Best bread yet

My latest bread-baking attempt has to be my best bread yet, a dark, tasty, chewy loaf with a large hint of je ne sais quois (it’s the cocoa and the nutmeg). I adapted my wheatberry bread from early September to use farro, a high-protein ancient grain that I’ve used before for a filling breakfast cereal. And I cut the water, yeast, honey and fat to streamline the recipe a bit.

The new bread works equally well with sandwiches (cheese, avocado and horseradish today) as it did yesterday with peanut butter and the very last of my home made quince jelly.

Amazingly, seriously yummy.

Farro bread

2 cups farro
3 cups warm water
3 tsp dried yeast
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
3 cups white bread flour
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oatmeal

Cook the farro until tender (I gave it about 20 minutes in a pressure cooker) and drain, reserving the water to use in the bread. Measure out 4 cups of cooked berries. Chop them roughly in a food processor (maybe a little less roughly than I chopped — see tooth story below).

Top up the water that’s left from from cooking the farro to get 3 cups of liquid. Mix in the yeast, oil, honey and beat in 2 cups of the flour, along with the cocoa, nutmeg and salt, and allow it to sit for 10 minutes or so until it starts to bubble. Add the rest of the flour and then the farro and the oatmeal and knead until it comes together into one smooth, glossy ball.

Allow to rise until doubled in size.

Punch down, divide into two bread tins and rise again.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425 and then for about 30 at 375, until the loaves sound hollow when you take them out of the tin and tap them. I think I could have baked mine a little longer.

But let me offer a word of warning. The farro inside the bread is soft, chewy and delicious, but the grains on the outside are crisp enough that I cracked a well-filled tooth. and will probably need a horribly costly crown. (Edit: Dentist fixed tooth. No crown needed.)

Make this bread, and enjoy it. But eat it carefully.

No picture. It looks a bit like the wheatberry bread.


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