Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Whole Wheat Quinoa Bread


We are in the final countdown before the big move to the lakehouse for good!  I can't wait!!! It's been a real challenge figuring out what I want to keep and what I need to let go.    For example, I am downsizing most of my cookbook collection.  Check out what I have for sale in my Etsy shop     I am also trying to draw down my pantry staples.    In the height of the pandemic, I hoarded yeast and then never really made too much bread.   Also, I had a lot of whole wheat flour, and some quinoa from a long ago recipe experiment.   Time to use it up!

I found a recipe in NYT for a quinoa bread, but it needed a lot of help to make it better.   Here's how I made it:

Whole Wheat Quinoa Bread

two loaves, about 16 slices in each loaf

for the sponge

2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast

3 cups lukewarm water

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups whole-wheat flour

for the bread

2/3 cups  quinoa

1 1/3 cup water

¼ cup canola oil

1 scant tablespoon salt

3 to 4 cups whole-wheat flour, as needed

1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water for egg wash

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

In a large bowl, combine the yeast and water and stir until dissolved. Stir in the honey and molasses. Stir in the flours, 1 cup at a time, until well combined Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, cover the bowl with plastic and leave to rise in a warm spot for one hour, until bubbly.

Meanwhile, make the quinoa.  Rinse the quinoa: Pour the quinoa into a fine mesh colander and rinse under running water for at least 30 seconds. Drain well. This step removes any bitterness on the outside of the quinoa (caused by naturally occurring saponins). Combine the rinsed quinoa and water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat a bit to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 10 minutes Reduce heat as time goes on to maintain a gentle simmer. Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes.  Allow to cool

Add the oil to the sponge and fold in, using a large spoon or spatula. Add the salt and fold in. Fold in the quinoa, then fold in 2 cups of the whole-wheat flour. Place another 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour on your work surface, then scrape out the dough. Use a bench scraper to help fold the dough over while kneading until it has absorbed the flour on your work surface. Flour your hands, and knead the dough for 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary, until it is elastic and springs back when you press it with your finger. It will be dense and sticky. Shape the dough into a ball. Rinse and dry your bowl, and coat it with oil. Place the dough in it, then flip the dough over so that it is coated with oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and set in a warm spot to rise for one hour or until doubled.

Punch down the dough, cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise again for 45 minutes to an hour.

Divide the dough into two parts, and shape into loaves. Place half of the sesame seeds on your work surface, and gently roll the rounded side of one loaf over them so that they stick. Repeat with the remaining sesame seeds and the other loaf. Oil two 9-by-5-inch bread pans, and place the loaves in the pans, first seam side up, then seam side down. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until the surface of the loaves rises above the edges of the bread pans.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Gently brush the loaves with egg wash. Using a sharp knife, cut two or three 1/2-inch-deep slashes across the top of each loaf. If this causes the loaves to deflate, let them sit for another 15 to 20 minutes. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, The bread is done when it is golden brown and responds to tapping with a hollow sound. Remove from the pans and cool on a rack.