Friday, March 16, 2012

Homemade Apple Nut Bread

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There is just something so wonderful about making homemade bread. I love the kneading: It makes me feel like Caroline Ingalls in my little house on the prairie. Okay, so I don't have a little house, and there is no prairie, but when that bread comes out of the oven, I get a country feeling every time.

This particular loaf of bread was made with unbleached white flour, whole wheat flour, oat flour, freshly squeezed apple juice, fresh apple bits, and chopped walnuts. It was really wonderful toasted and slathered with real butter.

I wish I could give the exact recipe. I hardly ever measure when I'm making bread, so it gets a bit challenging to share recipes. Basically, I started with a cup of warm water and a cup of fresh apple juice, added a rounded tablespoon of yeast, and let that sit a few minutes. Then I added about 2.5 cups of unbleached flour and let my sponge form for an hour or so. Then I added about a teaspoon of salt, two tablespoons of sugar, and - here's where the real guessing comes in - about a cup of oat flour, a cup of whole wheat, and then I kneaded in more whole wheat flour. I left the dough a little soft, because I knew the flours would expand once they got wet. After rising another hour to hour and a half, I shaped my loaves (it made this one big loaf and two mini-loaves), and let them rise another half hour or so. Times are very approximate, and always depend upon things like room temp and humidity. I like to go by the look of my dough rather than the time to decide when it's finished rising.

Anyway, very, very yummy!