Going back to work after a lazy weekend is always tough. It makes it a bit better when you have yummy eats to look forward to all day. Another thing that can vastly improve a Monday is finding out that you are the winner of the past week’s BSI contest! I was so excited and honored when I found out that my Very Strawberry Almond Butter Bars were declared the winning recipe this week. I know that the competition was tough. Thanks so much for hosting, Laura, and thanks for choosing my little bars!! Thanks to all of you for the positive comments on the post as well. I’m really enjoying the bars, and, if you decide to make up a batch, I hope you will enjoy them too! Don’t forget to check out Christina’s site, Dinner at Christina’s, to find out about the BSI for this week’s contest. I already peeked, and she chose a good one!
I had a yummy bar this morning, bulgur chili in my lunch, and I had last night’s loaf of bread waiting at home as an incentive to make it through the day. I love cooking all weekend long. It makes for a week of good eats!! I saved room to have a couple of slices of the bread after dinner with, well, what else?? Peanut butter! Last night I had the deconstructed PB&J you see above. Tonight, I had one slice with regular peanut butter and another with PB&Co Dark Chocolate Dreams. I just love having fresh bread, and this is an interesting loaf. As I mentioned, I’m trying to bump up the protein in my diet. I decided to make a simplification of a recipe from the same book I used for my “Big Batch” Bran Bread: Martha Rose Shulman’s Great Breads. This recipe is great because it has a ton of cottage cheese in it, and that gives it a little protein boost! The end result is a loaf with a nice crisp crust and a very moist interior.
Cottage Cheese Bread
adapted from Great Breads by Martha Rose Shulman
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
1 3/4 cups 1% lowfat cottage cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup egg beaters, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour (plus extra if you are kneading by hand)
1/4 cup teff flour (you could use another flour or just use more all purpose flour if you don’t have teff)
nonstick cooking spray
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a large bowl (the mixing bowl if you are using a mixer), and stir in the agave nectar or honey. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, until creamy.
Press the cottage cheese through a sieve or give it a zip in the food processor. Stir it into the yeast mixture. Beat in the egg beaters, olive oil and baking soda.
Combine the flours and salt in a medium sized bowl. Add all at once to the yeast mixture. Use a spoon to stir the flour into the liquids until the dry ingredients are moistened. Place the mixing bowl on the mixer stand, and, using the dough hook, mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Then increase to medium speed and mix for 8-10 minutes. The dough will be sticky. After kneading it in the mixer, it should be fairly smooth and elastic and should spring back when indented with the fingers.
If you choose to knead the dough by hand rather than with the mixer, you should incorporate the flour and then knead on a floured work surface for 10 minutes adding extra all purpose flour as needed, up to 1/2 a cup. If you are a points counter, you may want to keep track of the additional flour and refigure the points using the recipe builder.
Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl and onto a lightly floured surface or a nonstick mat coated in nonstick cooking spray. Knead for a minute or so by hand. I sprayed my hands with cooking spray as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Form the dough into a loaf by flattening it into a rectangular shape and then folding it like a business letter, pinching the seems to seal. Tuck the ends toward the center and pinch to seal those seams as well. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just make a loaf.
Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Place the loaf in the pan with the seam side down. I placed the loaf pan over my bread and then flipped the baking mat over rather than trying to lift the loaf off of the mat. Spray the top of the loaf with cooking spray.
Cover with a towel and allow it to rise for 2 hours, or until the top of the loaf curves above the side of the pan.
About 30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, with the rack in the middle.
Bake the loaf for 35 to 40 minutes, until it sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.
This makes 12 unofficial 2 point slices or 24 unofficial 1 point slices (when made using teff flour and no additional all purpose flour)
I decided that I’d rather use a sieve for the cottage cheese than dirty up my food processor. It didn’t take me too long to press every last bit of this through the mesh.