Monday, June 30, 2008

Delicious Millet Bread

This amazing bread comes from the Tassajara Bread Book, one of the best bread books out there in my opinion. I could never reproduce all of Edward Brown's bread-baking instructions here (the recipe for basic bread is 14 pages!), but my simplified version below should suffice for folks who are generally comfortable making bread.

The taste of the bread is terrific, and the millet adds a fabulous crunch. We ate this bread mostly in sandwiches or as toast, but I bet it would make terrific French toast as well. The main adaptation I made to the recipe was to use more white flour than whole wheat (the reverse of the original recipe), simply because I wanted a lighter loaf.

Remember to check out YeastSpotting for more delicious yeasted treats!

Millet Bread (slightly adapted from The Tassajara Bread Book)

For the sponge:
2 c whole millet, soaked in 1 1/2 c very hot tap water
1 1/2 c lukewarm water
2 packages dry yeast
1/4 c honey
1 c dry milk
4 c white flour

Start the millet soaking and set aside for addition after the sponge has risen.

Dissolve the yeast in the water and let sit until bubbly. Add the honey, dry milk, and 4 cups of flour, mixing well after each addition. Beat well. Cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes (longer if the temperature is cooler).

For the bread:
4 tsp salt
1/4 c melted butter, cooled
soaked millet from part 1
2 c whole wheat flour
flour for kneading

Egg wash:
1 egg yolk
Splash heavy cream or half-and-half

Sprinkle the salt over the risen sponge and pour in the melted butter. Stir. Fold in the millet.

Sprinkle in the flour 1/2 cup at a time while kneading. Knead until the dough feels like an earlobe when pressed between your fingers.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn so that the top is coated in oil as well as the bottom. Cover with a damp towel and set in a warm place to rise. Let rise 50-60 minutes until nearly doubled. Punch down. Cover and let rise 40-50 minutes, until doubled.

Punch down the dough and shape into a ball. Cut into two pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Let sit 5 minutes.

For each loaf, knead with each hand about 5-6 times. Roll into a log shape. With seam on the bottom, flatten the top and square off the corners. Put into an oiled loaf pan and press dough into the pan.

Punch down and shape into a ball. Cut into 2 pieces and shape each into a ball. Let sit 5 minutes.

For each loaf, knead with yrach hand about 5-6 times. Roll into a log shape. With seam on bottom, flatten the top and square off the corners. Put into an oiled loaf pan with seam up. Flatten dough. Then turn the loaf over so the seam is on the bottom. Press it again in to the pan. Repeat with the other ball of dough.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 20-25 minutes. About 15 minutes before the bread is ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the egg yolk and cream. Brush over top of the loaves. Cut slits in the top to let steam escape. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Remove bread from pan right away and cool 1 hour before slicing (if you can stand it!)

This bread can be stored in a sealed plastic bag. The recipe recommends the fridge, but we kept ours at room temperature and it was fine.

7 comments:

  1. Millet is one of the best but least-used grains -- it definitely needs more exposure! Your loaf has such a beautiful golden color and I'm thinking you're absolutely right about the French toast.

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  2. Gorgeous bread! Loved the danish braid too. So pretty.

    Hey girl, I'm you're Tastes Like Home partner if you want to give me a yell to exchange addresses: Marie9949@sbcglobal.net

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  3. That is really healthy! Was that whole millet and not floured milled?

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  4. @ sunshinemom: Yup, it's whole millet.

    Thanks to all the commenters... glad you liked it! :)

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  5. I had been pestering Sara to make millet bread ever since I ate some last year. This was totally worth the wait. DELICIOUS! A great way to add some variety to your basic bread, too. It's perfect for sandwiches or just snacking. (Also, the millet seems to make it more filling, so we are slightly less likely to inhale the entire loaf immediately upon its removal from the oven.)

    My rating: 5 millets!

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  6. Hi, would the amount of yeast be 4-1/2 tsp? Would appreciate a reply since I want to try this bread asap :). Thank you :)

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