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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Light Whole Wheat Bread (with BONUS Strata Recipe!)

Unfortunately, after three renewals, my time with The Bread Lovers' Bread Machine Cookbook was up and I had to return it to the library. But not before I had made a few loaves, and copied some recipes for future.

I made this delicious loaf one night, thinking to use it for dinner sandwiches. But when several fixings were lacking, I regrouped and went for a strata. I used part of this, part store-bought sandwich bread in the strata, then sliced up the rest of this to eat on the side, with blackberry jam. What a great, flavorful, substantial-but-not-heavy basic loaf - definitely a keeper for that bread machine cookbook I'm going to write someday...

Light Whole Wheat Bread
(print recipe)
1 cup water
1 large egg
2 T vegetable or nut oil
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 T dry buttermilk powder
2 T dark brown sugar
1 T gluten
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast

Assemble ingredients in the order suggested by bread machine manufacturer. Choose a medium or dark crust setting, BASIC cycle. When it is done, remove immediately to wire rack and cool to room temperature before slicing.

Recipe from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger

Skillet Strata with Sausage and Gruyere (print recipe)
1 T butter
8 oz. raw, crumbled breakfast sausage (we used elk sausage because, sigh, that's what we have)
1 onion, minced
Salt and ground black pepper
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tsp fresh minced thyme
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
5 slices high-quality sandwich bread, cut into 1-inch squares

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Melt butter in 10-inch ovensafe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to coat skillet, until foaming subsides. (*The only 10-inch skillet I have is cast iron, so I just used it and it didn't stick much.) Add onion, sausage and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until onion is softened and sausage is browned, about 6 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, thyme, and 1/4 tsp ground pepper together. Stir in cheese and set aside.

3. Add bread to skillet and, using rubber spatula, carefully fold bread into onion mixture until evenly coated. Cook bread, folding occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.

4. Off heat, fold in egg mixture until slightly thickened and well combined with bread. Gently press on top of strata to help it soak up egg mixture.

5. Bake until edges and center are puffed and edges have pulled away slightly from sides of pan, about 18 to 25 minutes, and serve.

Recipe adapted from The Best 30-Minute Recipe by the Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine

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