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Food Issue - Recipe: Besha's Local Bread

Makes two loaves

Ingredients:

2 cups warm water (105-115 F)

One 1/4-ounce package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast

1/3 cup honey

5 to 6 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup canola oil

One egg, beaten with a teaspoon of water

• In a small bowl, stir together 1 3/4 cups warm water and yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. In a measuring cup, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup warm water and honey. In a large bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, salt, and oil and add honey and yeast mixtures, stirring until combined well. Stir in enough of remaining 3 to 4 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, for mixture to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough 8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, and shape into a ball.

• Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat, and let rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down dough and let rise, covered, 45 minutes more.

• Preheat oven to 400 F. and grease 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by

2 inches.

• Divide dough in half. Lightly knead each piece of dough and form into ovals. Transfer loaves to pans and let rise, covered with kitchen towels, 45 minutes. Brush tops of loaves lightly with egg wash. Bake loaves in middle of oven 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F and bake loaves 20 to 25 minutes more, or until golden brown. Turn loaves out onto a rack to cool.

Besha recommends Fielder's flour and Hidden Springs honey.



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