Our daily bread: flaxseed bread

landscape

We turn again to our Chilean guest chef, this time for his prize-winning flaxseed bread. Bread is an essential (and omnipresent) part of Chilean meals and culture. Chileans eat bread for breakfast, lunch, onces (tea time), and at dinner. At 100 kg (220 lbs) per year, their per capita bread consumption is the second highest in the world, after Germany. Bread consumption among rural Chileans is even higher, at around 141kg (310 pounds). On average, Chileans eat twice (and sometimes thrice) as much bread as those in the so-called ‘developed world’, where 50 kg (110 lbs) per year is more the norm. For those who are curious, the Eating Chile blog has even more data on Chilean bread consumption.

Nearly all of this bread consumption is freshly-made. Packaged bread is scarce in Chile, comprising just 3.4% of all bread sales, and the standard size flour sack in grocery stores is a quintal, an archaic measurement (known in English as the long hundredweight) that is 46 kg (101 lbs). This explains some of my husband’s culture shock in coming to the U.S. Not only was bread not a staple of every single meal, but most breads at the grocery store were packaged and, to his palate, overly sweet.

In search of a way to satisfy his daily bread needs, we picked up a bread machine at a yard sale and searched for a recipe that would meet both of our requirements. A lot of bread recipes contain honey (which is not vegan), but as long as you substitute another sweetener to feed the yeast, you should be fine. Flaxseed is high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids (the “good” fats), lignans, and both soluble and insoluble fiber. Make sure to grind the seed, as whole flaxseeds pass through the body undigested and do not allow for good absorption of the essential alpha-linoleic acid.

Note that the proportions in this recipe are for a bread machine, so if you are more industrious or artisanal than we are (i.e. making bread by hand), they may not work.

And hey, September is national whole grains month! You can learn more about whole grains and their benefits, and find whole grain recipes here.

Flaxseed bread

1 1/3 cups water

2 tablespoons canola oil

1½ tablespoons brown sugar or molasses

1½ tablespoons water

1½ cups white bread flour (or white whole wheat flour)

1 1/3 cups whole wheat bread flour (or whole wheat flour)

½ cup of flaxseed, coarsely ground

1½ teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Add ingredients to the bread machine in the order listed. This is important, as you do not want the yeast to touch the liquid. Follow the instructions on your bread machine to bake. Makes one 1½-pound loaf.slices

ribbon

Yep, I said “prize-winning”. This modest loaf won the blue ribbon at the 2013 Tri-County Fair.

Quote of the Day

“It should not be believed that all beings exist for the sake of the existence of man. On the contrary, all the other beings too have been intended for their own sakes and not for the sake of anything else.” – Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (1135-1204)

Sources

Preventive Nutrition: The Comprehensive Guide for Health Professionals

U.S. Wheat Associates – February 2011 report – uswheat.org

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