Prep 45 mins
Cook 25 mins
My youngest son refuses to eat bread with any "chunks" in it, so I developed this recipe for a multi-grain bread that isn't offensive to his five year old sensibilities. It also satisfies my requirements for a good carb bread that doesn't cause blood sugar spikes. The prep time below does not include any rising time. Total time for the recipe is approximately 8 hours, but very little of it is active time, you can go see a movie between steps, go shopping, etcetera.
- 2 1⁄2 cups tepid water
- 2 cups stone ground whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
- 1 tablespoon salt (I prefer sea salt)
- 1 cup ground flax seeds
- 1⁄2 cup cracked wheat
- 2 cups old fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
- 1⁄2 cup oat bran
- 2 -3 cups stone ground whole wheat flour
- oil or butter, for bowl
- For the sponge, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup tepid water in a small bowl or measuring cup. The water should be approximately 100 degrees F, and feel comfortable to your inner wrist (like baby's bath water for all you moms out there). You may add a teaspoon of flour or honey to the proofing water at this time to act for food for the yeast, but it will proof without it also. Cover the yeast and water mixture and let it sit until foamy (10-15 minutes usually does it for me). Once the yeast is proofed, pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the additional two cups of water and two cups flour. Mix well, the mixture should resemble thick pancake batter. Cover and let sit at least two hours until mixture is doubled in volume or up to overnight.
- When the sponge is ready, stir it down using approximately 100 strokes. Add the salt and stir. Then add the milled flax seed, the cracked wheat, the oat bran and the oats stirring after each addition. Add the flour one cup at a time until you've got a stiff dough. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead 10 minutes, reflouring surface until dough no longer feels sticky. You may use a mixer with a dough hook or a food processor for this step, but you should always knead a few turns by hand so you have a feel for the dough. It should be spongy, and heavy, and feel kind of like Play-Doh.
- Form dough into a ball and place it into a clean, oiled ceramic or glass bowl. Turn the dough over in the bowl so that all surfaces are oiled. Cover with a clean, damp towel and let rise until double in volume, 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Punch dough down, cover and let it rise until double again. Punch down dough again, remove it to a work surface, cover it with a damp towel and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- After dough has rested, divide and shape into two round loaves, or as desired. My family particularly likes baguette shaped breads. Place loaves on baking sheets dusted with cornmeal and let rise until double, 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. During this last rise, preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake at 350 F for 25-40 minutes depending on shape. You may brush water or egg white on the surface of the dough right before putting it in the oven to make the crust chewier and darker if desired.
- Remove bread from oven after checking for doneness. Bread will sound hollow when thumped on the bottom of the loaf when it's done. Cool on racks for 1 hour. Store cooled bread in plastic or paper bags.