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Some From the Hearth : Homemade Breads, Rich With Whole Grains, Herbs, Seeds and Nuts, Enhance Winter Meals

<i> Joan Drake is a Times staff writer. </i>

Few things smell better than bread baking. Wholesome ingredients such as rye and whole-wheat flours, herbs and seeds add to the flavor and texture of loaves still warm from the oven. And cool weather is the ideal time to try one of the following recipes.

PRODUCED BY ROBIN TUCKER

FOOD STYLIST: MARLENE BROWN WHOLE-WHEAT POTATO BREAD

1 3/4 cups flour

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2 packages dry yeast

1 cup milk

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

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2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes

1 cup sour cream

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1/2 cup minced onion

2 tablespoons chopped tarragon

1 teaspoon garlic powder

5 to 6 cups whole-wheat flour

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Oil or butter, optional

Stir together flour and yeast. Heat milk, water, butter, sugar and salt over low heat until warm, 120 to 130 degrees, stirring to blend. Add liquid mixture to flour-yeast mixture and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add potatoes, sour cream, onion, tarragon and garlic powder. Beat mixture until smooth. Stir in enough whole-wheat flour to make moderately stiff dough.

Turn out onto floured surface and let rest 4 minutes. Knead until smooth, about 5 to 8 minutes. Let rise in warm place until doubled, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Punch down. Divide dough in half and shape into 2 loaves. Place in 2 greased 8 1/2x4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Let rise again until almost doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees 35 to 40 minutes. Brush with oil or butter. Remove from pans. Makes 2 loaves. KATIE TREFETHEN’S SEED BREAD

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Water

3 packages dry yeast

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

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1 cup warm milk

2 tablespoons walnut oil

1 tablespoon salt

1 egg

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1/2 cup honey

1 1/2 cups rye flour

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup unprocessed bran

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3 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

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1/2 cup poppy seeds

cup caraway seeds

Glaze

Place 1/2 cup very warm water in large, warmed bowl. Swirl water around bowl. Add yeast and sugar. When mixture is bubbly and light, add 1 3/4 cups warm water, 3 cups all-purpose flour and warm milk. Set mixture in warm place, covered, until light and doubled in size.

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Add walnut oil, salt, egg, honey, rye flour, cornmeal, bran, whole-wheat flour, raisins, walnuts, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds and caraway seeds. Knead by hand or use dough hook, adding more all-purpose flour as needed.

When mixture is no longer sticky, place in greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover and allow to rise until doubled.

Punch down. Divide into 3 pieces, weighing to obtain 2 2-pound pieces and 1 1-pound piece. Shape into loaves and place 2 larger pieces in 2 9x4-inch loaf pans and smaller loaf into 1 7 1/2x4-inch loaf pan. Let rise to top of pan or slightly over.

Bake at 350 degrees 50 to 55 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool. Brush with Glaze. Makes 2 large loaves and 1 small loaf. Glaze

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1 egg white

1 teaspoon water

Combine egg white with water. Mix well. TWO-TONE RYE TWIST

3 cups all-purpose flour

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2 packages dry yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

cup softened butter or margarine

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2 cups hot water

cup light molasses

cup cocoa powder

3 to 4 cups rye flour

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Yellow cornmeal

Oil

Melted Butter

Combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in large bowl. Stir well to blend. Add butter and hot water.

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Beat with electric mixer at medium speed 2 minutes. Scrape bowl occasionally. Add 1 cup more all-purpose flour. Beat with electric mixer at high speed 1 minute or until thick and elastic.

Pour half of batter (about 2 cups) into large bowl. Add molasses and cocoa. Gradually stir in just enough rye flour with wooden spoon to make soft dough that leaves sides of bowl. Cover and set aside.

Gradually stir in just enough rye flour to remaining half of batter to make soft dough that leaves sides of bowl. Turn out onto floured board. Knead 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and then towel. Knead remaining dough and cover as above. Let rest 20 minutes.

Punch down. Roll each half into 14x8-inch rectangle. Cut lengthwise into 2 equal strips. Pinch lengthwise edges of each strip together to form 14-inch rope. Twist 1 light and 1 dark rope together for each loaf. Seal ends and tuck under.

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Place in 2 greased 8x4-inch loaf pans that have been sprinkled with cornmeal. (Correct pan size is important for best results.) Brush tops of loaves lightly with oil. Cover pans loosely with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate 2 to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove from refrigerator, uncover and let stand 10 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Remove from pan immediately. Brush top crust with butter. Cool on rack. Makes 2 loaves. ONION BREAD

7 to 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 packages quick-rising yeast

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1/2 cup finely chopped fresh onion

cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 cups water

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cup shortening

3 eggs

1 tablespoon water

In large mixer bowl, combine 3 cups flour, yeast, onion, sugar and salt; mix well. In saucepan, heat 2 cups water and shortening until warm (shortening does not need to melt). Add to flour mixture. Add 2 eggs and blend at low speed until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed.

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By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface 5 to 8 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place about 15 minutes.

Punch down dough, and divide dough into 2 parts. On lightly floured surface, roll or pat each half into 14x7-inch rectangle. Starting with shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing dough into roll with each turn. Pinch edges and ends to seal. Place in greased 9x5-inch bread pans. Cover; let rise in warm place about 20 minutes.

Combine remaining egg and 1 tablespoon water to make glaze. Brush loaves with egg mixture. With sharp knife, carefully make a slash 1/2-inch deep lengthwise down center of each loaf. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until tops of loaves are golden brown. Remove from pans and let cool. Makes 2 loaves.


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