Sunday, January 18, 2009

:: Goals Vs. Resolutions and Some Crazy Good Bread ::

We here at the Scarpace house have decided to get healthy.  I guess you could say it's our New Year's Resolution, but since I don't really buy into the whole "resolutions" hoopla, I think I will just refer to it as our goal for 2009.  I am trying not to focus too much on losing weight - I am pretty sure that will be a wonderful side effect of our new healthy eating habits.  Hope springs eternal, right?
Since all of the day time television shows are focusing on losing weight and getting in shape, I have heard a ton of information lately about healthy foods... or at least what we think are healthy foods.  I was under the impression that the bread in the grocery store labeled "100% Whole Wheat" was actually really healthy and super good for you.  But I found out, thanks to Rachael Ray, that most of those supposedly "whole wheat" breads contain high-fructose corn syrup, which can actually reek havoc on your blood sugar levels - not to mention totally destroy your entire attempt at eating healthy.  Plus, there's a whole list of ingredients in "healthy" bread that you can't even pronounce.  
So, I took to the internet and did some research on baking whole wheat bread and found a recipe.  I put  my laptop on the kitchen island and proceeded to embark on an 18-hour journey that resulted in two flat, but very tasty, loaves of bread.  See, I am not a baker.  But I can follow directions, so I thought baking bread would be "no big deal, right?" Wrong.  It's a process... a process that requires accurate measuring and patience as things take time to "rise."  I think I counted about ten times both Jason and Ben asked "is the bread ready yet?"  
"NO!"  I barked... "It has to DOUBLE in size before I move it to the bread pans where it has to RISE and top the pan by an inch!"  Like I said, baking bread requires patience, and those of you who know me, know I have very little patience to work with.
Even though it took me the better part of an entire day, I did manage to get the bread baked. And it was good.  Actually, it was very good.  I think we were all surprised.  Needless to say we had a lot of poached eggs on toast for breakfast and panini's for lunch, but they were good.  I was really proud of myself.
So this morning I woke up, started my bread again, and I must say that everything went much smoother.  I made a fraction of the mess I did last week, and everything is rising just perfectly. And I am enjoying some time on the computer and a glass of Diet Dr. Pepper while I wait for the bread to do its thing and grow.  Look at me!  Look at me with my new found patience!   Yep, 2009 is gearing up to be one great year!

Here is the recipe.  I found the original recipe on (it was posted by Nita Crabb and called "Simple Whole Wheat Bread.")  She used about 5 cups of white bread flour in her recipe.  I followed her recipe exactly the first time I made it, but decided that I would use all whole wheat flour instead and incorporate the flax seeds, sunflower seeds and oats.

  • Mel's Super Healthy, Patience-Promoting 100% Whole Wheat Bread
  • Ingredients
  • 3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 8 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 3 tablespoons oats
  • 3 tablespoons flax seed 


  1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups whole wheat flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
  2. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Stir in sunflower seeds, oats and flax seeds. Once combined, move the dough to your stand mixer, or flour a workspace on your counter to knead the dough.  Work in more of the whole wheat flour and knead the dough until it is not real sticky - just pulling away from the sides of the mixing bowl or counter.  It should still feel sticky to touch.  This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of flour (I generally use about 3 cups during this process).  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  3. Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.  Or, you can form the dough into a loaf shape on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter when done to prevent crust from getting hard. I actually use much less butter - after all, the goal is "healthy" bread.  Cool completely and then wrap in plastic wrap then foil.  The bread gets better as it sets.  Plus, it also gets easier to slice.

Just a side note on this recipe.  I wanted to make my bread just a little more healthy, so I incorporated some soy flour into the mixture.  As a general rule, you should work in soy flour so that it only comprises about 15% of your flour mixture.  So, you could actually place two tablespoons into the bottom of your measuring cup before you measure the whole wheat flour. 
As for the sunflower seeds, flax seeds and oats... if you are lucky enough to live near an HEB, you can get them in small quantities (and much cheaper) in the bulk foods area.  I am not sure about other grocery stores, but I bet if they have a bulk foods section, you will be able to find them.
Happy Healthy Baking!!

1 comment:

~B said...

I just now found your blog. Yay!

Speaking of inspiration... (My closet is clean. Ahhhhhh...)

I like the use of the word goals. Much more than resolutions. Those never work for me.

Here's to a healthy lifestyle!