This bread came by way of a local supermarket, in the small town, I grew up in. They had a good bakery and this bread was a winner. It’s loaded with protein, different flours and it’s wonderful…really wonderful, toasted. Actually this is pretty delicious with anything, but toasting it or using if for grilled cheese is the best. The addition of the cottage cheese adds both richness and shelf life. It completely disappears into the dough. It can be you’re dirty little secret! This makes 2-3 loaves, depending on how large you want them to be. The larger the loaf, obviously, the longer it takes to bake. This is a heavier bread, but the vital gluten helps to prevent that denser texture that comes from using a significant amount of whole grain flours. You will note from the pictures that I added some flax seeds; they do not affect the recipe proportions. One last thing, terracotta pots. Yeah, I’m a little late coming to this game, but I’ve purchased new terracotta pots from the local plant nursery. I “cured” them in the oven before I used them; you can find that info here and here (and there’s a nice little white bread recipe with it!) I like the way they bake and I love how rustic they are. You do have to paint them with oil every time you use them, they NEVER, EVER go into the dishwasher. I haven’t had any difficulty cleaning them. But, make certain you let them cool completely before you put any water in them, or I fear they may crack. I have found the pots made in Italy and heavier and better made. So if you can score those…they are fun to bake in!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’m going to “talk” you through this with pictures. You can feel free to read the instructions with the recipe, too!
I always forget to take pictures before I punch the dough down…I don’t know why…maybe it’s excitement in anticipation of the upcoming baked loaf!
Norther Prairie Bread
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1/3 cup dry milk powder
- 5 teaspoons instant yeast
- 4 teaspoon vital gluten
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cup water (120-125°F)
- 1 cup small curd cottage cheese, undrained and at room temperature
- 1/4 pasteurized honey
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or butter)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 cups bread flour (you may need up to 1/2 cup extra)
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup oatmeal (not instant)
- 1/3 cup rye flour
In a large bowl (or the bowl for your mixer), place 1 cup bread flour, dry milk powder, vital gluten, salt and the yeast. Stir to combine and coat the yeast granules with flour. Combine the water and cottage cheese; heat to 125°F. Add to the bowl; beat for 3 minutes, to thoroughly mix. Add the oil, eggs, honey, and molasses. Beat for 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of the remaining bread flour and the oats; beat until combined. Gradually stir in whole wheat and rye flours. Beat on low, just until it begins to come together. Switch to the dough hook; add additional bread flour to make a soft dough, about 8-10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
Place dough in greased bowl; cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.
Gently punch the dough down. Let stand for 15 minutes. Drop out onto a floured board; knead a few times. Shape into round loaves. Place on a greased sheet pan, sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Brush with egg white and sprinkle with oatmeal, if desired. Preheat the oven to 375°F for 25-27 minutes. If the bread is becoming too dark, cover loosely with foil the last 10-15 minutes of baking. Remove from sheet pan to a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing. This bread freezes well.
NOTE: You may wish to add some seeds. When I add seeds, I use flax seeds, toasted sesame seeds, onion seeds or a combination of them; about 1/3 cup. And up to 1/3 cup of wheat bran (yes, I know that’s not a seed!).
Norther Prairie Bread Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020. All rights reserved.