Friday, March 14, 2014

Multigrain Bread

We love the type of whole grain bread that is all seed laden and speckled with all sorts of grainy bits.  I, however, am a total cheapskate and cannot bring myself to pay $4-$5 for a tiny wee loaf of bread, particularly when regular wheat sandwich bread runs $1-$1.40, for twice as much bread.

Then I saw this recipe for multigrain bread on PBS's America's Test Kitchen.  Sadly, America's Test kitchen only has their "free" recipes listed on their website for a short time.  When I watched the multigrain bread recipe, it was a rerun from a previous season. I had to do a bit of internet sleuthing to find the recipe. As luck would have it, one of my favorite blogs, Our Best Bites did a post on this very recipe!  Score!!!!

The neat thing about this recipe is that the multigrains come from multigrain hot breakfast cereal.  America's test kitchen says to use Bob's Red Mill or Arrowhead Mills cereal mix.  For some odd reason, the grocery store by me now only carries Quaker Brand Multigrain cereal.  I have made this bread three times and the Quaker stuff works just fine. Although, I'm sure the other brands produce a bread with more of the grainy bits we love so much.

This recipe is easy to follow, but it does take a decent chunk of time from start to finish.  Most of it is hurry up and wait time as you wait for the cereal to cool, the dough to rise, etc. I think it's one of those lazy rainy Saturday type projects. 

Multigrain Bread from America's Test Kitchen a la Our Best Bites

1 1/4 c (6 1/4 oz) seven-grain hot cereal mix
2 1/2 c boiling water
3 c (15 oz) all-purpose flour (not bread flour)
1 1/2 c (8 1/4 oz) whole wheat flour
1/4 c honey
4 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled (For salted butter, reduce amt of salt to 1/2 T)
 2 1/2 t instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 T salt
3/4 c  sunflower seeds (Unsalted, but I've used salted in a pinch as well)
1/2 c (1 1/2 oz) old-fashioned rolled oats

Place cereal mix in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook and pour boiling water over it; let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture cools to 100 degrees and resembles thick porridge, about 1 hr.  Whisk flours together in separate bowl. Once grain mix cools, add honey, butter, and yeast. Mix on low until combined.  Add flour mix, 1/2 c at a time.  Knead until cohesive mass starts to form,1 1/2-2 min; cover bowl tightly w plastic and let rest 20 min.  Add salt and knead on medium-low until dough clears sides of bowl, 3-4 min(if does not clear sides, add 2-3 T additional all-purpose flour and knead until it does.  Don’t add more!) continue to knead for 5 min.  Add seeds (if using) and knead for another 15 sec.  Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand until seeds are dispersed evenly and dough forms smooth, round ball.  Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl; cover tightly w plastic and let rise at room temp until nearly doubled in size, 45-60 min. Grease two 9×5" loaf pans.  Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and divide in half.  Press 1 piece of dough into 9×6" rectangle, with short side facing you.  Roll dough toward you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go.  Turn loaf seam side up and pinch it closed.  Repeat w second piece of dough.  Spray loaves lightly with water or pam.  Roll each loaf in oats to coat evenly and place seam side down in prepared pans, pressing gently into corners.  Cover loaves loosely with greased plastic and let rise at room temp until nearly doubled in size 30-40 min.  Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle. 30 min before baking, adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 375F.  Bake til loaves register 200F, 35-40 min.  Transfer pans to wire rack and cool 5 min.  Remove loaves from pans, return to rack, and let cool to room temp, about 2 hr, before slicing and serving. 

Storage: Bread can be wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Wrapped with additional layer of foil, bread can be frozen for up to a month.

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