21 Jun

flour girl: Powerhouse Sprouted Grain Bread


You probably saw this bread on the blog last week and I promised a recipe for it, so here it is. I took the recipe for Power Bread from the book Whole Grain Breads and adapted it to be even more nutritious.

This bread is a total powerhouse. It is high in protein which makes it a good pre-workout snack. It’s also full of nutrition with the benefits of the enzymes from sprouted wheat kernels, the omega-3s from the walnut flour and flax seeds, and just one slice has 30% of your daily recommended intake of fibre. It’s pretty hardcore.


Make it. It’s good for you.

Nutrition per slice : 126 calories
Fat : 3.6g / 32.4 cals (24.4%), Carbs : 20.9g / 83.8 cals (63%), Protein : 4.2g / 16.9 cals (12.7%)

Powerhouse Sprouted Grain Bread


1/3 c. raisins
5 t. flax seeds
3/4 c. water

6 oz sprouted wheatberries food-processed into a paste (how to sprout wheat)
1 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
2 T. oat bran
1/2 t. sea salt

Day 1:
Combine the raisins, flax, and water in a bowl and leave at room temperature overnight.

Day 2:

Puree the raisin mixture in a food processor.
In a bowl stir together the puree and the remaining soaker ingredients to get a wet batter. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight.



1 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 t. quick rise yeast
1/2 c. soy milk

Day 2:
Combine all the starter ingredients together in a bowl. Knead the starter dough by hand for a few minutes. Place the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.



2/3 c. walnut flour
1 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
3 T. sesame seeds
1/2 t. salt
2 1/4 t. (one packet) instant yeast
3 1/2 t. honey
1 T. date molasses

Day 3:
Chop the starter up into 8-10 pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Add all the remaining dough ingredients to the bowl.


Stir the ingredients together with a spoon until the mixture begins to form a ball.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead with wet hands for 5-10 minutes. Add extra flour as needed so the dough is firm and a bit tacky. The dough should pass the windowpane test so you know the gluten is developed.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in size (about 1 hour).


When the dough has doubled in size, form the dough into a loaf pan shape and place into an oiled 8×4” loaf pan. Cover again with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature again until 1.5x it’s original size (~45minutes).


Bake in a 350F oven for 40 minutes rotating the pan 180 degrees after 20 minutes until it sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom and/or has an internal temperature of 195 degrees fahrenheit.

Cool on a rack before serving.


Submitted to Yeastspotting

13 Jun

food journal 13/06/11

I’m food journalling again this week.


Scrambled Egg whites (1/4c) with 2 slices of high protein sprouted wheat bread (homemade! recipe to come) and dijon mustard.




Mishmish! (aka as apricots) This is probably the only fruit that I consistently call by it’s Arabic name because I really like to say mishmish.
– 1 chicken thigh cooked in white wine with garlic, capers, and lemon juice.


Pre Weightlifting

Cottage cheese with strawberries.


Post Weightlifting

Smoothie – 1 banana, 1c. unsweetened soy milk, 1 t all natural peanut butter, 1 scoop vegan protein powder



Barley risotto with kale and romano beans



chocolate chip cookie



I did my superset routine and intended to run afterwards. That didn’t happen. My legs were jell-o. I could hardly use the gas and brake pedals on my car when I drove home. THAT’s a good workout.


Since I skipped the run, Matt and I headed to the park to play a little catch instead.

I’m working on making PDFs for all my weight training routines so you can print them out and bring them to the gym with you if you’re interested. I’ll keep you all posted 🙂


Matt and I picked up a new food dish for Bagigis since her plastic one was chewed up and basically disgusting.

Bagig’ is terrified of the thing and keeps barking at it!


I’ve had to try to make a trail of kibble Hansel & Gretel style to get her close to the thing.


Eventually I had to bribe her to eat from the bowl by putting peanut butter in it!




25 May

food journal–25/05/11


– 2 little spelt buns that I proofed on Monday and baked last night; I wasn’t happy with the flavour of these guys. 1 bun was eaten with with jam (unphotographed) and the other with Norwegian brown cheese

– banana—nice and brown, just like it’s meant to be

Homemade Spelt Bun



-leftover vegan corn and black bean chili
-2 spinach fatayer (it was supposed to be 3 but one accidentally got stuck in the toaster at the office and burned to a char)

Vegan Corn and Black Bean ChiliSpinach Fatayer


-stress at work drove me to the candy dispenser for Skittles. 20 minutes later I sugar-crashed and fell asleep at my desk. (I only got 1 red skittle?! Damn you, candy dispenser)

– once I got home I ate another one of those little spelt buns, plain. They’re really small I swear.



Doesn’t this look amazing?

Vegan Oil Down

It’s supposed to be a Grenadian Oil Down but I took liberties with the recipe. In the end it came out phenomenal—a very tasty, stick to your ribs, West Indian flavoured stew.

I took the recipe from Sasha at Global Table Adventures one of my favourite blogs. She’s cooking dishes from every country in the world in alphabetical order (she’s at the G’s). How awesome is that?

I had already started the prep work for the recipe when I cut into the yucca that I just happened to have lying around (what can I say, I’m impulsive in the produce section!) and found that it had gone bad. I subbed parsnips for the yucca (the only other root veggie I had lying around) and it turned out fabulous!

In the mix is carrots, parsnips, celery, onion, spinach, coconut milk, curry, and dumplings (aka spinners and sinkers).

Vegan Oil Down


Yesterday I went out for a 5 mile run which felt super quick compared to the distances that I’ve been doing lately but it also felt really tough on my legs. My legs felt like lead and then I started to develop pain in my right knee and my left heel/ankle.

Considering the discomfort of the run I was pretty surprised to see that I ran it in 50 minutes which about a minute/mile faster than I have been running lately.

Today I came home and did an Eoin Finn yoga podcast and followed that up with Jackie Warner’s 20 minute core workout. I still suck terribly at that core workout—I’m always doing the easy modifications! I’d like to make it my goal to have Jackie’s 6 pack but I think that would be highly unattainable.


Pigeon Pose

08 Apr

food blog friday: Finnish Cinnamon Buns

It is Food Blog Friday!

I’m on a mission to make the perfect cinnamon bun. The holy grail is, in my opinion, a tender, sweet roll with the perfect amount of cinnamon. A bun that holds it’s own and doesn’t need to be doused in frosting.

Don’t get me wrong, I have an unhealthy love of all things frosted. The kind of love that would make me fist fight for the corner piece of slab cake  or accept a cupcake only to lick off the frosting and eschew the rest.

But when it comes to a cinnamon bun, I like a little frosting for extra sweetness, but too much and I feel like I’m eating a decadent dessert when what I really want is a breakfast pastry.

So when I saw Rosa’s Yummy Yums recipe for Korvapuustit (Finnish Cinnamon Buns), A few thoughts ran through my head: 1) Those are the most adorable cinnamon buns I’ve ever seen, 2) Finland borders Norway and I was just in Norway, so, cool. 3)This looks like my cinnamon bun holy grail, but cuter.

According to Rosa:

In Finland, you’ll find [korvapuustit] in every café or bakery. They are very popular with both Finns and foreigners alike. Those rolls are similar to Sweden’s “Kanelbullar” and to the American “Cinnamon Rolls”, yet they differ a little from both. The differences lie within their ear-like shape, flavor (cardamom in the dough and a lot less sweet than their US counterpart), texture (less gooey than “Cinnamon Rolls”) and size (relatively small compared to the oversized American rolls).

Sounds perfect! So I set out to make the rolls.

The result wasn’t exactly what I was going for. I liked that they weren’t super sweet (although Matt had other opinions on that), I loved the cardamom flavour in the dough, and I thought they really were a perfect size and shape (the shape is my favourite thing about them!) but the dough itself wasn’t quite tender enough for my liking.

I liked them for what they were, but what they’re not is the perfect cinnamon bun.

I think I will use some ideas that I took away from this recipe as the quest for the perfect cinnamon bun continues…

So I give this recipe…

2 Spoons!

Finnish Cinnamon Buns (Korvapuustit)

Recipe adapted from Rosa’s Yummy Yums and “The Great Scandinavian Book Of Baking

Makes 10-12 rolls.


1 Package (7g) Active dry yeast
1/2 Cup (120ml) Lukewarm water
1/4 Cup (60g) Unsalted butter, melted
1/4 Cup (50g) Castor sugar
1 Big egg, slightly beaten
1 Egg yolk
1/2 Tsp Fine sea salt
3/4 Tsp ground cardamom (optional)
2 1/4 -2 1/2 Cups (~ 300g) All-purpose flour
1/4 Cup (60g) Unsalted butter, softened
1/4 Cup (50g) Castor sugar
1 Tbs Ground cinnamon
1 Egg, slightly beaten
1 Tbs Milk


1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the butter, sugar, egg, yolk, salt, cardamom and 2 1/4-1/2 cups flour, then knead until dough is smooth.
3. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.
4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a rectangle of 30x60cm (12 inches by 24 inches).
5. Spread with the butter, then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
6. Roll up, starting from one of the 60cm (24-inch) side.
7. Cut the roll diagonally into 12 pieces (each piece will be about 1.3cm/½ inch on one side and 7.6/3 inches thick on the other side).

8. With two thumbs or the handle of a big wooden spoon, press down the middle of the side of each roll (by doing that the two cut edges will be forced upward/the rolls will resemble two “ears”).

9. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it.
10. Place the cinnamon ears on prepared baking sheets. Cover them with a humid towel.
11. Let rise for about 40 minutes, until the rolls are puffy and have doubled in size.
12. Preheat the oven to 200° C (400° F) after 20 minutes of rising.

13. Once the rolls have risen, mix the egg and milk together.
14. Brush each roll with this mixture and sprinkle with the pearl sugar.
15. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden.

Note: I frosted these cinnamon buns with a drizzle of icing that I made by combining icing sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and a touch of soy milk to bring it all together.

Food Blog Fridayrecipes are ranked on the scale of 0-3 spoons

0 spoons – That was fucking horrendous
1 spoon  –  I doubt I’ll be making that again
2 spoons – I’ll probably make that again with some tweaks
3 spoons – That was perfect

06 Apr

bread and books

After last week’s foray into the exciting world of homemade nut butters, I decided to give peanut butter making a try since peanut butter is my favourite of them all.

I bought Virginia roasted unsalted peanuts and whirred them in the food processor for about 8 minutes with a pinch of salt, and a dash of cinnamon, clove, and cardamom (just because I was feeling whimsical*) and voila, peanut butter.

*Does anyone else feel annoyed by the overuse of the term “whimsy” in relation to culinary arts?


This would be the point of the post where I show you a picture… unfortunately I ate all the peanut butter. In 3 days. It was so perfect that I couldn’t stop myself.

I also made bread this week…of the multigrain variety. I know, it’s not big news since I bake bread most weeks. Sometimes two different types (you’re jealous, I can tell).

The thing I love about multigrain bread is you can literally put any grain into it and it ends up tasting amazing. I’ve never even come across a combination I found mediocre. They’re all awesome.


I actually took a picture before I devoured the whole loaf. Also, in 3 days. This is no coincidence.

My bread and pb binge also coincides with my excitement over this:


ROOM by Emma Donoghue

Jack and Ma live in a locked room that measures eleven foot by eleven.  When he turns five, he starts to ask questions, and his mother reveals to him that there is a world outside. Told entirely in Jack’s voice, ROOM is no horror story or tearjerker, but a celebration of resilience and the love between parent and child. (source)

I’ve been excited about this book since it came out last August and I’ve been patiently waiting for the paperback. I found it in Norway of all places. CanLit in paperback in Norway before Canada? I thought it was weird, but I scooped up the book at first chance.

I haven’t been able to put it down in the last 3 days and so I haven’t been making myself square meals. Just eating bread and peanut butter and curling up to an amazing book. I had been feeling guilty about it up until this moment when I re-read that last sentence and thought: “Hmm. That sounds like the perfect afternoon.”

Any good reads lately that you can recommend?

30 Mar

flour girl: Best Chewy Bagels

Remember back in the summer when I went to Montreal and had those overrated bagels from Fairmount bakery?

Well these aren’t them.

Best Chewy Bagel

Best Chewy BagelBest Chewy Bagel

Best Chewy Bagel

I don’t get Montreal bagels and if that’s sacrilegious to admit then have me excommunicated.

Sure, they are a bit sweeter (thumbs up!) but they are too dense (thumbs down) and too dry (thumbs down) and the centre is too big (thumbs way down—I want more bread, not more air, thank you very much).

So, no, these aren’t Montreal style bagels.These are MY bagels: ever so slightly crispy crust, chewy crumb, and a hint of sweetness. They’re perfect.

At least I think so.

Best Chewy Bagel

The Best Chewy Bagels

Yields 10


18 oz bread flour
4-1/2 tsp yeast
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
12 oz warm water

Water Bath
3 L water
2 Tbsp sugar

1 egg white
1/4 poppy or sesame seeds


In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients then slowly add in the 12 oz water. Mix until the ingredients come together.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes, adding flour as needed to created a firm, dense dough. The dough should pass the windowpane test for gluten development… if not, keep kneading!

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until the dough doubles in volume (~1hour)

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll them into snakes about 25 cm long. If the dough wont roll out easily just let it rest for 5 minutes and try again.

Best Chewy Bagel

Wrap the snake around your palm to form a bagel shape and with your palm still in the centre, roll the bagel on the counter to seal the seams.

Best Chewy BagelBest Chewy Bagel

Best Chewy Bagel

Cover the bagels and let them rise for 10 – 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F, prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper, and bring the 3L of water to a boil on the stove. Once the water is boiling, add in the 2 Tbsp sugar.

Add the bagels to the water bath 3-4 at a time being careful not the overcrowd the pot. Keep them in the water for 30 seconds on one side and then 30 seconds on the other. Remove them with a large slotted spoon and place them on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.

Best Chewy BagelBest Chewy Bagel

Brush the bagels with the egg white and sprinkle with seeds of choice.

Best Chewy Bagel Best Chewy BagelBest Chewy Bagel

Bake at 400F for 25-30 minutes or until the bagels are golden brown. They will still be soft when you take them out of the oven but once they cool the the crust will firm up a bit.

Best Chewy Bagel

Best Chewy Bagel


This post was submitted to Yeastspotting.


Previous Posts in the Flour Girl Series:

All About Enzymes

Gluten and Its Role in Baking

Baking Tips and Tools

How to get a Crispy Crust

German Bread

Italian Bread – Ciabatta

How to Fix an Over-Risen Dough

Multigrain Wheat and Barley Bread

Sweet, sweet Stollen

17 Jan

flour girl: Stollen

I’m trying to just eat one dessert a week in my efforts to win the office Biggest Loser. And no, those handfuls of Jelly Belly’s from the Cost-Co sized tub on top of my fridge don’t count as dessert. What? They’re made with real fruit! 😉

While I may not be entirely successful in cutting out the sugar, I was entirely successful in baking my own dessert this week. In true Samantha fashion it came in the form of a yeast bread: Stollen.


Okay, let’s not kid ourselves here with the bread moniker, this is cake. Maybe I only put 2 tablespoons of sugar in it, but the with the richness from the butter, egg, milk, booze, and fruit the term bread just doesn’t do it justice.

This is my first time making stollen and, actually, the first time I’ve ever eaten it (the bonus to that being that I don’t know if I FUBAR’d the recipe). Stollen is a German holiday bread that is a lot like Italian panettone in theory, but not quite in practice. It’s much denser. heavier. Whereas I could eat half a loaf of panettone without second thought (and I may or may not have done this before… like, on Saturday afternoon), a small piece of stollen is substantial. Maybe it has a little something to do with all the dried fruit in it, or maybe the has a gooey marzipan filling (my favourite part)  :d


That’s marzipan mixed with butter.

Fold the dough over into an ‘S’ shape and then form into a crescent.


I left 1c. of Thompson raisins and 1c. candied citrus peel to soak in a few tablespoons of peach schnapps for 3 days to get really plump and absorb full flavour of the liqueur and that way they would keep the Stollen moist.


Did I mention that as soon as it comes out of the oven you slather it in butter and roll it in icing sugar? Oh yeah, that keeps it pretty moist too. …but don’t worry, you’ll probably eat it all before it has any chance of drying out.



Make a stollen for yourself. It’s a good foray into the wonderful world of yeast baking.

Here are some Stollen recipes online if you’re interested in making a loaf for yourself. After all those delicious pictures, you probably are.

Holiday Stollen (NY Times)
Stollen (David Lebovitz)
Peter Reinhart Stollen (The Cooking Route)

*This bread was submitted to Yeastspotting
11 Jan

flour girl: wheat & barley bread

I really love baking lean white breads, like ciabatta or pain a l’ancinne, because the only ingredients are flour, salt, yeast, and water. All the flavour then comes from the fermentation process. I find it to be pretty damn amazing that such bland ingredients can create such a flavourful dough.

. . . but then I also love to bake whole grain bread. Experimenting with endless possible combinations of whole grains to see which one gives the best flavour or texture. Wheat kernels, emmer, amaranth, barley, quinoa, millet, rice. . . there really is no limit to the amount of experimenting you can do.

This weekend I made an enriched whole grain bread, meaning in addition to the standard bread ingredients I also added some fat and some dairy which provide a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture. It makes for a really delicious sandwich bread.

This bread contains wheat and barley (a grain I hadn’t yet worked with in bread) that came out fabulous. I also included a few top secret ingredients to make the bread sweet and soft.

All in all, this enriched wheat and barley bread was delicious! Now excuse me while I go make a sandwich. . .

02 Jan

Hello, 2011

So it’s officially a brand new year!

While I’m usually disinterested in celebrating New Year’s Eve and am more keen to stay awake just long enough to do the official countdown to midnight, this year Matt decided to host a wine and cheese at our place on Friday which left me awake into hours of the morning that I haven’t witnessed in years.

In spite of the fact that the party was sort of a last minute effort we had a solid showing of about 10-12 people including best friends, friends from out of town, and surprisingly a friend I haven’t seen since high school! It was a great close to 2010 which was, itself, a pretty damn good year.

Matt and I may have outdid ourselves a bit with the apps, but that’s just our style—better to have too much food than too little!

NYE SPread

We polished off 4 bottles of wine and a bottle of bambino.


And served up lots of yummy cheeses. . .


… with some homemade pain a l’ancienne and crackers




Yes, I did rock a blazer. And so did Sarah.


We played shot the shit, played some Smart Ass, and watched a terrible B movie (I’d suggest that you don’t watch Trail of the Screaming Foreheads… yes, it is a real movie.)



All in all it was a fun way to kick off 2011.

How did you celebrate New Years Eve 2010?

15 Dec

flour girl: falling flat

Sunday evening I was caught up in a baking frenzy. Frenzy.

It was mostly to bring down my blood pressure after driving all across the city on terribly snowy roads to get all my Christmas shopping done. When you hate driving in snow, detest shopping, and loathe the mall at Christmas it makes for a stress-inducing afternoon.

So I set to whipping up 2 different types of cookies and my favourite sprouted grain bread. Maybe it was the cloud of flour in the air that hindered my awareness, or possibly the fact that the oven was working overtime and the kitchen was heating up like a sauna but before I knew it my lovely rising dough fell flat 🙁

Flat as a pancake.

Normally this wouldn’t worry me all that much, but Matt was bringing this bread to a staff party and I was hoping to impress with my baking skills. An over-risen dough bakes to be tough and gummy– not very impressive.

So if you ever get yourself in the situation where you forget about your dough and come back to find it looking like it was steamrolled, never fear it can be saved.

How to fix an over-risen dough:

1. Punch down the dough.
2. Knead the dough by hand for ~2 minutes to remove all air bubbles.
3. Shape the dough into the desired form, spray with oil, and cover with a clean tea towel.
4. Place the dough into a oven warm oven to proof. (Pre-heat the oven to the lowest temperature setting you have and then turn it off before placing the dough inside. I like to keep the oven door open a crack so that the bread doesn’t get too warm.)
5. Depending on the warmth of the environment, the dough should rise again within 1-2 hours.
If the dough doesn’t rise then the yeast is dead and it probably can’t be salvaged. Roll out the dough thinly onto a floured surfaced, cut into squares, and bake. Congratulations you have made crackers.

Luckily I was able to salvage this dough. After only 20 minutes in a warm oven it rose beautifully once again:

And after 45 minutes of baking voila, a beautiful loaf of sprouted grain sandwich bread.

Ezekiel, eat your heart out.