making super soft, iron-fortified bread at home

So it turns out that, despite a meat-loving pedigree, my boy does not yet like meat. He'll eat some salmon or some real fried chicken maybe, but meatballs, burgers, steaks, chicken breast, or any breaded nuggets, fingers, or sticks are not of interest to this boy. I am not too concerned about him picking and choosing what he eats right now, but I do get concerned about his protein and iron intake. I've taken to hiding meat purees in other things and finding other ways to get some of the good stuff into the boy while he comes around to this whole meat thing. 

One of the things I'm poking around with is finding ways to add some iron-fortified "infant cereal" to things. It's easy to sneak a good amount into oatmeal and sauces, for example. I've mixed some in with peanut butter that I spread onto graham crackers. But the latest thing I tried was adding it to bread. 

I bake bread in the bread machine -- that is definitely the easiest and requires the least amount of time, and the little loaves work well for my little family, too. I have goofed around with a few different recipes, but nothing works quite as well for me as the regular white bread recipe on the side of the machine, so for now that's the one I use. 

In a late-night experiment the other day, I tampered with my bread recipe by replacing some of the flour with toasted wheat germ (zinc!) and replacing the powdered milk with fortified oatmeal cereal (iron!). The result was a super soft loaf of sandwich bread that Gabriel now requests. The taste is pretty much the same, maybe with a little more depth from the wheat germ. Overall, I'm really happy with the results and I am going to keep tinkering with it to see just how much of the cereal I can add in. A slice of bread is not going to replace the iron content of an ounce of beef, but still...the more iron, the better! 

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