Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dutch Oven Artisan Quinoa Bread

I love it when something I invent actually works out! The first time is even better. I'm still a little cautious playing around with my own recipes, but I'm getting more and more confident. This Quinoa bread is the result of trying to use what I had on hand, and aiming towards a specific texture to go with a seafood soup I was making. 

I had this black Quinoa I wanted to use up, because for everyday cooking I prefer regular quinoa. I thought this would go great in bread though, and I wanted a nice hearty multi-grain bread to go with my soup. I also wanted it to be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside - which is where the dutch oven comes in.

My black quinoa

I started by soaking my quinoa in some warm water so soften it. I didn't really want to cook it all the way because I still wanted it to have some texture, but it did need to be softened. I put about a cup of quinoa and a cup of hot water to set on the counter for about 5 hours.

Then I started on my dough. I added warm water to my mixer and added my yeast to let it proof. I also added about a tablespoon of honey to help it along. Then I added in salt and flour, and let it come together. I then added in my quinoa - a cup and a half of my softened grain. I did have some leftover, which I ate for breakfast the next morning.

Then to make it even better, I added 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds and 2 tablespoons of flax seeds. Then for kicks, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. I added a bit more flour just so it wasn't to sticky, but the dough it still a really wet dough. I find I get better bread this way. You can see how sticky it still is:

Then I just covered it with a warm, damp towel in the same mixing bowl and let it rise for an hour. 

This is a no-knead dough. So all I did was put it on a floured surface and tried to shape it a bit - hard when it was so soft, but I was able to do it. In the meantime, I got my oven heating to 500 degrees and put my dutch oven in there to pre-heat. Next time, I might not do this, because it did get a little dark on the bottom. However, I did succeed in getting that great crunch on the outside of my bread!

It is very rustic looking, but that is what I wanted. This is a very rustic bread. I wanted lots of little places to get crunchy and yummy.

So then into the hot dutch oven it went and into my real oven, for half an hour with the cover on. Then I lowered to heat to 375 and baked it an extra 20 minutes.

Here is my result! It went great with my fisherman's soup - a tomato broth based soup with halibut and shrimp and lots of veggies!

Dutch Oven Artisan Quinoa Bread

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups whole wheat flour (or a combination wheat/white)
1 1/2 cups soaked quinoa
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons flax seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
Extra flour for dusting

Begin by letting the water, yeast, and honey sit for about 10 minutes. Add the flour and salt and mix until combined. Add in the quinoa and all your seeds and mix for about 5 minutes. Add a little flour if it looks really wet.

Then let rise for an hour covered with a warm, damp cloth.

Place your dutch oven into the oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Dump dough out onto a floured surface and make a sort of round shape with it - it doesn't have to be, and shouldn't be, perfect! When the oven is heated, take out the dutch oven and place the dough in the hot pot. Cover and bake for half an hour. Then take the cover off and bake another 15-20 minutes or until crust is brown and crispy. Let cool for a bit and then cut into it! It is reallllly good slightly warm with butter!

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