Asparagus Bread

This month’s Bread Baking Babe’s bread is the choice of Lien from it is an interesting bread because I never thought about making bread with asparagus in it and I have to confess that I was slightly hesitant but then I thought that if Lien thought it was good, it most probably was as I trust her taste! And right I did because this bread was a nice surprise, the asparagus is a nice addition and goes very well with the walnuts and probably with the rocket too, I can’t say because I had forgotten to get any rocket so I took the green parts of fresh onions instead and it worked very well too. The only thing I have to say about this bread is that next time I make it, I will not include the parmesan because I am not that fond of cheese in bread but that is my own personal taste and casts no shadow on the bread.

Asparagus Bread

I made two different loaves, one with asparagus and, because I was alone with my offspring and they obviously refuse to eat bread with something green in it, another with wheat berries that I boiled in the asparagus and onion water and some chopped sundried tomatoes. That was good too. So I really have to say Notitie van Lien,Thank You to Lien for making me bake and discover a bread I never would have baked if it hadn’t been for her! For those of you who wants to join in and be a Bread Baking Buddy, click over to Lien where you will find all the directions, both a more detailed description with tips on how to bake the Aparagus Bread and what to do to be a Buddy in case you don’t know taht already!

Asparagus Bread

Asparagus Bread (with Parmesan Cheese and Walnuts)
(adapted from: Artisan Bread by Jan Hedh)
2 small loaves

125 g green asparagus (if you can’t find them, use p.e. spring onions, cramps, …)
25-30 g rocket
50 g walnuts,
50 g freshly grated parmesan cheese
450 g strong bread flour (you can also use half whole wheat and half white or white whole wheat if you can get that)
12 g fresh yeast or 1 1/4 tsp dry instant yeast
250-270 g water
25 g olive oil
10 g (sea) salt

- Boil 3/4 liter of water with a pinch of (sea) salt. Clean the asparagus, set two of them aside, cut the rest into 4 pieces. Boil these pieces for 2 minutes in the water, scoop them out (so you can use the water for the rocket as well) and rinse under cold water (to stop them cooking). If you use p.e. spring onion, I personally would grill them or just sautée them in a little oil until they start to brown lightly, but other ideas on this are very welcome too!
- Put the rocket in the boiling water for a few seconds (until wilted), drain and rinse under cold water and drain again.
Press the water our of the rocket, chop it coarsely and but the asparagus into 1/4 inch (± 1 cm) long pieces, set aside.
- Measure the flour and yeast in a large bowl, mix in most of the water and knead for a few minutes (on low speed), add the olive oil and knead for 10-12 minutes. Add the salt and knead on medium speed for 5 minutes until very elastic.
- Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Work the asparagus pieces, rocket, walnuts and parmesan in with care so that they’re evenly distributed.
- Place the dough in a greased container, cover and let rise for about 2 hrs.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Make round balls, cover with a tea towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Flatten the balls and fold into taut breads with slightly tapering ends. Lay one asparagus in lengthwise in the middle of the bread and press in slightly. Sprinkle with wheat flour and cover to rise for 70 minutes or until doubled. Before baking you can sprinkle a little grated cheese on the bread if you like (optional).
- Preheat the oven (preferably with stone) to 250ºC.
- Place the loaves directly on the stone. Spray with water (or poor some hot water in a metal container on the bottom of the oven that you preheated to create steam)
Lower the temperature after 5 minutes to 200ºC. Open the door after another 10 minutes to let some air in. Repeat twice during baking. (I forgot about opening doors myself to be honest)
- Bake for 40-45 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

Asparagus Bread

please check out the rest of the Bread Baking Babes here to see what they made out of it, I know there are some nice variations! (They might not have posted about it yet though so try again if that is the case!): Bake My Day (Karen), I Like to Cook (Sara), Living on Bread and Water (Monique), My Kitchen in Half Cups (Tanna), Grain Doe (Gorel), Notitie van Lien (Lien), The Sour Dough (Mary aka Breadchick), Cookie Baker Lynn (Lynn), Living In The Kitchen With Puppies (Natashya), Canela and Comino (Gretchen)

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