Ah, Thanksgiving. They say, if you don’t want things to get crazy, don’t talk about religion or politics. Well, it’s hard to talk about anything when you’ve got fresh homemade bread to keep your mouth busy. Once again, bread is an agent of healing! Let’s hear it for bread!
I made two recipes for our guests this year. One was my wife’s favorite, Sesame Cheddar Bread – except that I didn’t have any sesame seeds on hand, so I used flax seeds instead. Always a crowd pleaser, that one. Check out the nice flower arrangements my wife Becca made…
The other was an experiment that ranks among my most successful recipes. I wondered what a bread made with goat cheese in lieu of cheddar would taste like. So, I made a small hand-batch (no mixer) with goat cheese, chives, and flax and hemp seeds. The result was a light, tangy bread with a full-bodied aftertaste that drew many positive comments from family members of all ages. The chives and seeds add some character to the finished loaves as well.
Hope y’all had as wonderful a time with your loved ones as I did with mine!
Goat Cheese Chive Bread
- 1 scant tablespoon (or 1 ¼-ounce package) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water about 110 degrees
- ¼- cup toasted flax seeds
- ¼- cup toasted hemp seeds
- 5 ounces goat cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons softened butter
- 3-4 cups unbleached flour
Toast the flax and hemp seeds and let cool.
In a large bowl, stir yeast into 1 cup of water to soften.
Add seeds, goat cheese, chives, sugar, salt, olive oil, hazelnut meal, and 1½ cups of the unbleached flour. Beat vigorously for two minutes.
Gradually add flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead, adding flour a little at a time, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide into two pieces.
Roll or press each piece flat into a rectangle long enough to fit your baguette pan or cookie sheet.
Shape the dough by rolling it long way, pinch it along the seam, and place seam-side down on a well-oiled pan.
Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
About 10 minutes (30 if using a baking stonbefore baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Just before baking, cut slits across the top of your loaves about ¼-inch deep.
For a crustier crust, spritz the loaves with water or toss some ice cubes into the oven after you put the pans in.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the loaves reaches 190 degrees.
Immediately remove bread from pans or baking sheet and cool on a rack.