Winter is the time of year when I enjoy baking most of all, because time has slowed down a bit, and I spend much of my time inside out of the cold weather. While I make plans for the season ahead, I enjoy savoring my moments in the kitchen with my hands “in the dough”. Then my husband & I reap the benefits of this heavenly aroma that swirls through my house..awww… the soul of Provence in warm bread, the best Aromatherapy!!!
I have always savored the deliciousness of warm baked breads!! This recipe was given to me by one of our wonderful customers that visited our lavender farm last year. She purchased some of our culinary lavender, Provence, and was excitement about the possibilities of cooking with lavender. A few days later I received this recipe in my email. She told me that she couldn’t wait to try it with the addition of Provence lavender. Wow, was I ever grateful that she would consider sharing her Mother’s recipe with me! 🙂 I have revised it just a tad with the addition of Herbs de Provence, our own Hood River Lavender Spice Blend. The combined flavor of molasses and herbs de provence gives this bread an amazing delightfully sweet herby scent and flavor! And sunflower seeds add a yummy nutty texture! This is one of my favorite breads to serve with soup, beans or grilled cheese sandwiches on a cold winter day. It doesn’t last long around my house 🙂 Enjoy!
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 2 Tablespoons HRL Spice Blend – Herbs de Provence
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup Steel Oats
- 2/3 cups sunflower seeds (more if you like)
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 4 cups unbleached white flour (more or less,I used 1/2 cup buckwheat flour, 2 cups whole wheat)
- 1 egg (beaten & brushed on top before baking)
- 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds (sprinkled on top egg)
- Place boiling water in a large mixing bowl (I use my KitchenAid bowl) add steel oats, and 2 cup oatmeal and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Proof the yeast: Place 1/2 cup lukewarm “to touch” water into a small bowl and add 1 tablespoons each molasses and whole wheat flour. Allow to sit until liquid is foamy, about 35 minutes.
- Add the yeast liquid into large mixing bowl with water & oats, first testing the water with your finger, making sure it’s “lukewarm”. Pour the yeast liquid in, and add other ingredient: salt, olive oil, HRL Spice Blend (Herbs de Provence), sunflower seeds, and 1 cup whole wheat flour, mix for 5 minutes on medium speed, scraping down sides once.
- Add remaining flours,1 cup at a time & continue adding flour until dough pulls away from sides of mixing bowl. Let dough rise inside this same bowl, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place for 1-3 hours or until dough has doubled in size. Turn dough out onto a floured counter-top, and knead 6-8 times, divide dough in half and place in oiled loaf pans or shape into round loaves and place on cornmeal covered cookie sheet about 2-3″ apart. Score the top of loaves with a sharp knife “X”, brush tops with beaten egg, and sprinkle sesame seeds or oatmeal on top. Allow loaves to rise again until doubled in size 30 minutes. Preheat oven 425 degrees. I place my loaves on a separate cookie sheet covered with cornmeal, and let them rise 30 minutes. Then I gently slide the loaves onto my Baking Stones that are inside the oven preheated. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until the loaves are well browned and sound hallow when tapped with your finger.
- I Love Baking Bread because it’s such a creative art with the most delightful aromas and delicious flavors when combining various flours,grains,seeds,or herbs! Have fun experimenting with a variety of your favorite herbs, spices and seeds! Happy baking & healthy eating!!
Happy January!!Keep warm and be well…and enjoy a warm cup of lavender tea with your delicious, healthy warm baked bread!! 🙂
I’m dreaming of the warm sunny days and sweet fragrant lavender flowers surrounding me as I enjoy a spring picnic on the lavender farm!! I look forward to seeing you this coming season!