Patience bread. It will rise in it's good old time.
Free of the usual recent distractions of the thrift store or library, this snowy weekend seemed like a good time to return to playing with yeast bread. What could be better with the sweet potato soup I had planned? I started the dough Saturday afternoon and set it aside in the warm oven for a couple of hours, but the dough didn't rise.
Rather than panic, I made some quick biscuits for dinner and decided to let time work on the dough and just see what happened. Left covered overnight in our 68 degree boiler room, and -- in its own time -- it did in fact decide to rise about 10-12 hours later, doubling in size to a beautiful mass of wet dough by Sunday evening. 'All things in their own time' is certainly one of the lessons of bread making.
Golden Flaxseed bread*
2 cups warm water
1 packet instant yeast (2 +1/2 tsp.)
2 tsp. sugar
-- whisk together all three, and let stand for 30 min. to proof the yeast.
4 1/2 cups flour (I used unbleached white)
4 tsp. vital wheat gluten
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbl. milled flax seed (I used Hodgson Mill brand)
3 Tbl. nonfat dry milk
Add water/yeast mixture to stand mixer over dry ingredients and blend thoroughly with dough hook until dough pulls away from the wall, forming a mass around the bread hook. Knead for about 10 minutes. Place in oiled bowl and cover to rise 2-12 hours. (see notes on rising time above.)
When doubled in volume turn out dough on floured surface and fold over and form into a free-form loaf. Transfer to baking sheet covered in parchment. Score the top (I used a cross-hatching pattern.) Cover with towel and let stand 1/2 hour until it relaxes and rises slightly.
Bake in preheated oven at 400, for 30-35 minutes, or until tapping on the top of the loaf yields a hollow sound.
This bread has a bold, developed flavor (likely due to the long rise), fleck-y coloring from the milled flax seed hulls, and a hearty, dense [but not overly so] crumb texture. It turned out far better than I believed it would after the first two hours of rising. Being my first foray into adding vital wheat gluten -- an ingredient I understand aids rising and adds protein and fiber -- I don't know if that makes a contribution to its flavor but it was a wonderful bread for thick slices if you can wait a couple of days after starting the dough.
* modified from the Hodgson Mill box, their recipe is here.