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Whole Grain Bread

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!

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.

Whole Grain Bread
A Happy Acres creation

1 cup bread flour (about 4.25 ounces, plus additional as needed)
2 cups whole wheat flour (8 oz)
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats and millet*
2 tsp instant yeast
1-1/4 cups lukewarm water (10 oz)
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup recently fed sourdough starter

* use any mix of grains, seeds and nuts to equal 2/3 cup total

Mixing Instructions:

1. Combine all dry ingredients in mixing bowl; mix well.
2. Add sourdough starter and honey to water; stir until well mixed.

Bread Machine Instructions:

1. If using bread machine, place wet and dry mixes in machine and start dough cycle. Add additional flour if necessary. When cycle is complete, proceed to shaping and final proofing instructions.

Stand Mixer Instructions:

1. Add wet mixed ingredients to dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes (autolyse period).
2. Knead using dough hook for 8-10 minutes, using 2nd lowest speed of mixer (for a Kitchenaid). Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of additional bread flour as necessary to keep dough from being sticky.
3. Place dough in greased bowl, and cover and let rise for 45-90 minutes, until dough has doubled.

Shaping and Final Proofing instructions:

1. Remove dough to floured surface or silicone baking mat. Punch down to remove any air bubbles. Form into desired shape.
2. Proof in 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, baguette pan, brotform or other container, until dough has doubled.
3. Right before baking, slash loaf with sharp knife or bread knife to prevent from splitting.

Baking Instructions:

1. Bake in 425°F oven 30-35 minutes, or until done. Temperature in center should register 180° for a soft, sandwich type loaf, or 200°F for a crusty loaf.
2. Remove from oven, cool on wire rack until thoroughly cooled before slicing (if you can wait that long!)

Servings: 16

Nutrition Facts (if made with millet and rolled oats for grains)
Nutrition (per serving): 128 calories, 7 calories from fat, <1g total fat, 0mg
cholesterol, 147.6mg sodium, 101.2mg potassium, 26g carbohydrates, 3.1g
fiber, 2.3g sugar, 5.1g protein, 10.8mg calcium, <1g saturated fat.