Jim Lahey’s bread is artisan type bread that you can easily make at home. Crispy crust, beautiful soft texture inside. Good for sandwiches too.
Is it Healthy?
No. I do not, recommended eating bread in general. However, Jim’s recipes use an adaption of an ancient method that slightly increases the healthiness of the bread, and makes it easier to digest. The long raising time (12 – 18 hours) gives the yeast and natural bacterias time to break down the wheat making it more digestible.
Modern kneading methods are actually forcing the gluten to save time, but the wheat is harder to digest, resulting in stress for your digestive system. Sourdough bread takes these steps even further, and is even healthier, but I haven’t been able to master traditional sourdough… yet.
I have adapted Jim’s recipe to increase the amount of whole grains and added a variety of seeds to the crust. Try and use organic ingredients. Whole grains get rancid faster then white flour, so smell the flour to make sure it’s fresh.
Whole Grain Bread Recipe (my version)
2 1/2 cups organic unbleached sifted hard wheat (or organic white bread flour)
1/4 rye flour
1/4 buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of instant yeast
1 1/2 cups of water
1 cup of seeds total, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds, flax seeds, and/ or sesame
1. Mix the flours, salt, yeast in a bowl. Add the water and stir until all the flour is coated. It should be a sticky dough, thicker then cake batter, but not as thick as regular bread dough.
2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. leave for 12 to 18 hours at room temperature. My house is between 16 – 20 Celsius, or 60 – 80 F.
3. When the dough has increased in size, and has bubbles, turn it out on the counter, and cover again for 15 minutes
4. Coat a clean tea towel with flour. I rub the flour right into the tea towel. Then sprinkle half the seeds on the towel. Carefully place the dough on the seeds. Shake the rest of the seeds on top of the towel. Allow the dough to rest for 2 hours.
5. After an hour, preheat the oven to 450. Allow the dutch oven and lid to heat up for 30 minutes in the oven.
CAREFULLY remove the dish, then dump the dough in the dish cover and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes. The crust should be crispy and brown. Remove and cool on a rack.
How healthy is it?
- - Whole wheat is better for you then white flour, although whether it helps fight cancer has yet to be determined. The slow rising time makes it more digestible.
- Sunflower seeds- zinc, selenium, vitamin e
- - Buckwheat- anti cancer, plant lignans, phytonutrients
- - Rye -contains a type of lignan that has phytoestrogenic activity
- - Pumpkin seeds - zinc selenium, manganese, magnesium
- - Poppy seeds – poppy seeds have oleic acid which fights breast cancer and the linoleic acid in poppy seeds protect human body from heart attacks