Monday, October 29, 2007

Harvest Bread

Prep: 80 minutes, plus baking
Yield: 10-12 servings

2 tbsp. active dry yeast
1-1/4 cups warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. light molasses
6 tbsp. butter, softened
3 cups whole wheat flour
3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped raisins
1/4 cup grated carrot
1 egg
Dash of salt

Combine the yeast, warm water, and sugar in a large bowl and let sit for 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, salt, molasses, and butter. Stir well and add to yeast mixture. Slowly add the whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it on a floured surface, adding more all-purpose flour as necessary to keep the dough from getting too sticky. Knead in the nuts, seeds, apricots, raisins, and grated carrot. Try to distribute the treats evenly through the dough.

When the dough feels smooth after about 10 minutes of kneading, form it into a ball and coat with butter. Place the ball into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. After about an hour and a half, the dough should double in bulk. Punch down the dough, divide it into two loaves, and place in buttered 8-1/4 inch loaf pans. The loaves should be left to rise again for about 45 minutes. Beat together the egg, water, and salt for the egg wash. Brush the loaves with the glaze, then bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. The loaves should sound hollow when you tap the bottom of the pan.

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