Tbs organic sugar
1/4 tsp blackstrap molasses
50-60ml warm water
50ml organic sugar-free soy milk
215g whole wheat flour
1/2 Tbs canola oil
3/4 tsp salt
30g whole flax seeds (I used toasted golden flax seeds)
30g walnuts, roughly chopped
20g pumpkin seeds
20g raisins, soaked for 30 minutes and drained.

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Korea-grown whole wheat flour (통밀가루). Jenico Instant Yeast, 4g per packet.

Dissolve the sugar, molasses in the warm water, and then add the yeast and give the bowl a little stir. Wait about 10 minutes for the yeast to get bubbly and poofy. In the meantime, mix the rest of your dry ingredients together in a big bowl (flour, salt, seeds and nuts). Once the yeast is activated, mix in the canola oil and soy milk. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, along with the drained raisins (if using), and mix together. You will have to use your hands as the dough will be very thick and tough.

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Knead for about 10-15 minutes. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a damp towel, and place in a warm, draft-free place for about an hour, until the dough doubles in size:

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After the first rise, punch the dough down and knead again for about 5 minutes. Let it rise a second time for about 40 minutes (I waited about an hour).

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Then, roll out the dough til it is about 2cm thick, and begin rolling it up from one end, pressing the front edge down as you go.

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Pinch the seams to seal the roll, turn it over so the seam is underneath, place on your baking tray, and wait another hour for it to rise.

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Sprinkle some flour over the top and make a cut in the top of the dough lengthwise with a sharp knife. Bake it for about 35-40 minutes, at 200C, until it sounds hollow when tapped.

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Fresh outta the oven.

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We couldn't resist cutting a few slices off while it was still warm.

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Here's the loaf, cut up the following morning for breakfast.

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Can you see all the walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and raisins dispersed throughout?

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T'was delicious. I really liked the dense chewiness of it, and especially the nutty flavor from the flax seeds and walnuts.

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It made for a yummy, healthy breakfast, topped with some homemade kumquat jam. :)