Nothing can beat the joy of baking your own bread and the wonderful aroma that wafts through your home while it's in the oven. That's why you have to try this nettle bread. It has a tender crumb and is speckled with nettle leaves. Nettles or Stinging nettles as they are commonly called are rich in Vitamins (A, B, C, and K), minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium, fats and amino acids. Adding a handful of nettle leaves to the bread makes it healthy and delicious.
Wholegrain Nettle Bread [Vegan]
- 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups water cups warm water
- 1 cup fresh nettle leaves (new tender leaves)
- Whisk together first three ingredients in a large bowl.
- In another bowl, take sugar and water and add yeast. Stir, cover and let sit for 10 minutes or until frothy.
- Add yeasted water slowly to the dry ingredients and knead the dough. Keep adding water and keep kneading till you get very soft and supple dough, about 7-8 minutes.
- Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Turn around dough so that it is evenly coated with oil. Cover and keep in a warm place for 1 1/2 hour or until double.
- In the meantime, wash the nettle leaves. Bring water to a boil in a large pan. Add Nettle leaves.
- Cover and keep for 10 minutes. Drain. Reserve some leaves to put on top. Chop remaining leaves.
- Punch the risen dough. Add chopped nettle leaves evenly in the dough. Knead for 2-3 minutes.
- Shape into a ball. Stretch the top and tuck under the seams.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rise for 1 hour or until double.
- Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 356°F.
- Brush the top of the bread with water. Arrange the leaves.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top turns golden.
- Remove from the oven. Cool in the rack. Slice when cold.
You may use a blend of 50% all-purpose flour and 50% whole wheat flour to get a lighter crumb. In this case, water requirement will be less. You may also use any green leafy vegetable in place of nettle