FLAX IN YOUR BREAD RECIPE

Those tiny flax seeds provide a powerhouse of nutrients that can boost nutrition in your homemade breads. 

You can replace either flour or eggs in your bread recipe with ground flax meal or whole flax seed. When using whole seed, soak it in water for a few hours before you use it. 

What does flaxseed add to your bread? 

Flax seed facts:

  • 40% fat (the healthy kind!)
  • 28% dietary fiber (beneficial for your colon)
  • 21% protein
  • 6% carbohydrates

The fat in flax is heart-healthy omega 3. As an excellent source of dietary fiber, flaxseed and flax meal contribute to colon health

The protein in flax is similar to soybean protein and helps vegetarians meet daily protein requirements.

Here’s a method to use flax meal as an egg replacement:

  • 1 Tablespoon of finely ground flaxseed
  • 3 Tablespoons of water

Soak seed in the water several hours and whisk briskly just before adding to your recipe.

To add flax meal to your bread, replace flour with flax meal. Since flax meal reduces the amount of gluten in your yeast bread, I recommend substituting ¼ cup of flax meal for ¼ cup of flour.

Here’s a recipe to get you started!

Equipment:

  • 2- to 3-quart mixing bowl
  • 2-cup measuring utensil
  • Tablespoon
  • Measuring cups, from ¼-cup size on up to 1-cup
  • Whisk or fork
  • Digital thermometer
  • Bread machine
  • Bread pan
  • Spatula
  • Butter, oil or no-stick spray to coat bread pan

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups water, ranging from 105 to 110 degrees
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar, honey or maple syrup
  • 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups 100% whole wheat flour (I recommend white wheat for the flavor)
  • 1/4 cup finely ground flax meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I recommend Himalayan pink salt)
  • 2 Tablespoons of melted butter or oil

Method:

1. If necessary (typically during the winter months), use hot tap water to heat your measuring utensil and bread machine canister before preparing your bread dough. This usually takes just a few minutes once the hot water is placed in the utensil. Pour the water out before measuring your ingredients. 

2. Place 1 1/4 cups of hot tap water in 2-cup measuring utensil. If you’re using refrigerated syrup or honey, it will significantly cool the water’s temperature. Once you’ve added the sweetener and stirred it thoroughly to blend it with the water, check the water’s temperature. If it’s too cold, heat 1 or 2 Tablespoons (stove top) to boost the liquid’s overall temperature (105-110 degrees); if too hot, allow it to cool for a few minutes. Once the mixture is within the desired temperature range, add the yeast and stir to dissolve it.

3. Allow the yeast mixture to rest for 3-5 minutes. It will form a foamy “head” to indicate that the yeast is activated.

4. While you wait for the yeast, blend your dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, measure flour, gluten and salt. Sift the ingredients together using a whisk or a fork.

5. If using butter, melt it slightly or cut into small pieces so it blends thoroughly with your dough. 

6. Once your yeast mixture is ready, pour out the water used to heat the bread machine canister. Carefully pour the yeast mixture into the pan, using a spatula to clear the measuring cup. Carefully add the flour mixture to the canister. Pour the oil or softened/chopped butter on top of the flour. Select your machine settings and start the mixing/kneading process.

7. An effective cycle is knead 10-18 minutes/rest 20 minutes/knead 10-18 minutes.

8. Before the second cycle completes, prepare your bread pan. If necessary, warm the pan before coating it (spraying with non-stick product, insert parchment, etc.).

9. Once the second kneading cycle is done, gently place the dough into the coated bread pan, cover it and place it in a warm area (I use my oven, which I heat to close to as warm as 120 degrees). It will take 30-45 minutes for the dough to raise.

10. Once the dough is raised, place it in a pre-heated 350-degree oven to bake for 30-45 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned. Remove from the oven and immediately place on a cooling rack. Try to give it some time to cool before you cut any slices!

11. Once it’s completely cooled, store the bread in a plastic bag. In summer, home-made bread quickly spoils and should be refrigerated once it’s cooled.


Long time journalist Loretta Sorensen is the author of Secrets To Baking Your Best Bread Ever! and regularly shares information about whole grains and bread baking. You’ll find her book on her blog site at www.bakeyourbestever.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the Country Store at Our Dakota Horse Tales. Her weekly bread baking posts are featured at Mother Earth LivingGRIT MagazineOur Dakota Horse Tales, and on Pinterest, and Facebook.