ALASKA BREAD RECIPE
Here are the directions for my Alaska bread (modified)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (I like Bob' Red Mill)
- 1 cup white unbleached flour (not self-rising) 3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill 7-grain Cereal
- 1 pkg. Rapid Rise Yeast (2 1/4 tsp) I prefer using Red Star 4 oz Active Dry yeast packaged in a jar. Refrigerate after opening
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup oatmeal
- 4 tsp Votal Gluten (found next to the flour on the grocery store shelf in a small box: refrigerate after opening)
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup Honey, molasses, sorghum, or your favorite syrup (add more if you like your bread sweeter) I prefer Honey.
- Butter Flavored Crisco (or real butter) (I prefer butter)
Warm up the water and honey in a mug or measuring cup in the microwave so they mix. (about 1 min 30 sec)
Open the yeast package. When you can stick two fingers in the water mixture for a full three seconds (one-thousand-one, one thousand-two, one thousand-three) without discomfort, stir in the yeast until it dissolves. Set the mug aside and wait until the yeast mixture foams up, like the head on a beer. (if it does not foam up, either the yeast has been killed or it is out of date) Start over with fresh yeast, water & honey and wait for the water to cool off a little more to make sure the water mix is not too hot before adding the yeast. Always check for the expiration date on the yeast before you buy it or use it.
On the meantime, mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Add the "proofed" yeast and water /honey mix, to the dry ingredients and thoroughly blend together. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead about 24 times, adding a bit more flour as needed to keep from sticking. The kneading activates the vital gluten and the white flour's gluten to assist with raising the dough.
When done kneading, form dough into a ball and coat all over with melted butter. Place your dough into your baking dish or 8" Dutch oven, cover and let rise. (you must have a lid for your dish/pan) DO NOT PUNCH DOWN!! When dough has doubled in bulk, pre heat oven to 500 degrees and bake with lid on for 20 minutes. Remove lid and continue baking to brown off for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove and allow cooling a bit before slicing and enjoying.
I find for me an 8" bean pot, Dutch oven works perfect. It’s exactly the right size.
Note: The wheat flour has almost no gluten in it. The gluten is what makes the flour create the little air pockets and hold the CO-2 gas which is the by-product of the yeast's growth. By using 50/50 blend and the vital gluten and kneading the dough to activate the gluten, you greatly lighten this bread and improve its flavor.
This recipe has been modified form the original that Art Peck gave me while I was in Alaska.
Then my friend, Jeff Hines did some changes.
The above is what I now use and normally bake one loaf per week and have done so for over16 months. I do like it.