Thursday, May 1, 2008

Honey Multigrain Bread


Otherwise known as "how to make Caitlin find the crunchiest, hippiest place in Madison in order to find: wheat gluten, flax seed, wheat germ, and wheat berries. A big thank you to Jennie of Straight from the Farm - it only took me, oh, over 2 months to bake this bread after it showed up in her Week 3 of Bread.

I had starred it on my GR, but since there are no places in Oshkosh, WI to find anything vaguely health-food-ish (they like their beer and brats and cheese, oh yes they do), it took an exploratory drive down Willy Street in Madison to find - the Willy Street Co-op! Once I had the ingredients, it was just a matter of prepping them and baking at the boyfriend's apartment. Even though he doesn't eat very much of what I make, I think even he liked that his apartment smelled of bread the entire weekend!

There were only a few issues with the bread - Jennie's recipe never says when to add the whole wheat flour or the oats, so I put the whole wheat flour in with all the other flour but forgot to add the oats. That's what you get! I'd guess that you can add it with the flour as well, but I just ended up scattering oats on top instead. Given time constraints and sickness, I also let it rise for ~1 hour the first time and then retarded it in the fridge overnight before taking it out the next morning, shaping and letting it rise ~2.5 hrs, and baking it.

I haven't actually even tasted it yet, since I'm still making my way through all of the sourdough that I baked, but I have high hopes for this bread. I love wheat berries in bread, and Jennie's description of the texture and density make it sound amazing.

Honey Multigrain Bread (from Straight from the Farm)

2 c. warm water
1 package (2 ¼ t.) dry active yeast
1 t. sugar
3 c. white bread flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. rye flour
1 ½ t. salt
3 T. wheat gluten (optional, but recommended)
1/3 c. uncooked wheat berries
½ c. rolled oats
½ c. coarse wheat germ
2 T. alfalfa or flax seeds
3 T. honey
1 t. of salt dissolved in warm water

In advance…

Prepare the wheat berries by combining with 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Remove from microwave and let sit for at least an hour. Drain. This could be done a day in advance - after draining, cover and store in the fridge.

Prepare the wheat germ by combing with just enough water to cover in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave for a minute or until liquid is absorbed. Allow to cool. Note: If you are using the finely milled wheat germ that closely resembles flour, you do not have to cook it as directed here.

Making the bread…

Proof the yeast by combing it with 1 cup of warm water and the sugar in a small bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise for 10 minutes or until foamy.

Mix the white flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, oats, salt and wheat gluten in a large mixing bowl. Add the prepared wheat berries, wheat germ, and alfalfa seeds, tossing to combine and coat with flour. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add yeast mixture and honey. Begin combining and add about 1 more cup of warm water until a soft dough is formed.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead for five minutes until relatively smooth and elastic. This dough will be somewhat difficult to work with so just knead it as best you can, adding only enough flour to keep it from sticking too much.

Clean out the mixing bowl, spray lightly with non-stick spray and place dough inside. Cover with a towel, place in a warm spot, and let rise for two hours or until doubled in bulk.

Turn dough out again onto a floured countertop and knead for a minute or two. Divide dough in half and form two oval loaves. Place loaves on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats. Cover and let rise for at least 30 minutes and up to 90 minutes - the longer it rises, the less dense the loaves will be.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Using a sharp knife, scour the tops of the loaves for decoration and brush with the salt water. Sprinkle tops with seeds, oatmeal, wheat germ or all three as desired. Bake loaves for 10 minutes and then lower heat to 400 F. Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped on the bottom. Let cool on a wire rack.

(makes 2 hefty loaves)

1 comment:

Mary Ann said...

looks good! I want to get into making bread because it always tastes so much better homemade.