I recently returned from two weeks of vacation. Our freezer was empty, meaning our bread stash was non-existent. Cue the panic.
I started the three day process towards baking a fresh loaf of sourdough, but I knew we’d need something to tide us over until the process was complete. I whipped up a batch of my quick, easy, and trusty American Sandwich Bread.
Then Cedric and I both had toast for breakfast. Then Cedric made two open faced sandwiches as a post-gym snack. And I started worrying about our bread stash again.
Since variety is the spice of life (so they say), I decided to branch out a little and try a new bread from the Sandwich Breads chapter. The whole-wheat quinoa bread caught my eye because it was a little different, but still neutral enough to support a range of toppings (from raspberry jam to cheese and tomatoes, as is often the case in our house).
This recipe is very similar to the American Sandwich Bread one, except:
- It uses more whole wheat flour (1.5 cups bread flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour)
- It calls for flaxseed
- It uses quinoa
The recipes requires you to cook up some white quinoa. It actually uses a microwave to cook it, which I’ve never heard of before. We don’t have a microwave, so I did it the regular stove way.
The flax is added to the flours (and yeast and salt), but the quinoa doesn’t come into play until the wet (milk, honey, oil, water) meets the dry. As the mixer whirls, you drop in a bit of quinoa at a time until it all comes together into a wet gob.
“We do not recommend mixing this dough by hand,” says the recipe. I can back up this statement – the dough was seriously wet and sticky, to the point where I was questioning whether I’d maybe measured something wrong. I floured my hands for the 30 second kneading to prevent the quinoa from sticking too much, and when I put it in the bowl to rise, I doubted whether it would behave like a normal dough.
Alas, it did! I doubled in size, as instructed, and when I shaped it into the loaf pan, it felt a lot like regular bread dough. This recipe called for an egg wash, which I often skip, but II included it this time – it serves as the glue to keep on the topping of uncooked quinoa and flax.
As always, the aromas were tantalizing and while I respected the “Let loaf cool in pan for 15 minutes” direction, I blissfully ignored the “let cool completely on wire rack, about 3 hours” instruction and cut myself a big old slice.
Here’s what I wrote after my first time tasting the bread: It was just want I wanted: a neutral and versatile sandwich bread, with a bit of texture (thanks to the topping and the flax seed) and a lot of moisture (thanks to the quinoa). It won’t replace the American Sandwich Bread as my go to, simply because it has a few extra steps and I like to keep it pretty simple for my sandwich bread – but I may bust it out from time to time when we’re looking to mix it up. It’s a good, if not somewhat forgettable, bread.
Here are my thoughts now that I’ve been eating it for a few days: This bread is good. It is seriously, seriously moist – even after a few days in the freezer and some time in the toaster. It’s more work than the regular sandwich bread, but I have to say – I like it better. It’s worth the extra work. I will incorporate it into my regular bread routine (as long as I have quinoa kicking around the house).
(And then I made another loaf a few days later.)