I love baking breads and decided on a whim to braid the dough and see what would happen. Not only does it look cool but tastes pretty darned good too. As is evident in the rave reviews I receive and the speed at which it disappears!
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tbs yeast
1 tbs molasses
1 tbs cocoa powder (optional)
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
2 tbs raw sugar
3 cups flour (I used white here as I had run out of whole wheat)
2 handfuls whole wheat bulger
1. Place warm water in bowl, add yeast and let set a few minutes while gathering other ingredients. Swirl bowl around then add the rest in order.
2. Mix well, then kneed until smooth. (if too sticky, add a little flour to the table as you kneed)
3. Form into ball, place in large bowl and cover with warm wet tea towel. Let rise 30-40 minutes or so. Should nearly triple in size.
4. Roll dough out of bowl and lightly kneed 3-4 minutes.
If you want a loaf, gently roll into loaf shape the length of your loaf pan. Set in lightly greased loaf pan. Then let rise while letting oven pre-heat to 375F. Bake approx 50 minutes. Loaf is done if makes a hollow sound when tapped. If it thuds, keep cooking another 5-10 minutes before checking again.
If you want a braided loaf, cut dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long snake, about the width of your table top. Braid like you would hair. Lay straight out on cookie sheet, or wrap around angel food cake pan. (lightly greased!) Let rise while oven pre-heats.
Should fall right out of the pan when done. Let cool on baking rack before cutting.