As many of you know, I make my family’s sandwich bread. I bake four loaves a week, two at a time, freezing one and storing the other in a breadbox in our pantry. For a year or so, I had been using an easy bread recipe referred to me by my friend, Kristen, who has a lovely cooking blog.
Then my sister started raving about the bread recipes in the classic, Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads. I quickly fell in love with the Cuban bread, which requires no butter or milk, so as long as I have bread flour and yeast on hand, I can make it! I love the beautiful rounds of bread, crispy crust, and soft chewy inside. It also only takes about 2 hours from start to finish, including one quick rise. So what could I add to make an already fabulous recipe even better?
I had heard of them a year ago from a friend who mentioned all the nutritional benefits (omega-3’s, increased energy, weight loss, etc…) and didn’t feel very convinced. I also hadn’t thought about adding them to bread. And then I ran across the seeds on the King Arthur Flour website while I was browsing for yummies. So I picked some up and added 1 tablespoon (and 1 tablespoon of wheat germ since I mostly used white flour). I also add about 1/4 cup more water to account for the increase in dry ingredients.
The results have been consistently DELICIOUS!
(Those little flecks of black are the seeds.)
I don’t have to grind the seeds and they even taste good raw. I can’t attest to any of the health benefits since I’m probably not consuming enough at this point to see a difference. But I do add them to other foods–smoothies and quick breads–when I think of it.
So if you’re in the mood to try something new (and maybe grow a Chia pet in your tummy?), add a bit to your next batch of bread or meal.
– Here is a copy of the Cuban bread recipe; I too have never used the optional seeds on top.
– For more info on Chia seeds and they’re purported benefits, look here and here.