Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Seven Grain Bread

Michael loves whole grain and multi-grain breads. Unfortunately, the better brands are fairly expensive at the store unless you can find them on sale. Since I've been on a bread kick lately I decided to try out this recipe from America's Test Kitchen on PBS. Honestly, their bread recipes are about the best I've ever used. A lot of the recipes for bread you find on the sites like Recipezaar or and others are really bad. I don't know if people just post anything that pops into their heads without testing them or what goes on in those places, but the recipes can be utter disasters. As I've progressed in my ability to "envision" a recipe before beginning I've saved myself a lot of grief on those places (and a lot of money on wasted ingredients). But, if you can't look at a recipe and see if there's something wrong in quantities or something missing or something is in there that shouldn't be, then be wary of those massive sites.

Lady Snow prefers her
birthday hat in her mouth.

Anyway, this 7-Grain Bread turned out very nicely. The texture is wonderful. It's light without being too fluffy and with enough chew to let you know it's multi-grain but not so much that it's heavy and dense. I hate those "whole grain" recipes for bread that turn out loaves so heavy you need a wheelbarrow to carry them from oven to table! I have a feeling that I might be able to convince Michael to let me whip this up in the kitchen once a week and save a little money on the expensive grocery store loaves.

In other news, yesterday was Lady Snow's sixth birthday. Normally she's in the kitchen with me, but she went with Michael to Animal Inn for a spa day with Ms. Nora, her favorite groomer. Poor girl was looking a little disheveled after not having a beauty parlor day since her surgery about 5 weeks ago! On top of that, the vet shaved HALF of her back end for the leg surgery! Nora decided to give her a "modified" lion cut by trimming the other half of her back end. So, now she's all fluffy up front and shaved in the back like a little lion!

: 7-Grain Bread
: Hearty but not heavy, this bread is not only healthful but delicious!

  • 1 1/4 cups 7-grain hot cereal mix (Bob's Red Mill)
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surface
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 tbs. honey
  • 4 tbs. unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 tbs. table salt
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats or quick oats for bread
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats or quick oats for rolling (optional)
  1. Place cereal mix in bowl of standing mixer and pour boiling water over it; let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture cools to 100°, about 1 hour. Whisk flours together in a medium bowl.
  2. Once grain mixture has cooled, add honey, melted butter, and yeast and stir to combine. Attach bowl to standing mixer fitted with dough hook. With mixer running on low speed, add flours, 1/2 cup at a time, and knead until dough forms ball, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes; cover bowl with plastic and let dough rest 20 minutes. Add salt and knead on medium-low speed until dough clears sides of bowl, 3 to 4 minutes (if it does not clear sides, add 2 to 3 tablespoons additional all-purpose flour and continue mixing); continue to knead dough for 5 more minutes. Add 3/4 cup oats and knead for another 15 seconds. Transfer dough to floured work surface and knead by hand until oats are dispersed evenly and dough forms smooth, taut ball. Place dough into greased container with 4-quart capacity; cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.
  3. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375°. Spray two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and pat into 12 by 9-inch rectangle; cut dough in half crosswise with knife or bench scraper. Starting at long side of dough (9-inch side) roll dough very tightly. Seal the seam by pinching securely and spray the dough lightly with cooking spray or brush with olive oil. Roll the dough in 1/2 cup of the oats and place dough seam side down in loaf pan. Repeat with second half of dough. Cover pans lightly with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in size, 30 to 40 minutes. (Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle.)
  4. Bake until internal temperature registers 200° on instant-read thermometer, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and cool on wire rack before slicing, about 3 hours.
If you don't want to use oats in the dough you can substitute seeds such as sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.

Preparation time: 2 hour(s) 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12
Culinary tradition: USA (General)

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