Hearty Artisan Bread (low sodium)

This recipe varies a bit from “classic” recipes your grandmother may have passed down. There is no butter or shortening, and whey takes the place of milk. Flaxseed meal contributes to the soft texture. With its subtle, nutty taste, you might forget that this bread is low in sodium!

(The whey is left over from making cheese. If you have none on hand, use 1 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups milk.)

1/2 cup water
2 tsp sugar
4 tsp active, dry yeast

3 cups liquid whey
1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup wheat bran
10 cups unbleached, all purpose flour

olive oil

1) Dissolve 2 tsp sugar and yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water and let sit for 10 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, heat up the whey in the microwave until it is lukewarm.  Dissolve the remaining sugar into the whey.  Stir in the yeast mixture.

3) In a large bowl, mix flaxseed, bran, and five cups of the flour. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Stir well, and add more flour, a cup at a time until a soft dough is formed that does not stick to the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead for 8-10 minutes, working in more flour.

4) Pour two tablespoons of olive oil into a large bowl. Form the dough into a ball, turn it around in the bowl to coat with oil, and turn the oiled side up. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and allow the dough to rise until doubled, about an hour.

5) When doubled, punch the dough down, and form into four balls. Let the dough balls rest for about ten minutes, and then form into four small loaves. Oil four loaf pans, with about a teaspoon of olive oil each. Flip each loaf in the pan to coat, cover the pans with a clean tea towel, and allow to them to double again.

6) Bake for about 30 minutes at 400F. The loaves will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

[note: if you are reading this recipe and do not need to follow a low sodium plan,  3-4 tsp of salt will make this bread even more delicious.]


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