Multigrain Bread Extraordinare

My goal in closing out the year – beyond just meeting my goal of making 50 bread recipes this year – was to not double-up on blog posts as 2014 counts down. However, it’s either post two recipes today or tomorrow or not share 50 bread recipes with you, and not sharing all the recipes with you in 2014 is unacceptable! So this morning, I share with you Bread 48, Multigrain Bread Extraordinare from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

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A few things I really liked about this bread – it took whole grains, which increased its fiber and other nutritional content, and was low in fat. It was also easy to make, and happened to be very soft and delicious.

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Multigrain Bread Extraordinare
 
adapted from The Bread Baker's Apprentice
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce amaranth (or coarse cornmeal, millet, or quinoa; 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 ounce rolled oats (1/4 ounce of this was supposed to be wheat bran, but I was out; 4 tablespoons)
  • 2 ounces water (1/4 cup)
  • 13.5 ounces bread flour (3 cups)
  • 1.5 ounces brown sugar (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cooked brown rice (1 ounce)
  • 1 ounce honey (1½ tablespoons)
  • 4 ounces milk (1/2 cup)
  • 6 ounces water (3/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. The day before you make the bread, combine the amaranth, oats, and water in a small bowl. The water will just moisten the grains. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight.
  2. The next day, combine the grains/liquid, flour, brown sugar, yeast, salt, brown rice, honey, milk, and water in the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir until ingredients form a ball. Use your dough hook to knead on medium-low speed for 8-10 minutes. Add more flour if necessary (it was for me) to create a dough that is soft and smooth, tacky but not sticky. It will pass the windowpane test.
  3. Place dough in an oiled bowl, spray the top of the dough with cooking spray, and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at room temperature for 90 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Turn dough out and press it into a 8x10 inch rectangle. With the short end facing you, roll the dough up tightly, pressing the dough's seam into the dough with each roll. Place the log of dough into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Pat the dough down to flatten it and to make sure that dough fills all of the edges of the pan. Mist the loaf with water and sprinkle with poppy seeds; if you don't have a spray bottle, I recommend skipping this step as they seeds will just fall off. Spray loaf of bread with cooking spray, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise for another 90 minutes, until the top of the bread has crested 1 inch over the top of the loaf pan in the center.
  5. Bake the loaf of bread for 20 minutes at 350F. Rotate pan, then bake for another 20 or so minutes, until the bread is golden brown, has an internal temperature of 185F, and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. (I took mine out after the second 20-minute segment, but it was probably done at 15 instead.)
  6. Remove immediately from loaf pan and cool on wire rack for 1-2 hours before slicing.

 

I love the open crumb on this bread!

 

This was a great loaf of bread. It was barely, faintly sweet and was a little chewier than a normal sandwich loaf, given the extra heft of the oats, amaranth, and brown rice. However, the grains disappeared into the dough, and I didn’t notice them unless I looked at the bread very, very closely. The bread was also incredibly tender and soft – perhaps the softest standard loaf of sandwich bread I’ve ever made. This also happens to be one of the rare loaves of sandwich bread that I’ve enjoyed eating without any toppings. Both the interior and the crust were tasty. The bread worked very well with roast beef on it for sandwiches for dinner. It was also great as toast; it firmed up enough that I could spread almond butter or peanut butter on it without it tearing, but was still soft when I bit into it. This may have just become my favorite bread for sandwiches and toast. It’s definitely worth making again.

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