Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dandelion Petal Bread (No Knead)

Dandelions, despite public perception, are a wonderful plant to have in your yard. From an ecological perspective they are important as an early source of nutrients for honey bees for starters, among other things. The leaves are quite good when harvested early in the spring, before the flowers bloom. They can be sauteed with garlic in some olive oil and served with eggs for a delicious breakfast. Dandelions offer vitamins C, K and A, and are a great source of calcium, potassium and fiber.

I really love the concept of embracing the gifts that nature offers at different times of the year. Early in the spring the first glimpses of life emerging from the ground are always a welcome sight. I think that using some of the dandelions in your yard to feed your family is a great way to ackowledge and show appreciation for the nutrients that the earth offers up early in the season. I don't really understand the vendetta against dandelions that so many people seem to have.

This was my first shot at making this bread recipe that I came up with but it turned out great and was a hit with my family so I figured I would share the recipe. It's a great breakfast bread because it's filling. You can fry up an egg and plop it down on a piece of this toast without seasoning it because the bread has such great flavor. You can obviously adjust the spice blend to your liking. I'm sure adding some paprika, chopped garlic, etc could work really well. I think the most important aspect of baking or cooking is to enjoy what you are doing. It's interesting to consider the idea that you are energizing this food as you create it, and it makes you more mindful of your attitude and thoughts while cooking for loved ones.

No Knead Dandelion Petal Bread Recipe
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C oat bran
1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp dill
2 tsp herbs de provence
1/2 C dandelion petals
1 1/2 C water

Combine dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add the water, being careful to not overwork the dough. Cover it overnight.

The next day pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Put the dough on a floured surface and mold it into a disc shape. Thoroughly cover the dough with flour and place it in an oven proof dish. Cover the bread for the first 30 min with a lid and then uncover it for the last 15 min of baking.

The outside should be perfectly browned, while the inside remains moist and chewy. I recommend having a slice before the bread cools because that is when it is best! Baking times may vary based on altitude and oven type.

This recipe was inspired by this no knead bread recipe:
The addition of oat bran significantly changes the texture, making it less airy and more dense, but still quite satisfying!

Read more about the health benefits of dandelions here: