Do you also have these childhood memories, where your mum took you with her in that traditional bakery, in your neighborhood on Sunday morning, to buy freshly baked bread? And till you reached home, you had picked half the bread loaf? Well, you can relive those moments, by baking bread at home. It is super easy and your home will smell deliciously all day.
Did you, also, know that by using whole grain flour (or whole grain pasta, brown rice, etc.), you can improve your eating habits dramatically? Let me explain you why; non-wholegrain food (white flour, white pasta, white rice, etc.) when eaten sky rocket the circulation of glucose (sugar) in the blood, giving you a feeling of fulfillment for 1-2 hours, and energy depleting you afterwards. The feeling of exhaustion comes from the explosion in the production of insulin, that follows the one of glucose, in order to bring down the latter’s levels in the blood. Apart from the fatigue feeling, the insulin bursts can be inflammatory in long-term basis (which means, that they can create internal wounds). Whole grain food, however, increase gradually the glucose levels in blood, which keeps the insulin levels low, and release their energy slowly (keeping you content for longer than 2 hours). So now you know why whole grain food, is far more beneficial than the non-whole grain ones.
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Ingredients (for 1 loaf):
- 1 kilo of whole grain flour (if not, go for white flour)
- 1 tablespoon of yeast
- 1 tea spoon of sugar
- 2 tea spoons of salt
- lukewarm water
- 1/2 of a cup of flax, sesame and sunflower seeds
- 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- In a large bowl, add all the flour. Add the salt, the seeds and the thyme (and any other spice you wish) and mix them well.
- On top of the "mountain" of flour, make a small hole and add the yeast, sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of lukewarm water (caution, if the water is too war, can kill the yeast.In that case the dough won't grow). Stir gently the yeast and the sugar and wait for the yeast to activate (when it starts creating bubbles in 2-3 minutes, it is ready).
- With your (clean) hand stir the yeast mixture to distribute it as evenly as possible inside the flour.
- Add the oil and the water (slowly) and begin to knead the dough. Don't add all the water at once, as the dough might get very watery, requiring more floor to be restored, which will destroy the analogies. When your dough become a ball and its walls don't stick on your hands, it is ready for the next step.
- Cover the bowl with a clean towel and place it next to a heater or choose the air option in the oven (at 40C-50C degrees) for 20 minutes. Wait until the dough gets double in size.
- Take the baking pan, and apply some oil in its walls. While you take the dough gently out of the bowl, knead it a little bit in the air by taking the ball ends and sticking them on its bottom. Afterwards place it in the baking pan. Cover the bread with the towel again, and let it "sit" for another 20 minutes in the condition you had it before (it will grow again).
- When ready, sprinkle its surface with a little water (do not push the dough, it will shrink), flour and extra seeds. Preheat the oven to 180C degrees in the up and down option and when heats up, put the bread inside. The baking rack should be below the oven's middle level. Bake for 40 minutes.
- When ready (do the trick with the toothpick: dip a toothpick/knife in the bread, and if dough doesn't stick on it the bread is baked) take it out and cover it with the towel until it cools down. Doesn't you home smell deliciously? Try not to eat half the loaf with fresh butter, it happens to me every time! :D Enjoy!
Credits | Texts & Photos: Despina Kortesidou