Soft Whole Wheat Bread Squares


     Why not bake some bread today? These whole wheat bread squares are some of my favorite bread. Even though they are 100% whole wheat and have a rustic, nutty, deep flavor, they are still soft and fluffy (when freshly baked). They fill you up good and are perfect for a satisfying dinner sandwich. And because they are so thin, they are relatively quick to make.
     My inspiration for these oddly shaped buns comes from some crispy, whole grain, seed covered buns I had at my cousin's house. In my family, most of us have a favorite half of the bun, but this particular night, my uncle brightly announced that he would have any half of the bun, and when he got the bottom half, he turned it up and said, "Because there are seeds on the bottom too!" Clever, I thought, to dip the bottom in seeds too and not just the top – and the idea of those buns has stuck with me ever since.
     Even though these bread squares do not have seeds on the bottom, and even though I don't always have seeds to put on them at all, the dark, fluffy, whole grain interior is still inspired from those store-bough ones many years ago. This bread is not sweet, but the sugar helps the dough to rise well so the buns become fluffy, and the molasses or soy sauce add a subtle deep flavor. The cooked brown rice is totally optional; it adds some extra texture, but it must not be overcooked, as too soft kernels will cause the bread to become sticky, so make sure the cooked rice kernels are firm and loose. And when it comes to the topping, there are a lot of options – I prefer seeds, but you can go with no topping at all or even quick oats or wheat bran! If you go with seeds, you can dip the buns one at a time in water and then in seeds for a lot of seeds (like in the pictures), or brush with water and sprinkle with seeds for less seeds. If you use oats or bran, brush with water, sprinkle with topping, and spray with water to wet topping – otherwise it might not stay.
     These bread squares have the perfect size and thickness for sandwiches, they are satisfying with a bowl of warming soup, and they are . . . a favorite!
     Now, what is your favorite half of the bun? Top or bottom (or perhaps a center slice)?

Soft Whole Wheat Bread Squares

Yields: 16 (3x3 in.) squares

Ingredients

6 c. whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. instant dry yeast
3 tsp. salt
2 c. cooked firm* brown rice, optional
2 1/2 c. lukewarm water
1 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses or soy sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. oil

seeds or oats or wheat bran, for topping, optional

Instructions

1. Mix flour, yeast, and salt. Add rice, water, molasses, sugar, and oil. Knead till smooth.
2. Roll out to 11 x 12  in. rectangle. Cut into squares. Dip each square's top in water and then in seeds. Place squares touching each other on floured baking sheet. OR. Roll out, place on floured baking sheet, cut into squares, brush with water, and sprinkle with seeds.
3. Let rise till doubled in size, 30 to 60 min.
4. Bake at 400° F for about 30 min.
5. Serve warm or at room temperature. Break squares apart to serve. Best within one day. Perfect for sandwiches.

* A soft or sticky rice will make the bread sticky. Make sure the rice is not overcooked but still firm.

Scripture of the Day

Isaiah 26:3
Lord, "You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you."

Labels:

Creative Vegan Cooking: Soft Whole Wheat Bread Squares

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Soft Whole Wheat Bread Squares


     Why not bake some bread today? These whole wheat bread squares are some of my favorite bread. Even though they are 100% whole wheat and have a rustic, nutty, deep flavor, they are still soft and fluffy (when freshly baked). They fill you up good and are perfect for a satisfying dinner sandwich. And because they are so thin, they are relatively quick to make.
     My inspiration for these oddly shaped buns comes from some crispy, whole grain, seed covered buns I had at my cousin's house. In my family, most of us have a favorite half of the bun, but this particular night, my uncle brightly announced that he would have any half of the bun, and when he got the bottom half, he turned it up and said, "Because there are seeds on the bottom too!" Clever, I thought, to dip the bottom in seeds too and not just the top – and the idea of those buns has stuck with me ever since.
     Even though these bread squares do not have seeds on the bottom, and even though I don't always have seeds to put on them at all, the dark, fluffy, whole grain interior is still inspired from those store-bough ones many years ago. This bread is not sweet, but the sugar helps the dough to rise well so the buns become fluffy, and the molasses or soy sauce add a subtle deep flavor. The cooked brown rice is totally optional; it adds some extra texture, but it must not be overcooked, as too soft kernels will cause the bread to become sticky, so make sure the cooked rice kernels are firm and loose. And when it comes to the topping, there are a lot of options – I prefer seeds, but you can go with no topping at all or even quick oats or wheat bran! If you go with seeds, you can dip the buns one at a time in water and then in seeds for a lot of seeds (like in the pictures), or brush with water and sprinkle with seeds for less seeds. If you use oats or bran, brush with water, sprinkle with topping, and spray with water to wet topping – otherwise it might not stay.
     These bread squares have the perfect size and thickness for sandwiches, they are satisfying with a bowl of warming soup, and they are . . . a favorite!
     Now, what is your favorite half of the bun? Top or bottom (or perhaps a center slice)?

Soft Whole Wheat Bread Squares

Yields: 16 (3x3 in.) squares

Ingredients

6 c. whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. instant dry yeast
3 tsp. salt
2 c. cooked firm* brown rice, optional
2 1/2 c. lukewarm water
1 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses or soy sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. oil

seeds or oats or wheat bran, for topping, optional

Instructions

1. Mix flour, yeast, and salt. Add rice, water, molasses, sugar, and oil. Knead till smooth.
2. Roll out to 11 x 12  in. rectangle. Cut into squares. Dip each square's top in water and then in seeds. Place squares touching each other on floured baking sheet. OR. Roll out, place on floured baking sheet, cut into squares, brush with water, and sprinkle with seeds.
3. Let rise till doubled in size, 30 to 60 min.
4. Bake at 400° F for about 30 min.
5. Serve warm or at room temperature. Break squares apart to serve. Best within one day. Perfect for sandwiches.

* A soft or sticky rice will make the bread sticky. Make sure the rice is not overcooked but still firm.

Scripture of the Day

Isaiah 26:3
Lord, "You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you."

Labels:

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