Maple-Blueberry Whole Wheat Bread
This is a breakfast favorite at the ranch. It was inspired by a recipe from "The Bread Bible", written by Beth Hensperger.
1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup warm milk (105-115 degrees)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt
finely shredded peel of 1 lemon (2 teaspoons)
1 to 2 cups bread flour
3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
0 finely shredded peel of 1 lemon (2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Pour warm water into a small bowl; sprinkle yeast, sugar, and ginger on top. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl combine whole-wheat flour, milk, butter, maple syrup, eggs, salt, and lemon peel. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth (about 1 minute). Add yeast mixture and 1 cup bread flour. Beat 1 minute. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in enough remaining bread flour until a soft dough that just leaves the side of the bowl is formed.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead in enough of the remaining bread flour until smooth, firm, and elastic (about 3 to 5 minutes). Do not add too much flour. Dough should hold shape, but be pliable.
Place dough in a greased bowl; let rise in a warm place until double in size (1 to 1 1/2 hours). Gently punch down dough and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Grease 2 very large baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Roll 1 portion of dough into a 15x9-inch rectangle. Transfer dough to one of the prepared baking sheets, reshaping the rectangle as needed. Spread half of the filling lengthwise down the center of dough, spreading to a 4 1/2 inch-wide strip. With a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut diagonal strips of dough down the outside edges of the rectangle at about 1-inch intervals. Starting at the top, fold the strips alternately from each side at a slight angle to make a crisscross braid, overlapping dough strips atop Filling as needed. Tuck any excess dough on the ends. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Cover loaves loosely with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 45 minutes.
Sprinkle tops of loaves with the streusel. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer loaves to a cooling rack. Serve warm or cool.
Filling: In a medium saucepan combine blueberries, maple syrup, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until mixture is very thick and liquid turns a deep purple color, gently stirring constantly to keep as many berries whole as possible. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature before using.
Streusel: In a medium bowl combine packed brown sugar, all-purpose flour, lemon peel, and ground cinnamon. Cut in butter until coarse crumbs are formed. Stir in sliced almonds.
As prepared, each serving contains 130 calories, 4g total fat, 20mg cholesterol, 150mg sodium, 21g total carbohydrate and 3g protein.