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Fresh bread! What a delicious smell. But if you learned to bake in the US, then moved to Europe, what do you do? They have the metric system and no shortening. Here, I have modified an old American recipe to use Norwegian ingredients, plus a new secret ingredient: teff flour. Teff is grown by my god-daughter's family in Ethiopia, and gets credit for the success of their long-distance runners, according to gold medalist Haile Gebrselassie. I found it in specialty grocery stores here.

The recipe has clarifying notes in curly brackets: { }.

Step 1: Ingredients for One Loaf

2 ts dry yeast

2/3 dl warm water {43 C = 110 F}

2 dl hot water

3/4 - 1 dl brown sugar {farin socker in Norway}

1 ts salt

35 g melange {closest thing to shortening here}

2.5 dl whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons teff flour {30 ml}

2.5 - 3 dl white flour

Step 2: Making the Yeast Happy

The key to baking bread instead of doorstops is the yeast. One of the fun things about baking bread is imagining those minuscule little yeasts munching on that sugar and then sighing happily. That's how the bread rises. You need LIVE yeast, so be careful about the expiration date on the package and about the water temperature.

Stir the yeast into the warm water till it is smooth and the lumps are broken up. 43 is 110 F. Set aside to let it wake up.

Dissolve the brown sugar and salt in the hot water, melt the melange in it, then let it cool to lukewarm.

Measure the whole wheat flour and teff flour into a mixer bowl. Beat in the lukewarm sugar water at low speed. Stir in the softened yeast.

{You can be creative here and use another kind of flour or oatmeal instead of teff. Now the yeast starts its work. The salt is necessary to keep the yeast from partying too hard and making large air holes.}

Step 3: Make Dough, Not Money

Stir in enough white flour to make a moderately stiff dough. {It pulls away from the edge of the bowl. The exact amount depends on the humidity.}

Knead until smooth and satiny. {I use kneading attachments on my mixer for 5 minutes, but you can knead for 10-12 minutes by hand. If by hand, put flour on a smooth countertop, and on your hands. Roll the dough ball out of the bowl. Fold over the dough and lean into it with the heels of your hands. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, fold the dough, and lean into it again. Keep doing that, rotating between each lean.}

Shape the dough into a ball. Roll in an oiled bowl to coat the surface so it won't dry out, cover the bowl with a warm wet washcloth, and let it rise till double, about 1-1/2 hours. {If your house is cool, try putting a pan full of boiling water in the bottom of your cold oven, and put the bowl on the shelf, so the yeast stays cozy.}

Step 4: Loafing Along

Shape the dough on an oiled surface using a rolling pin. It should be a rectangle, about 20 x 40 cm.

Start rolling the dough from the short end, pinching it at each roll so it is sealed. Use the outer edges of your hands to pinch off the ends to seal them.

Oil a loaf pan. Place the tube into the loaf pan, with the end of the roll underneath, and the pinched off ends folded under. Cover the pan with a warm wet washcloth. {If you used oatmeal instead of teff, it looks nice to sprinkle dry oatmeal on top.}

Let it rise till double. This will take an hour and a half or so. {You let the dough rise twice to avoid large air holes in your bread. Remember the boiling water in the bottom of a cold oven trick.}

Take the loaf and water out of the oven, and preheat it to 190 C {top/bottom heating, not air circulating}. Cut 3 or 4 diagonal slices across the top of the dough, for looks.

When the oven is ready, bake the loaf for 45 minutes. {It's done when a tap on top sounds hollow.}

Remove the bread from the loaf pan and cool.

Step 5: Enjoy With Butter

While the loaf is still warm and smelling divine, slice off a piece and spread it with butter. Watch it melt, then enjoy the crisp crust and soft inside!

<p>That looks delicious! :)</p>
I have been in bread-eating heaven while perfecting this recipe! Thanks for the comment, Swansong.

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