This evening I made a couple loaves of honey-whole wheat bread, and as is sometimes the case–like tonight–I pinched off a piece of the dough to make a pizza for dinner (some believe that this was actually the origin of pizza…the bakers made themselves a little something to eat while the rest of the bread rose). Anyhow, I looked in my fridge and saw that I had a small bag of fresh spinach, so I cooked it with oil and garlic (no surprise, right?); to see how to do this click here. I also layered the pizza with tomato sauce and three cheeses. And lastly I topped it with a layer of thinly sliced raw onion, which caramelized nicely as the pie baked (yum). Anyhow, the recipe for the bread is below. If you want to see it being made–with step-by-step instructions–click here. The recipe listed is with maple instead of honey, just substitute with honey (the maple would have too strong of a flavor for pizza). It makes two or three loaves…or two loaves and a pie. This is just a suggested recipe, use your imagination and put on it what you happen to have in your fridge…or at least what you really like. You may be surprised how good it is.
Whole Wheat Maple-Oatmeal Bread
Makes 2 or 3 loaves
6 cups whole wheat flour, divided
2 cups oatmeal, plus additional for coating
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
3 ½ cups water, divided
2 tablespoons instant yeast, divided
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Separate the ingredients into two bowls using this ratio: In one bowl combine 4 cups of flour, two cups of oatmeal, the wheat gluten, and 2 ½ cups of water; stir until just combined. In the second bowl combine the remaining 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of yeast, and 1 cup of water; stir until just combined. Cover the bowls and allow the ingredients to rest and begin fermenting for at least an hour, but up to 12. Then combine the contents of bowl bowls into the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the remaining tablespoon of yeast, along with the olive oil, maple syrup, and salt. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes, then cover and allow to rise for one hour. Transfer the dough to a work surface, cut it into two or pieces, gently shape it into loaves. Dust the counter with extra oatmeal and roll the loaves in it, gently pressing oatmeal into the surface of the raw dough. Place the loaves into oiled loaf pans, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 45 minutes. Preheat an oven to 425F. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on. Remove the bread from their pans and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.