When it comes to comfort food, I think we can all agree that there are not many things that can compete with freshly baked bread. Bread making is part science, part art, and part therapy. Watching the dough rise, pounding the dough down, letting the house fill with the aroma of freshly baked bread…, and then biting into a fresh, crusty loaf.
This sounds almost too good to be true, and in practice it really is. Who has the time to baby sit the dough? Not me! That’s why I bought a bread machine. It’s a specialized kitchen gadget that I use 5-6 times a year, which may not seem like much but it is worth it!
The model I have is a very basis one, without too many fancy bells and whistles. However, it is consistent and although it did not produce a good gluten-free loaf I did come close. (To be fair, the reason for not having luck with gluten-free breads is that my bread machine does not have a gluten-free setting as some fancier machine do, and gluten-free dough does require a totally different treatment and timing.)
Back to the chia seed seed bread. I decided to try to make a rustic bread with chia seeds for added nutritional touch and a bit of texture. If you have not used chia seeds before, they are often used to make vegan puddings, or as a substitute for eggs in vegan baking. When soaked, these seeds produce a thick, gelatinous mass which can be used as a binder. This was the basic idea behind using them in a bread recipe.
The first step in this recipe, and in others that use chia seeds is soaking the seeds. I recommend using hot water to speed things up here, but you can also soak your seeds in cold water overnight. If you are using hot water please remember to let the water temperature come down to room temperature before using it in the bread machine as hot water will destroy your yeast.
Last tip for this chia seed bread is to use some lemon juice and a bit of lemon zest, plus some baking powder to help the bread rise. Chia seeds are heavy and may weigh the bread down, so a bit more leavening helps. Another modifications to the bread machine set-it-and-forget-it is to use the first resting time in the bread machine program to go in with a spatula and make sure that chia seeds are well incorporated throughout. Once that’s done, you can walk away and let the machine take care of the rest. Enjoy!
Chia Seed Bread (Bread Machine Recipe)
FOR A 2 LBS (1 KG) LOAF, FRENCH BREAD SETTING ON A BASIC OSTER MODEL)
What you’ll need:
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 2 3/8 cups water
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/2 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 3/4 cups white flour
- 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons quick rise yeast
What you’ll do:
- Place chia seeds in a bowl or a mug, cover with hot water, mix well and let stand until chia seeds are soaked and gelatinous, and don’t feel warm to touch. This may take 30 minutes or more, so you may want to do this step in the morning if you are planing to have the bread ready for dinner.
- Follow your bread machine instructions for the order in which you put your ingredients in. In my case, the order is water, oil, lemon juice and lemon zest, chia seeds, salt, flour, sugar, baking powder and yeast as the very last ingredient.
- Turn the program on and let the machine complete the first mixing step. When the mixing blade stops moving, open the machine and mix everything by hand with a spatula. This step is necessary as chia seeds may lump together and not mix well with the rest of the ingredients. Once you have ensured that everything is well mixed together, close the lid and let the machine take care of the rest.
- Your bread should be ready in 3 hours or so. Enjoy!
Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2020