March 25, 2012

Chop Block Bread

I borrowed this Breaking Bread with Father Dominic cookbook from either my mother or grandmother ... and really have no intentions of returning it anytime soon. It's a charming book with too many enticing recipes for me to part with until I've sampled them.

While flipping through the book recently, I came across the recipe for Chop Block Bread and happened to have all the ingredients on hand. (We don't eat a plethora of celery in our house, so it's not always a kitchen staple.) This bread, although good, doesn't have an overly strong flavor from the vegetables. For some, I suppose that's good. If I were to make it again, I think I'd add some dill for more vegetable (OK, herb) flair.

Chop Block Bread
2 cups warm water
2 tsp. yeast
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. wheat gluten
3 cups wheat flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/4 cup chopped celery

Combine water and yeast in a large bowl, and stir to dissolve yeast. Add brown sugar, gluten and wheat flour. Beat well, and then let stand 10 minutes. Add oil and salt, and mix thoroughly. Add 2 cups of bread flour, and beat well. Knead in remaining bread flour to form a soft dough. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Knead in shredded cheese. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.

Punch down dough, and knead in vegetables. Shape dough into two round loaves, about 2 inches high. Place loaves on silipat-lined baking sheets. Cover, and let rise until doubled, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake bread 45 to 55 minutes or until top crust is firm and loaves sound hollow. Remove from pan, and let loaves cool on wire racks. Makes 2 large loaves.

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