Toast or sandwiches, this bread works all ways, even for those who don’t think they like whole grain breads. We use an organic 7-grain blend from the local co-op. There are many kinds available and any of them will work — Bob’s Red Mill, Arrowhead, Nature’s Way — or just use cracked wheat. You need to either cook it (preferred method) or soak it overnight to soften before mixing it into the dough. We usually make it into a regular loaf but it also works as a freeform or round loaf. The most difficult part of making it is getting the dough the right consistency. The recipe here has been made in our bakery hundreds of times, so trust the measurements. It will seem soft and sticky and probably will not come together completely in the mixer, but as with all whole grain doughs it will absorb a lot of the liquid as it sits so give it time. I don’t recommend trying to knead this by hand because it is hard to do without adding too much flour as you work. A stand mixer works much better.
Honey or molasses or a mix of the two, or agave, are all good sweeteners though honey is preferred for flavor. Then top your toast with a bit too. Perfect with tea for breakfast or snack.
— Joan, 25 August 2016
- 2/3 cup (118 grams) dry multigrain cereal
- 1¼ cups (296 grams) water
- 3 tablespoons (70 grams) honey
- 1½ tablespoons (20 grams) butter
Cook the cereal in the water until softened and all water is absorbed, 5-8 minutes in a microwave. Stir in the honey and butter till butter melts, then spread the cereal out on a flat pan to cool. While it cools, mix together the following and let sit for 20-30 minutes:
- ¾ cup (180 grams) warmed milk or buttermilk
- 2/3 cup (160 grams) warm water
- 3 cups (414 grams) whole wheat flour
- 2½ teaspoons instant yeast
After the 20-30 minutes is up and the starter dough has risen slightly, stir in the cooled cereal till completely incorporated, then add:
- 2½ teaspoons salt
- 2 cups (280 grams) bread flour
Mix on low, adding flour (stir the salt into the flour first) a little at a time till it’s fully incorporated into the cereal mixture. Turn speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes.
Put dough into a greased container and cover. After 20 minutes turn it out onto a floured surface and fold it by quarters, replace folded side down in the container and cover. After 20 more minutes repeat the folding, then set in a warm spot till dough is doubled in size. In a 70-75°F room this should take 45-60 minutes.
Divide the raised dough into 2 equal rectangles. Roll each piece into a tight cylinder or form into a ball and place in greased loaf pans (or on a greased cookie sheet for freeform shapes). Cover and let rise until a finger lightly poked into the side of the loaf leaves an impression and does not spring immediately back. While the loaves are rising preheat your oven to 350°F.
Bake loaves for 40-45 minutes, until dark golden brown. Lay them on a side to cool for 20 minutes, then flip to other side until completely cooled, about 3 hours.