When covid-19 came, everyone started to bake – cakes, cookies, but especially their own bread. In the first few weeks it was hard to find yeast in the supermarkets. I don’t know if the initial baking frenzy died down or not, but I baked before and I will continue still. So let me present you this easy peasy bread recipe in case you’re still on baking.
To be honest, it was annoying to not be able to find any yeast or even sometimes flour in any shop. Luckily I can also shop from wholesale market and they always had some (though, even they ran out for a very short time). But eventually, I felt happy to see that so many people turned to baking to feel happy or just to spend time in those strange days of lockdown. It proved my theory that baking is one of the best forms of therapy.
For me, the most therapeutic baking works have kneading involved – whether it is kneading bread dough, or making buns, sweet or savoury, doesn’t matter. But it’s also nice to quickly bake a loaf bread without doing any kneading, like this bread.
When I was in a very heavy depression about 5 years ago, all I could think of was to bake. I found new and exciting recipes all the time, I made my own recipes, baking was the only thing that made me want to get out of bed. There is something so intimate, cosy and calm about baking. Especially when you can’t focus on anything, when you feel too tired of life to possibly have an organised thought or when you don’t even know what you are feeling, if you are feeling anything, baking is an activity that helps you focus.
Baking is very different than cooking; you need to measure, mix in a certain order and way, heat your oven (which also keeps your home warm) and wait for the science of baking to happen in the oven. And after that, it is always a pleasure to eat whatever you baked – be it by yourself, or better yet with friends and family. You need to be precise, you cannot decide to add more sugar to your cake in the middle of baking. To keep your focus on these simple tasks during baking helps you to keep your thoughts together on other things as well. It’s like a brain exercise!
I saw this recipe in Klaras Life blog and changed a few of the ingredients and added some, plus changed the instructions a little to have a more “nutty” taste. Hope you use this recipe (and others) when you knead love and happiness in your life!
(makes 1 loaf, I used a 240x80x55mm baking mould)
5 dl (or 2 cups or 500 gr.) very warm water (not boiling hot)
2.5 tsp active dry yeast
4 dl + 1 tbsp (or 1 1/2 cups + 3 tbsp or 250 gr.) wholegrain spelt flour (in Finnish: täysjyvä spelttijauho)
4 dl + 1 tbsp (or 1 1/2 cups + 3 tbsp or 250 gr.) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 dl (or 3 tbsp + 1 tsp or 35 gr.) pumpkin seeds
1/2 dl (or 3 tbsp + 1 tsp or 35 gr.) flax seeds
1/2 dl (or 3 tbsp + 1 tsp or 35 gr.) sunflower seeds
1/2 dl (or 3 tbsp + 1 tsp or 35 gr.) hemp seeds
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp rolled oats
vegetable oil to grease the mould
1. In a large bowl, put warm water and yeast. Give the yeast a quick stir and then leave it to activate for 10 minutes.
2. While waiting for the yeast to activate, in another bowl, mix all the ingredients in the list above from spelt flour to hemp seeds.
3. When the yeast is active and the water mixture is foamy, add dry ingredients mixture to the water and whisk well.
4. Add apple cider vinegar and give it a final good whisk.
5. Preheat the oven to 200C. Also grease your baking mould. Transfer the dough into the baking mould and very loosely cover with a stretch film (sorry, no photos of this stage!!). Keep the dough in a warm place.
6. After 30 minutes, when the oven is warm and your bread has risen a little, spread some rolled oats on the bread and put in the oven, in medium part. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Also there should be a hollow sound when you tap the bread. Let the bread cool down inside the mould for about 10 minutes after baking, then take it out of the mould and cool it completely on a wire rack. Enjoy!