Saturday, November 23, 2013
It's been almost a year since my life changed due to kidney stones. Too much bread, especially the kind that I like with lots of whole grains, seemed to be one of the foods that led to the problem. For a while I stopped baking bread all together, but I've missed bread baking. It is an activity that brings me joy. So lately I've decided that since I can have small amounts of grains that I can have the occasional slice of multi grain bread. Why not have that slice be from a loaf I baked?
One of my favorite techniques for using whole grains in bread is to make a porridge from rolled grains. Oatmeal is still my favorite, but Quaker has a mixture of a number of grains...oats, rye, wheat to name a few...that are whole grains, but rolled to make them thinner. I cooked up a half cup of the mixed grains with 1 cup of water and then let it cool. That provided the base for my bread.
The best part was that I added some dark molasses. Sweetie loves molasses and it added a depth of flavor that goes well with these grains. I think the little yeasties like it too.
The second best part was what I did when the dough had risen and been punched down and shaped into a loaf. Using a technique that I read about in Daniel Steven's book The River Cottage Bread Handbook, I dipped the shaped loaf in milk, then rolled it in the uncooked multi grains, then put it into the bread pan. It makes for a lovely crust with toasted grains attached, lending flavor and texture, too. This is fabulous sandwich bread and makes great toast, too.
Multi Grain Sandwich Bread
makes one loaf
1/2 cup rolled grain, preferably a mix of grains like wheat, oats and rye
1 cup water
1 tablespoon molasses, dark preferred
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 packet dry yeast
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
about 1 cup rolled grain, preferably a mix of grains like wheat, oats and rye
In a medium bowl that is microwave safe, cook the grain mixed with the 1 cup of water on high until it is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove to the counter and add the molasses. Set aside. Let cool.
In a large bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt and yeast. Leave the flour out since you may need to add more, depending on the wetness of your dough.
Once the cooked grain mixture has cooled so that it is barely warm to the touch, put it into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the 1 1/2 cups water and whisk to combine thoroughly. With the dough hook in place, on low speed, gradually add the flour/yeast mixture until a soft dough forms. Knead with the mixer (or by hand) 8 - 10 minutes, or until dough is satiny, if a bit lumpy from the grain, adding additional flour as needed. Shape dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl. Turn the dough to coat all sides with oil. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk in a warm place.
Turn risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and punch down to remove excess gas. Knead a few times, then shape dough into a loaf shape. Place milk in a shallow pan which is large enough to hold the shaped dough. Gently turn the loaf shaped dough in the milk to coat. Place the rolled grain mix in another shallow pan and roll the milk coated loaf shape in the grains to coat. Place into a greased bread pan, cover, and let rise until just below the edge of the pan.
Bake loaf in a preheated 350 degree F. oven until golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when the back of the loaf is tapped, about 45 minutes.
Cool on a rack before slicing if you can wait that long.