Monday, June 18, 2007
Posted by Meeta K. Wolff
Today, I thought I would show you another great bread made by my awesome baker in this series of Inside a German Bakery. This bread is called Dinkelvollkornbrot mit Amaranth or spelt whole-grain with amaranth.
A sourdough made with spelt, amaranth and wholegrain flour with a generous helping of sunflower and amaranth seeds thrown in for an extra crunch. It is then covered with popped amaranth seeds. This loaf is moist and has a subtle taste so it pairs great with savory and sweet spreads. It was actually this bread that introduced me to Amaranth.
Amaranth in actual fact is a herb and not a seed. It is also known as pigweed, as well as the garden plant we know as Cockscomb. The name amaranth originates from the Greek for "never-fading flower." There are about 60 species of amaranth and there is no definite distinction between amaranth grown for the leaf (vegetable), and the seed (grain). As a matter of fact you might even have seen the leaves of one of the species, better known as Chinese Spinach.
Amaranth is so versatile that you can cook it as a cereal, grind it into flour, pop it like popcorn, sprout it or toast it. The seeds can be cooked with other whole grains, added to stir-fry or to soups and stews as a nutrient dense thickening agent.
Amaranth flour is often used to make baked goods and it must be mixed with other flours for baking yeast breads as it contains no gluten. When preparing flatbreads, pancakes and pastas, 100% amaranth flour can be used. Sprouting the seeds will increase the level of some of the nutrients and the sprouts can be used on sandwiches and in salads, or just to munch on. It's flavor is mild, sweet, nutty, and malt like, with a difference in flavor depending on the variety being used.
The amaranth seeds are high in protein and contain high amounts of essential amino acids like lysine, which are not frequently found in grains. It is high in fiber and contains calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C.
The fiber content of amaranth is three times that of wheat and the iron content is five times more than wheat. It contains two times more calcium than milk. Using amaranth in combination with wheat, corn or brown rice results in a complete protein as high in food value as fish, red meat or poultry.
Ever since I did this research, we have really increased the intake of amaranth seeds in our household. I use it liberally in rice dishes in our muesli and cornflakes, fruit salads get an additional crunch when a few amaranth seeds are added and pop corn has been long out - now we pop amaranth seeds when we have our family movie evenings. I often buy bundles of Chinese Spinach at the Farmers Market and use this in a mixed green salad or in the fantastic but simple sandwich I share with you below
More amaranth info on the web:
Organic Trading: Amaranth Facts
Wikipedia: Amaranth History
Purdue University: Amaranth Rediscovered
This is one of the very few breads that Soeren actually allows me to leave the crust on as he enjoys picking the seeds off of it. Soeren and I often make this sandwich when we go for our bike rides and want to enjoy a picnic on the way.
Healthy Provencal Style Sandwiches
Makes 2 sandwiches
4 slices spelt whole-grain bread with amaranth
Handful Chinese spinach leaves - as a substitute you can also use baby spinach leaves
Prepared olive tapenade
Herbed goats cheese - crumbled into pieces
Cherry tomatoes - sliced
Freshly cracked black pepper
Spread all 4 slices of bread with the prepared olive tapenade. Place the spinach leaves on two slices of bread. Add the goats cheese and lay out the tomato slices on top of the spinach leaves. Sprinkle with pepper and cover with the other two slices of bread, pressing down gently to seal. Wrap in cling film and cool for 30 minutes.
Have a great week!
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This Post was written by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?