Whole Grain Rye Bread with Carrots, Pistachio, Sunflower Seeds, Flaxseed and Carrots
I am really having a German moment here. First of all, yesterday, I was completely snowed in, again. This time, however, I was prepared. And one of the things which I did was buy some good bread making ingredients.
And I might have just made one of the best breads -- ever.
But before getting into the actual bread, let me say there are a couple of things which can make me homesick -- for Germany. The number one thing I miss from Germany is the bread. While Italian cuisine is perhaps my favorite, Italian bread products are very low on my list of things which I like about this country.
The main problem is that Italian bread products are almost exclusively made out of either white flour or hard wheat flour, both processed and stripped of the germ. Even if a bread product claims to be whole grain, or "integrale", it really contains over 70% white flour, which ruins it as a whole grain product. Bread products are made more delicious by adding olive oil, which also adds calories. Many Italian breads contain no salt, which to me robs the bread of all flavor.
In Germany, things are a little different. A piece of bread is a meal. Normal bread, just the every day stuff, is 60% rye flour and 40% wheat. If you spend a little more, you can reduce the wheat content to zero -- and in the process gain sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, nuts, linseed as well as spelt and oat flour. There are few things in the world more gastronomically satisfying to me than German bread. The very best in all of Germany, in my opinion is the Effenberger group of organic bakeries in Hamburg. All of their breads are made with no white flour. Almost all of them are made without yeast, using instead sour dough as the raising method. I can't even describe how good these breads are.
So anyway, yesterday I set about making some bread. I used one cup of whole wheat flour and three cups of rye. To this I added a handful of pistachio nuts, a handful of sesame seeds, a spoonful of coriander seeds, a spoonful of flaxseed and two shredded carots. I mixed a packet of yeast with warm water, a teaspoon of honey and a half - cup of natural yogurt. I kneaded it well, and let it rise twice next to the wood stove. The result was fantastic. It is moist from the carrots, and the kick of the coriander seeds is just perfect. It is even great as it is, with no butter or jam. This morning I spread a little tahini on it. Just perfect.
I am going to set about reducing the wheat content and adding spelt flour. Spelt tends to dry out quickly, so I might adjust and use more carrot next time.