August 9, 2008

Bran Bread with Pepitas

This bread, although it came to my attention as a soft brown bread, is one of the best country-style loaves I have ever made. Its crust is crisp and chewy, while its inside is soft and... chewy (yeah, I'm repetitive, but it's true!). It holds up extraordinarily well with any kind of sandwich fillings, as it is substantial and elastic - but not in a rubbery kind of way. Ew. Not only that, but I received much more bread than I expected (as you can discern by the noticeable handlebars on my bread). When I placed my bread in a warm oven to rise a second time with the second bread pan covering it (see directions), the dough literally pushed the other pan off! Solid glass, I tell you! This bread has some serious attitude!

And who doesn't love that? A crusty shell disguising a soft, pliable core with the special bonus of a pepita or two every now and then. Delicious? Sassy? Steamy, yeasty goodness? Indeed.

As for the photography bit, you may have noticed that my setting is different. That is because I finally kicked my lazy butt in gear today and set up a worthy photoshoot for my food. I did the whole drape-a-white-sheet-over-a-large-box thing and I used natural light, a tripod, some aluminum foil, etc. Professional? Well, if you insis-

Don't be fooled for a second (though I'm sure you are not). Mainly I looked like a fool, hopping around and situating myself in awkward poses to take pictures, as I learned today that my tripod was built for Oompa-Loompas or something. Needless to say, my back/thighs were not happy campers. Oh, and did I mention that I didn't sleep at all last night and have been up for about 30 hours straight? So, as soon as I would have to get into a squat or something, my muscles would start quivering!! Darned sleep deprivation. It kept blurring my shot! Grr...

But, Oompa-Loompa tripod and muscle atrophy aside, I think I took some pretty decent pictures! Well, that may just be the sleep deprivation talking. You decide.

So here is the bread recipe as adapted from Tea and Wheaten Bread (appropriate, eh?). Ooh, by the way! I think the reason for my monstrous loaf might be the amount of yeast I added. The recipe says 1 packet or 1 teaspoon. I used one packet. Something tells me that wasn't exactly one teaspoon. So, if you want to try for the original bread, go for the teaspoon. Want to try my crazy, attitude-ridden, love-handle bread? Go for the packet.

Bran Bread with Pepitas
Adapted from this recipe.

  • 600gms/1lb 6oz white bread flour
  • 100gms/4oz bran
  • A handful of seeds to your liking such as sunflower pumpkin etc. [I used pumpkin.]
  • 400mls/14fl.oz tepid water ( You may have to add a little more because of the bran. Do so little by little)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce [Subbed for lard.]
  • 1 tablespoon sugar [You can omit this if you want to because of the applesauce.]
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • One envelope or a teaspoon of fast action yeast. [See above note.]


  1. Mix all the ingredients together and knead for ten minutes by hand/ five mins with a dough hook in the mixer/approx 1 minute in the food processor.
  2. Form into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl covered with cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size-about an hour.
  3. Flatten the dough on a lightly floured work surface to expel the air bubbles.
  4. Roll out to form a rectangle approx 9"x15"/23cmsx40cms.
  5. Fold in thirds like a business letter then roll out and fold again.
  6. Flatten the dough to fit into the buttered floured pan.
  7. The strong and compact dough should fill the pan about half way.
  8. Place another pan of the same size, well buttered, on top.
  9. Leave to rise in a warm place for approx 1/2 -1 hour covered with the other tin. It should rise to nearly the top of the tinBake in a pre-heated oven 200.C/400.F/Gas 6 for an hour. [It took my bread about 50 minutes, but then again mine was an oddball.]
  10. Gently unmould onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Oh, and remember, every girl (or guy) needs a little treat now and then. After turning my legs to jello with the "photoshoot," I ate a delicious mint Newman-O. I have never had Trader Joe's version of an Oreo, but I have to stick with the Newmanator. Not only have I sworn my undying love to Paul Newman, my celebrity-in-a-time-machine crush, but I prefer my snack cookies without hydrogenated oils and corn syrup. Sorry, Nabisco.

Tomorrow: The unveiling of the delicious veggie sandwich!!


Anonymous said...

This bread looks really delicious! well done!

Renee said...

Thanks, bakingforthecure :)

By the way, I love your blog!