I love nice hearty breads that have whole grains and seeds in them. I have tried several recipes over the years, but didn’t find one that I really liked that much. So, I developed my own recipe. It’s designed to be flexible and allow for a choice of different grains, nuts and seeds to be used, depending on the mood of the baker and the ultimate use for the bread. I also wanted it to have a high percentage of whole grains, plus be tasty and easy to make. Sometimes I get new recipes figured out quickly, but I worked on this one for quite a while before I got it where I was comfortable enough to share it with others.
I’ve made this bread using a wide variety of grains, including uncooked grains like cracked wheat, rolled oats, millet, oat bran, corn meal and a 5 grain rolled cereal. I’ve used several different seeds and nuts, including white and black sesame, sunflower, poppy, and pumpkin seeds as well as walnuts. And I’ve used cooked grains like black or brown rice and quinoa. They’re all good in this bread! Even cocoa nibs work. One recent variation included raisins and chopped walnuts, with a little cinnamon added to the dough. It was a winner too, and it was lovely when toasted.
This recipe makes a little over two pounds of dough. For a sandwich loaf I bake it in a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, but it also works well when proofed in a brotform. I have also used my French bread pan to make baguettes. It is a versatile recipe, to say the least. Which is exactly what I was wanting when I set out to create it!
The below photos shows the dough proofing in a 10 inch brotform, and then after slashing it with a scallop pattern before baking.
I baked this particular loaf on a pre-heated pizza stone, and used a steam treatment to get a nice hard crust. The finished loaf was both lovely and tasty, if I do say so myself.
This recipes uses both yeast and a sourdough starter. If made with a whole grain sourdough starter like I use, this bread winds up containing around 70% whole grains. The sourdough starter not only adds to the taste and leavening power of the bread, but also make it stay fresh longer.
Using a bread machine’s dough cycle is the easiest way to do the kneading and bulk fermenting for this bread. Alternately, I sometimes use my Kitchenaid stand mixer for the kneading and then let the dough rise in a bowl on the counter. This bread usually gets a good oven spring for me, so carefully slashing of the dough just before you put it in the oven will help to keep it from splitting or ‘blowing out’ in unwanted places. For a softer crust, you can brush the top with a little melted butter after baking.