Ancient Multi Grain Bread
Another day, another bread! It's finally starting to look like spring is approaching around here. The past few days have been rainy and dark. Even though I am wishing for the sun, I know that these storms will bring about all of the beautiful green soon! I am honestly a bit in shock that it will be March by next week... It felt like it would never come! During these rainier days, I like to bake bread. Truthfully, I am a little sick of baking treats for us. It's the only thing I want to do, though, while we live in this winter cave! I knew that my new found love of using home-milled flour would have to follow an experiment of working with multiple grains at once. In my last post on making my own flour, I had many of you leave comments saying that I should try using spelt or einkorn. Well, I did! And I loved it! I was happy to find that many of the grains I could make flour out of were carried at my local bulk grocery. That made my life a little easier! If you don't have bulk, whole grains near you Bob's Red Mill carries quite a few and organic, too.
This bread recipe uses many grains. In fact, it uses a 7-grain cereal mix! I noticed many other multi grain bread recipes saying that they use this cereal to start. Well, I really didn't want to purchase some pre-made mix. I wanted to make it myself and control what was going inside. I decided to just purchase multiple grains that were listed on the ingredient list and crack them myself in my food processor. It worked perfectly and made me feel a lot better! The grains I used in this recipe are spelt, barley, quinoa, brown rice, rye berries, rolled oats, and buckwheat.
What are ancient grains? It's one of those trendy terms right now in the bread world. I must say, I am an advocate for the ancient grains myself! In a world where only a few types of wheat are commercially grown on an extremely large scale leaves little plant diversity on our planet. If we grew more diverse grains, ancient or not, then we would have a healthier planet. However, all grains that are currently grown are considered "ancient" just based on the fact that they can all be traced back to the beginning of time. The difference between modern wheat and an ancient grain is that an ancient grain has not been genetically modified (bred and changed for uniformity) over hundreds and thousands of years. Some of these grains include einkorn, farro, spelt, barley, red and black rice, blue corn, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum, and teff.
Ingredients + Recipe |
- 1 1/4 cup ancient 7-grain cereal mix (rolled oats, barley, rye, brown rice, flaxseed, quinoa, spelt, buckwheat, etc)
2 1/2 cups boiling water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 4 tbsp butter, cubed
- 3 tbsp yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats or pumpkin seeds
- If you are purchasing the 7-grain cereal mix as separated grains like I did, then you'll want to mix about a 1/2 cup of each in a bowl. In a food processor, pulse the grains on medium speed a few times until they appear to look like cracked wheat. You don't want them milled into flour, just a bit broken up! If you purchase a pre-made mix, pour the 1 1/4 cups into the bowl of standing mixer.
- Cover the cereal mix with the boiling water and mix. Let sit until is registers about 110 degrees, about 30 minutes. This is a good time to make your whole wheat flour!
- Once cooled slightly, but still warm, add the honey, butter, and yeast. Stir. Let sit for about 10 minutes to let the yeast activate. If it does not grow substantially, then you may have to start over again - the yeast is dead!
- Add the 1 tsp salt and mix.
- Begin to slowly incorporate the flour one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly with each cup. Use an attached dough hook to mix. Once the dough forms and starts to pull from the sides of the bowl, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for about 8-10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic when ready. Add more flour if necessary to prevent stickiness.
- Place the dough ball in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a towel, and place in a warm, draft free spot for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down and shape. I like to flatten my dough out to the size of a sheet of printer paper, roll like a log, and pinch the seam and ends. If you like, you can roll your dough log in some rolled oats or pumpkin seeds. Place in a greased loaf pan, cover with a towel, and let rise for another hour or until doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 375. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow inside when tapped.
- Let sit in the pans for at least 10 minutes and remove to cool on a wire rack. Let cool for about two hours before slicing. Enjoy!
This bread comes up a bit short in terms of rise during the bake. I found it rose quite substantially during the first rise, but did not make it up as high during the second. The inside was still light, airy, and moist however! I was surprised. I feel I could have ground up the whole grain cereal a bit more so there were not as many huge chunks. Overall, it was sweet and flavorful - something that I had not really tasted compared to breads I have made in the past. The flavor was unique and rich. I liked it quite a bit! I think you will, too.