I get lots of inquiries on how I stay slim when baking scads of decadent treats. Besides exercise, I eat tons of fruits, veggies and whole grains. I must admit that a cookie or at least a big spoonful of cookie dough is part of my daily diet; I think part of a healthy food attitude does not include deprivation. So I was delighted when Hodgson Mill approached me about using some of their whole grain products for a blog post. Scroll down to the bottom to see how you can win your own prize package…it just happens to be my birthday today and I want to give something to YOU!
I had just printed off a recipe for honey whole wheat bread when my goodies arrived. Little did I know that the whole wheat pastry flour needed for the bread would be part of my holiday gift package. I had also seen a wreath technique on artisanbreadinfive.com that I was antsy to attempt. I mixed the dough, let it rise, punched it down, then removed a one pound piece of dough. I formed the dough into a ball, flattened it, then made a large hole in the middle…like with my bagels, the opening needed to be a few inches across….as the springy dough wanted to reform into a globe. I used a kitchen shears to slice nearly through the ring at intervals, then pulled out the points to make a wreath. After another brief rising period, I popped it in the oven.
The wreath was so simple to make…and such a lovely presentation. Next time, I will make more frequent slashes, but I was quite satisfied with the results. And I finally made a wheat bread with the perfect amount of sweetness…plus that bit of oatmeal offered an indescribable something whether it was flavor, texture or both. It was just plain good.
Honey Whole Wheat Wreath…adapted from Cooking Light
1 1/4 cup quick oats
1 cup boiling water
1 package dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water (110º)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
6 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons olive or canola oil (plus more for greasing bowl)
1 tablespoon salt
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting dough ring)
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
Place oats into boiling water, and let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In another bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit for 5 minutes.
Add buttermilk, honey, brown sugar and oil to oats and mix (mixture will be lumpy).
Add oat mixture to bowl of large stand mixer. Add yeast and mix on low with paddle attachment till lumps of oats break apart. Change out paddle attachment for dough hook and add salt, 3 cups of the all purpose flour and all the pastry flour. Knead on low speed for 10 minutes, repositioning dough as needed, till dough is smooth. Up to 1/2 cup more AP flour may be added as needed. Dough may also be kneaded by hand.
Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap and allow to rise till doubled in size, about one hour.
Preheat oven to 400º. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Punch down dough and remove 1 pound of dough to make wreath. (Remaining dough can be baked into loaves or more wreaths). Form dough into a ball, then make a ring by punching through middle of dough with fingers and stretching to form a hole in the center about 3x the width of the ring.
Place ring on prepared baking sheet. Lightly dust ring with flour. With kitchen scissors, cut nearly through the ring at a sharp angle forming points (see photo). Reposition points away from the center of the ring. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and let sit till doubled in size, about 1/2 hour.
Bake wreath for 25-30 minutes or until bread reaches an internal temperature of 200º. Remove to wire rack to cool.
Congratulations to Kayle, The Cooking Actress, who won her very own Hodgson Mill prize pack!!!!
Hodgson Mill has also generously offered a coupon for a dollar off any 5 pound package of flour or cornmeal as part of their Have a Grain Holiday campaign. In addition, you may enter to win a Holiday Gift Package featuring whole grains and baking mixes…open to those in the US and winners will be notified on December 10, 2012.
Disclosure: I received a variety of Hodgson Mill products courtesy of the company, but the opinions stated in this post are my own. I was not compensated in any way for writing this post.