Monday, December 14, 2009

Dakota Bread

This is one of my favorite breads. Everyone who eats it loves it too, so I have never actually gotten a picture of the finished product. It's gone that fast. So here it is on the dough hook, although this actually is a little drier than I usually make it (as in the sides of the bowl are usually not that clean, since it is a moderately sticky dough with all the whole-wheat flour. just a heads-up if you don't work a lot with whole wheat flour--your finished dough will be a lot stickier than a white flour dough).

Anyway. This bread is called Dakota Bread, and it is SO good. It's a really flavorful bread with a great texture and crumb, plus it is studded with all kinds of goodies so it has a very artisanal feel. And like I said before, total crowd-pleaser (in fact, I'm posting it here by request).

Credit for this bread goes to Gena Petersen, a friend of my mom's.

Dakota Bread
2 c. warm water
1/3 c. honey
3 T. walnut or sesame oil (I just use extra virgin olive)
4 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. white flour
1/3 c. dry milk
1 t. salt
2 T. yeast
1/2 c. each sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, pepetas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 c. (at least! I like more) dried cherries or Craisins
1 T. each millet, poppyseed, flax, sesame seeds

Mix water and honey. Sprinkle yeast over water and allow to proof. Add oil to water. Stir milk, flour, and salt into water (I like to add all the wheat flour first and let it knead for awhile to really work the gluten). Add nuts, seeds, and fruit to dough and knead 10 minutes (or just until it looks "right"). Allow to rise until double; punch down, shape into round loaf. Let rise on greased baking sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes (35 in my oven) at 350.

The seeds, nuts, and fruit in the recipe are just guidelines--add whatever you have on hand or sounds tasty to you! I make this differently every time. In the loaves I made this evening for a party, I used sunflower seeds, pepitas, Craisins, millet, and flax, and I used probably a quarter-cup each of millet and flax rather than just a tablespoon, because a tablespoon really gets lost between two loaves. The best place to buy sunflower seeds, pepitas, millet, flax, etc. is probably your local health food store, where you can buy in bulk rather than teeny little boxes.