Maple Alps

meal plan

Homemade Seedy Bread

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps8 Comments

Since it's been a while since I've talked about my everyday staples, I decided to share another bread recipe. 

You may have been around when I talked about why I don't buy bread anymore, and if not, that's okay. You can check it out here

Easy Seedy Bread | www.maplealps.com

If you follow along on Instagram, you might know that we've slowly been making the transition to a homemade pantry. Over the past year, it's been so satisfying to add things that I used to never think twice about buying. Things that were staples, but never knew how easy and how much healthier (and cheaper!!) they were to make. Bread is one of those things, and since we eat it so often, it was only natural to make the switch. This year, I hope to share more of the things we learned, but back to this deliciousness that is this bread!

Easy Seedy Bread (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

I like to rotate the bread recipes I make, but this one is so far my favourite. The texture is perfect, and I love the crispy outside. Sure, it takes a while to get everything done, but it's worth every long rise it goes through. That being said, it's very easy, just time consuming. 

We love eating this plain, or with homemade spread!

Easy Seedy Bread | www.maplealps.com

Easy Homemade Seedy Bread
Makes 2 Small Loaves

Bread Dough:
2 tsp active dry yeast
3 tbsp liquid honey (or agave if vegan)
1 1/2 cups warm water, divided
1 cup large flake oats
3 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I have also used whole wheat pastry flour with great success)
1 1/4 cups bread flour, plus more for kneading
1 tsp sea salt
1 TBSP of each and mixed: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds 

Preferment:
1 cup bread flour
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1) The night before baking the bread make the preferment. In a large bowl, mix together the bread flour, water and yeast until a smooth small dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature overnight. The preferment will double in size by morning.

2) Measure out 1/4 cup of warm water in a glass measuring cup. Add the yeast and honey. Mix to combine and then allow the mixture to sit, undisturbed for 5 minutes or until the mixture is foamy on top.

3) Add 1 1/4 cups of warm water to a bowl. Add the oats and flax and allow this mixture to sit for 5 minutes.

4) After 5 minutes, add both the yeast mixture and the oat mixture to the bowl with the preferment from the night before. Add the flours and salt.  

5) Mix and start kneading on the counter. You will have to knead for about 5 minutes (unless you have a stand mixer, but it's a great work out!). If the dough seems sticky, add extra flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it looks the way you would like. Add 3 tablespoons of the mixed seeds and mix until combined.

6) Grease the bowl you mixed the dough in and place the dough back in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for at least 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

7) Preheat oven 450 degrees F. Place a large dutch oven with the lid on in the oven on the centre rack. You may also use a pizza stone (or baking sheet) if that's all you have.

6) Punch the dough down and place it onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times with your hands and then form the dough into a rough oval shape (if needed, you can divide the dough in half and make two loaves). Place the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise for 20 minutes.

8) After 20 minutes, use a sharp knife to gently make a small slit down the center of the loaf. 

9) Carefully remove the hot dutch oven from the oven and remove the lid. Very carefully, pick the dough up by the parchment paper and lift it into the hot dutch oven (parchment and all). Place the hot lid back on the pot and return to the oven.

10) Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. Using oven mitts, remove the hot lid and continue baking until the bread is a deep, golden brown, about 15-20 minutes more. Remove from the oven. Carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Easy Seedy Bread (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

Have you tried making your own homemade bread? I wish I could start it from the ground and grow the grain myself too!


Confessions of a Meal Planner Part 2

LifestyleAmanda Walter | Maple Alps24 Comments

A few weeks ago, I posted about why I meal plan and today, I'm going to be sharing how I go about meal planning. I know I said I would post this earlier, but it has been a crazy couple of days. Since it's the beginning of the month, I thought I should get to it. 

The process of meal planning itself is a pretty easy one. I plan for the entire month. It used to take up to two hours, but now that I'm better at it, it goes by much quicker - usually no longer than an hour.


1) Check the Fridge, Freezer & Cupboards

I do this first because I can then determine what needs to be and can be used. I also do not wish to buy duplicates unnecessarily, so this step usually eliminates that. I also check on my staples to see if they need refilling. 

 

2) Gather My Recipes

This is my favourite part! I love going through the recipes I love and the ones I haven't tried. In addition to checking my repertoire, I open my Pinterest boards and my Pocket feed to see what recipes have interested me, and what I might be determined enough to knock off the "try list." Note: Our breakfasts are usually pretty standard because of work schedules, so we usually have fruit and whole grain cereal or bread. I don't bother planning for that because they're staples for us. A couple of times a month, we will have a free morning in which we can be a bit more adventurous though! 

 

3) Get Out the Calendar

I print out a blank monthly calendar to place my meals on. Eventually I want to make and use a reusable one. First, I block off the days where I don't need to worry about preparing food (days we're out of town or eating out, etc.). Next I schedule any grocery shopping trips (usually two). This helps me determine what ingredients I need to last longer. By the way, we personally only eat twice a day (one large breakfast, and an early supper/late lunch). If we are dying of hunger, we'll have a light snack later on.

 

4) Group Together Meals

I don't necessarily group meals that have overlapping ingredients if I don't plan on making enough to have leftovers. Sometimes we do though, and a lot of ingredients are versatile anyway. Making sure each meal for the day adds up to the recommended amounts of nutrients (more on that in the future!), I start putting them on the calendar. 

 

5) Make a Shopping List

Being sure I double check the things I already have, I make a list! It's easy. I write down every thing I'll need for each meal I'm preparing and take a poll, so to say. This way, I can be sure I'm getting enough of a certain ingredient. Note: I usually make two shopping lists. One for each shopping trip I need to take. This also helps me make sure that produce will last long enough, etc. Plus, I don't have to take extra time later on to make a completely new list. I can add to it if I run out of a staple or two during the week. 

Note: I group my list into sections according to what store I will be visiting. This way, I'm not jumping between sections and wasting time. 

 

6) Execute!

The one thing I really like about this system is that it's flexible. If I decide I don't want a certain meal one day, or if something comes up where we don't need to cook after all, it's easy to change it up and move it. It's basically just for my sanity. 

 

Confessions of a Meal Planner | www.maplealps.com
 

What do you think? Easy enough to try yourself?
Do you use another method? Comment below- I'd love to hear about it. I'm off to meal plan for this month now - a few days late... I'm a little behind in life these days :)