The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

John Muir Bread

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Loafer's picture
Loafer

John Muir Bread

When John Muir set out on his long trips into the mountains, he often carried only bread and tea with him.  He talks of surviving for long periods of time on this meager diet.  In this day and age of powerbars and granola, that doesn't seem like a big deal, but it has inspired me.  I'd like to make a bread that can act as a sole-nutrition source for short trips.  I know about all kinds of recipes for pemmican and hard tack and things like that, but they don't inspire me. 

 I would like to develop a hearty bread recipe that is interesting and nutritious.  Probably some kind of whole wheat sourdough with lots of goodies in it.  My question to y'all is what might you add and what approach would you take to this bread?  The challenge is to make a bread that fits the bill but is not a brick that you'd never eat if you were at home.

-Loafer

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

It comes in many shapes and forms, but "Bannock" types of bread sustained many pioneers.

http://www.best-bread-recipes.com/bannock-recipe.html 

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Two wrongs don't make a right. Three lefts make a right

browndog's picture
browndog

Interesting topic. Do you have Hamelman's Bread? It has a recipe called Five-Grain bread, with hi-gluten, whole wheat flour and bran, rye, oats, cornmeal, eggs, and that nutritional powerhouse, flaxseed. You could toss in a cup of milk powder, maybe trade a little spelt for some of the wheat and sneak in a half cup of soy flour somewhere, I don't see how you could do better. Well, all right, throw in some raisins and sunflower seeds, too. Sesame is wonderful but unless the seeds are ground they aren't as available nutritionally as other seeds or nuts might be, and as a matter of fact that's true of flax as well. (Nuts, another good addition. Particularly walnuts.) Molasses, too, come to think of it, a quarter cup or so...

The same book has Five-Grain Levain and Sourdough Seed bread, which might be good for proportions and procedure even if you tweak some. 

 

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

Interesting, that your Power Bread post reminded me of an "Oldie but Goldie"

The Martha Stewart Living cookbook has a recipe for Health Rolls, containing many things, including; Bulghur wheat, honey, eggs, oatmeal, WW flour, fragrant seeds and last but not least, black pepper.

 

I made them some years back when my techniques were not as refined as they are now, I might even pull this recipe out of the archives for another try.

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Two wrongs don't make a right. Three lefts make a right

mse1152's picture
mse1152

Loafer,

The Cornell bread recipe(s) increase the protein content of the bread by adding dry milk, soy flour, and wheat germ.  You could also use whole wheat for all or part of the flour.  Here's one place to look

Sue 

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

Well, I really think that the bread should be 100% whole grain.  Do you think the pioneers sustained themselves on bannocks made with refined flours?

Rosalie

Cooky's picture
Cooky

The practice of refining flour by sifting out the bran is ancient, and for hundreds of years many Europeans considered brown bread inferior stuff  that poor people ate because that's all they could afford. By the time most of North America was being populated by Europeans, commercial mills were advanced enough to make white flour available to pretty much everyone. It would not have been unusual for US pioneers to use white flour they brought with them as they traveled. Once settled, of course, farmers who grew wheat, or lived near others who did, could have used whole-grain flours if they were too far away (or too poor) to buy white flour. 

 

 

"I am not a cook. But I am sorta cooky."

Loafer's picture
Loafer

I'd definitely use whole grains, but sadly, all I have right now is a Corona mill.  It does okay bean flours and cracks grains just dandy, but it won't make flour that is fine enough to hold a bread together.  One requirement of my power bread is that it be durable enough to not require fussy handling "on the trail." 

So home milling is currently out of the question for the flour portion of the bread.  I do have a really nice independent whole/health food store with quite a selection of good stuff in their bulk bins.  However, that stuff is always of questionable age and origin, so I wouldn't count on it as a source for whole-meal grain flours.

-Loafer 

secretgoldfish's picture
secretgoldfish

So I realize I'm coming to this post 4 years later--did you ever work it out, Loafer? I'm interested in developing a similar loaf and could use any advice you could offer.