Today's column features a flax bread for everyone. All three breads are very good, with the delightful taste and goodness of flax.
Edna Mroz of Beausejour had requested a good recipe for flax bread. Thanks to Sandra Norris (a tireless worker with the local charity Hands of Hope) who shared her recipe for flax bread using ground flax seed. The flax prairie bread for a bread machine is courtesy of Florence Bouchard, who originally received it in a booklet from a nutritionist. Thanks also to Janet Meads of Balmoral for a similar recipe.
Also included today is a gluten-free flax bread, courtesy of Helen Stanchuk who sent it to me earlier to share with readers. She writes that it was originally given to her by another reader, Helen Torbiak.
A new request comes from Elaine Baskerville of Neepawa who would like to recreate a cake from her childhood that a Mennonite friend's mother used to make. The platz had a shortbread-like base, a layer of apricot jam and was topped with eggs, sugar and shredded coconut. Can anyone help?
Lastly, for the woman who wrote to me about the lost impossible pumpkin pie recipe, please let me know your name and address so that I can respond.
If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Darlene Henderson, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
750 ml (3 cups) warm water
60 ml (1/4 cup) sugar
30 ml (2 tbsp) quick rise yeast
10 ml (2 tsp) salt
250 ml (1 cup) ground flax seed
750 ml (3 cups) whole wheat flour
Approx. 875 ml (3 1/2 cups) white flour
15 ml (1 tbsp) vinegar or lemon juice
15 ml (1 tbsp) poppy seeds
30 ml (2 tbsp) sesame seeds
30 ml (2 tbsp) ground sunflower seeds
Dissolve sugar in warm water. Add 250 ml (1 cup) of the white flour with the yeast mixed into it and stir well. Add remaining ingredients, stirring in the flour 250 ml (1 cup) at a time. Knead as for any bread recipe, using a small amount of oil or butter on your hands if you like to keep it from sticking to your hands.
Let rise in oiled bowl 45 minutes to 1 hour until doubled in size. Punch down and shape into 3 loaves. Place in oiled loaf pans and let rise again until more than doubled in size. Bake at 190 C (375 F) for 25 to 35 minutes. You can vary the proportion of white and whole wheat depending on your preference. If you grind your own flax seed, measure 175 ml (3/4 cup) to grind.
Taste Tester Notes: This makes delicious bread with or without the optional ingredients. I used a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment initially and later switching to the dough hook. Use just as much flour as needed to make a soft, workable dough. Place plastic wrap over the dough while letting rise in a warm place. Second rise will be approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bread is done when golden brown on top and when removed from pan sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom
Flax prairie bread (bread machine)
310 ml (1 1/4 cups) water
30 ml (2 tbsp) honey
30 ml (2 tbsp) canola oil
500 ml (2 cups) bread flour
250 ml (1 cup) whole wheat flour
7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) salt
80 ml (1/3 cup) flax seeds
30 ml (2 tbsp) sunflower seeds
15 ml (1 tbsp) poppy seeds
10 ml (2 tsp) fast rising instant yeast
Measure ingredients and place in bread machine in order recommended by manufacturer. Select whole wheat rapid cycle. Remove baked bread from pan and let cool on wire rack.
Taste Tester Notes: This makes a 900 g (2 lb) loaf of delicious, flavourful bread. I also had success using unbleached all-purpose flour instead of bread flour.
Gluten-free flax bread
125 ml (1/2 cup) brown rice flour
60 ml (1/4 cup) potato starch
60 ml (1/4 cup) ground flax
2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking soda
2 ml (1/2 tsp) gluten-free baking powder
2 ml (1/2 tsp) xanthan gum
2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) sugar
15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
175 ml (3/4 cup) buttermilk
Additional 15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil (to oil pan after heating)
Start by placing a 25 cm (10-inch) cast iron pan in a 230 C (450 F) oven.
While the pan is heating, mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Beat the wet ingredients in another bowl. Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Remove pan from oven, add 15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil and swish around to coat bottom and sides of pan. Pour batter in hot pan and bake for 17 minutes at 230 C (450 F). Check after first 10 minutes (but do not open oven), and if browning too fast lower heat to 190 C (375 F), depending on your oven. After it's baked, let cool a few minutes and remove from hot pan. Bread will look like a thick pita. When cool, cut into 6 or 8 wedges. Cut the wedge of bread horizontally to make a sandwich.
Taste Tester Notes: This quick-bread is moist inside with a light texture, and is very good and so easy to make. It is also nice served warm from the oven.