Cracked Pepper and Chives Bread

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2 1/2 cups bread flour
3/4 cup cracked wheat flour (I like to use organic 6-grain flour from Natural Way Mills)
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons wheat germ
3/4 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (Use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil with a nice flavor. I used Italian Herb Blend that I purchased at Vinaigrette in Minneapolis.)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

To make in bread machine: Add all ingredients in the order suggested by your bread machine manual and process on the Basic bread cycle according to the manufacturer’s directions. Allow the loaf to cool before slicing. Makes 1 (1 1/2-pound) loaf.

To mix by hand:

Heat 1 1/2 cups water to 105 degrees to 110 degrees. Pour 1/2 cup into a 1-cup measure. Add sugar and yeast. Mix and allow to stand until it starts to bubble and grow.

While yeast is proofing, measure 1 cup bread flour, cracked wheat flour, sugar, wheat germ, cracked pepper and salt into large mixing bowl. When yeast has grown, add to dry mixture in bowl along with remaining 1 cup of warm water, 1 tablespoon plus plus 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil and honey. A wooden spoon works well for mixing bread dough. Add chives and mix in. Continue to add bread flour until dough begins to pull away from sides of bowl and follow the spoon. Turn dough out onto work surface that’s been sprinkled with a bit of the flour. Turn bowl upside down over dough. While dough is resting, use your fingers or a paper towel to swipe the inside of a large, clean bowl with some olive oil.

With floured hands, knead dough for about 8 minutes, until soft and smooth. Place dough into oiled bowl, then turn over so oiled side is on top. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down and turn onto work surface. Cut dough in half. Form each half into a round loaf. Place loaves on a peel sprinkled with cornmeal. Allow to rest for 20 minutes. Place pizza stone on middle rack of oven. Place a shallow baking pan on lower shelf. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sprinkle tops of loaves with flour. Using a serrated knife, cut an “x” into the top of each loaf.

Transfer loaves of dough from peel to preheated stone in oven. Pour 1 cup hot water into baking pan. Bake loaves for about 25 minutes, until dark brown. Cool on wire rack. Makes 2 loaves.


- Recipe courtesy of Sue Doeden


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