I always feel like the end of January is rounding the corner into “almost spring.” I realize this is a bit overly optimistic and definitely not realistic, as Gracie hasn’t been to school today, and tomorrow school has been called off too. It’s crazy cold out there, and there’s not a sign of spring to be found. No birds chirping and no crocuses peeking… But… I am just going to look at that calendar on the wall. The first day of Spring is Thursday, March 20th. So THERE, winter.
Baking bread has always been a comfort to me, and I especially like it when we’re snowed in. Such a meditative ritual. Here’s a new recipe I invented. You can use granola in place of the muesli if you like. I picked up my FRUKT muesli at Ikea the last time I was there and thought it would be the perfect addition to a yummy, rustic loaf. So delicious with those little bits of banana and mango.
preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Makes two big loaves
4 cups all-purpose flour + more for kneading
1 cup muesli cereal (dry)
2 packets active dry yeast
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1 and 1/2 cups water
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup light olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups whole wheat flour
In a large mixing bowl, combine the 3 cups of all-purpose flour, muesli, yeast and salt. Mix well and set aside.
In a saucepan, combine the water, yogurt, maple syrup, and olive oil. Heat until warm (not hot). Combine with flour mixture, along with eggs, using a wooden spoon. Stir in another 1 cup of the all-purpose flour plus the 2 cups of wheat flour. Using your hands, form a ball and turn out onto a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, adding flour as needed. Form into a ball, place in a large buttered bowl. Rub a little butter over the top too. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for 1 and 1/2 hours (or until doubled in size.) Punch dough down well. Cut in half and form into two loaves. Place loaves in large loaf pans that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cover the loaves with plastic wrap, set them in a warm place, and allow them to rise again (for approximately 45 minutes.)
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40 minutes or until deep golden brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped. Allow to cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and place on racks until cooled completely.