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Flaxseed bread is bread made with the addition of flax seeds, ground flaxseed, or flaxseed oil. Since flaxseed is believed to have health benefits for consumers, flaxseed bread is considered a health food. In addition, it has a warm, nutty flavor which some consumers find quite enjoyable. Many health food stores stock flaxseed bread, and it can also be made at home relatively easily.
Flax has been cultivated for thousands of years for its useful fiber. It turns out that the seeds of the plant are also useful, since they are high in omega 3 fatty acids and lignans, two compounds which are supposed to be good for the body. Flaxseed and its oil can help to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart attacks, and promote general good health. There are a number of uses for flaxseed, which can be sprinkled onto salads in seed or oil form, sprouted to make crackers, or added to baked goods for extra flavor.
Some cooks simply add flax seeds to a regular bread recipe for additional texture and health benefits. Ground flaxseeds can also be added to a bread dough, for those who do not fancy seeded breads. The seeds may also be sprinkled onto the top of a loaf. Other bakers make flaxseed bread with general food health in mind, using whole grain flours and organic ingredients.
To make a simple flaxseed bread, start by dissolving one teaspoon of yeast in three cups of water and adding two cups of whole wheat flour. Allow this mixture to sit briefly before adding three tablespoons of flax seed and one tablespoon of finely ground sea salt. Stir to combine before adding two more cups of whole wheat flour, along with approximately four cups of spelt flour. Add the cups of flour one at a time as you mix the dough, so that it slowly reaches a dense consistency and starts to pull away from the side of the mixing bowl.
Knead the dough for around 10 minutes on a well floured surface and allow it to rise for around two hours, until it doubles in size. Punch the dough down and divide it into two loafs, which should be allowed to rise, covered, in loaf pans or on a large sheet pan for around 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius) while the dough rises, and then cook it on the bottom shelf for 45 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Turn the flaxseed bread out onto racks to cool. It can be served warm with an assortment of toppings, or totally cooled and stored for later use.