Monday, June 27, 2011

Whole Grain Chocolate Honey Amaranth Bread

And off we go! Welcome to Amaranth class. I'm chef Stephanie Petersen and I will be eating chocolate until I'm dead and bloated hosting this grand Grain Surgery 101 adventure!  

Amaranth is a supergrain! It's a complete protein. It's in the same family as millet. You all know how I love millet right? Amaranth (below, left) is a very small grain. Teff (below right) is the smallest of all the grains. Amaranth is right there though...very small. 
Added to baked goods when popped, it adds a light texture and nut-like flavor. I'm completely in love with it. Smooches Amaranth.
 I love how it looks in bread. I love how it tastes in bread. I love how it sounds like I'm doing drugs when my kids tell my neighbors, "Mom's poppin' Amaranth again."
For this amazing bread you will need this crazy cool recipe I Adapted from my chocolate bread recipe:

Whole Grain Chocolate Honey Amaranth Bread

12 oz luke warm water (no hotter than 110 degrees) 1 1/2 cups
1T  active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup organic amaranth, popped to equal 1 cup (directions to follow)
1 lb 12 oz whole Kamut flour or whole wheat bread flour ( 5 1/2 cups)
4 (1 oz each) unsweetened bakers chocolate squares (or 3/4 cup cocoa)
1 T espresso powder (or Pero for the Mormon ladies)
2 tsp salt
4 oz olive oil, (1/2 cup butter is pictured but I usually use olive oil)
2 large eggs (1/2 cup)
1 T double strength vanilla
8 oz, high quality chocolate chips

Combine the olive oil OR butter and bakers unsweetened chocolate and melt slowly over a double boiler or in the microwave 15 seconds at a time. Stir often as to not burn the chocolate.
Stir and stir. Try not to imagine yourself as a one inch version of yourself floating away in a chocolate jacuzzi with Edward Cullen...he is fictional character. He will never love you.
In a large bowl, combine the yeast, warm water, honey and about 1 cup of the flour. When the chocolate mixture is completely melted, allow to cool so that it doesn't feel warm to the touch.
Now get out your amaranth.

Pop the Amaranth by heating a large deep pan 2-3 minutes on high heat. Add the 1/4 cup amaranth and stir with a wooden spoon until it pops.
 It will become bright white and take on a nutty flavor. comments on my lack of a tan...and my crazy-brain either.
 Isn't it the cutest little mini-pop you ever saw? If I was a Smurf, I'd take this to the movies. In the bread, it gives a nut-like flavor without adding fat and most definitely adding a ton of nutritional goodness!

 Mix the amaranth  into the water flour and yeast mixture. Add the salt, vanilla, eggs and remaining flour, reserving about 1/2 cup of flour. Knead by hand 5-7 minutes until a soft supple dough is formed. It should look like this.

Very little if any flour is needed to keep this dough from sticking to the work surface if you have followed the recipe correctly. Place in a 2 gallon covered bowl and allow to raise about 2 hours, until doubled in size.
Punch down dough.

 Divide the dough in half.
Roll out into a 14 inch by 10 inch rectangle and spread half the chocolate chips onto the dough, leaving an inch around the outside edge. It helps to lightly roll a rolling pin over the chocolate chips to ease them into the dough. Be careful not to push them through, just nestle them in the dough...
Tightly roll the dough into a long log, encasing the chocolate chips. Don't make them longer than your sheet pans. I don't have a huge oven like I did in the I had to make them short 16 inches or so.
I had a dream about an alien planet that was all cratered with chocolate chips like this. I think it was after I had eaten too many brownies.

When it is all rolled, be sure not to let any of those little cuties escape. escaped nibblet. Ooop. I had to do a mercy eating...just so it wouldn't get burned in the oven. See how benevolent I am.
Place loaves seam side down on a lightly oiled sheet pan or pan lined with parchment paper. You can cover each loaf lightly with plastic wrap or place in an Unheated oven, lightly spraying it with a mist of water. Raise 1 1/2-2 hours, until very fluffy. Remove wrapping or take out of cool oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take one egg white and 2T water and whisk together in a bowl. Lightly coat the top of the bread with the egg mixture using a pastry brush.
Slash with a sharp knife lightly three times across the top of the bread.
Bake 40-45 minutes or until over 170 degrees with a meat thermometer.

When baked, the outside will be smooth and shiny. The inside will be studded with chocolate chips. Well, unless a few peek out through the slash marks. On a side note...I also like to make little buns with this dough and just put a square of chocolate in the middle of the dough, much like I do for the caramel stuffed sticky buns
There you go.

Don't lick the computer screen. It's not Edward Cullen and it will never love you. Stop poppin' too many freak.

Make your own. There you go. {Evil grin} Don't you want to just try amaranth now?!

1 comment:

JL said...

Thanks Steph! I am so excited to try it. It's looks so evil, and good for you at the same time, unbelieveable!! Thanks!