Okay, so I'm pretty sure I told you guys that my absolute favorite homemade bread was a toss up between my Mom's homemade bread and the Honey Oat Bread that I posted awhile back. I'm here to tell you that I found another recipe that is going to give them a run for their money! While I still love both of those, this new recipe for a multi-grain loaf is absolutely incredible.
I really wanted to find a recipe that used more grains and felt a bit "healthier" for us. I searched all around town for a whole grain loaf of bread that had a lot of texture and nutty-ness. I found a local bakery that had a high fiber, nutty loaf that matched the texture I was looking for....but it was almost $7 a loaf! I'm willing to pay that once in awhile to get a good loaf of bread, but we can't afford to buy that to use as our normal supply.
I searched the web to find a bread that would satisfy my cravings and came upon a recipe for multigrain bread that was posted by Sara at Our Best Bites. She used a 7-grain mix, but my grocer didn't have it stocked. I chose an 8-grain instead and I have already used a 10-grain mix, as well. (Because obviously I've already made like 6 loaves of these bad boys!) Both turned out great! However, I think I preferred the 8-grain over the 10-grain for the simple fact that it seemed "nuttier".
I know it seems like more grains would give you nuttier bread, but that's not necessarily the case. The more grains they put in the mix, the more fillers get added, like oats, corn grits, and soybeans. Both mixes I used contained flaxseed (which I wanted), but the 8-grain had sunflower seeds too, whereas the 10-grain didn't. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that the 7, 8, and 10-grain mixes all work to make wonderful bread, just be sure to check the bags to see what types of grains you prefer.
Just as an example on how yummy this bread is...a few of my siblings came and stayed with us for a weekend about 3 weeks ago. I made 4 loaves of this bread the night before they arrived. (I made 2 regular and 2 with cinnamon raisin. Yum! But I'll get to that in a bit...) When they left on Sunday, we only had 1 loaf left! My thirteen year old brother, Paul, went especially nuts for it. He really liked it smeared with my Raspberry Chia Jam!
The following week, I made another batch and froze the loaves. When I knew my Mom was bringing Paul down to swim in the pool at our apartment, I pulled out a loaf to have thawed and ready. That evening he ate half of it by himself! Last night he was here again and asked me quietly if I had "that bread" again. Looks like I may need to make another batch soon! :)
**I know the directions may look pretty intense at a glance, but it really is a simple bread to make!
I just tried breaking it down into steps that were easy to follow. You can do it! :)
Adapted from Our Best Bites
1 1/4 cup 8-grain hot cereal mix, dry (I used Bob's Red Mill brand)
2 1/2 cups boiling water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup honey
4 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup old fashioned oats, for rolling
1/2 cup old fashioned oats, for rolling
1. Measure out 1 1/4 cups of the dry cereal mix into a medium bowl. Set aside.
Bring the 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil, then pour over the cereal mix. Stir until moistened.
Set aside to rest for 1 hour.
2. While that is resting, in a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and the whole wheat flour.
In a small bowl, melt the butter completely, then allow to rest and cool until needed.
3. Once the hour wait is over, pour the honey, butter, and yeast into the mushy cereal mix and stir until well combined.
4. Add the mush mixture to the large bowl of flour and stir 3 or 4 times.
5. Add the salt.
6. Continue stirring, creating a lumpy mass of floury dough.
Pour onto a clean counter and begin kneading. (It will seem way too dry at first, but keep kneading!)
It will begin to take the form of dough and may become sticky, but do your best not to add more flour. (You can if you absolutely need to, but only a light dusting at a time.)
7. Knead for at least 5 minutes!
8. Transfer dough to a well oiled boil, cover, and let rise for 1 hour.
9. Punch raised dough down and divide into two equal portions.
10. Using your fingers, press one portion into a rectangle (about 1/2 inch thick).
Starting at a narrow end, begin tightly rolling the dough into a log.
11. Turn the seam to the bottom, then pinch the ends and tuck them under.
Lightly spray the loaf with oil.
12. Sprinkle the oats on the counter and roll the loaf in the oats.
13. Place in a greased loaf pan.
***Repeat steps 10-13 with the remaining portion of dough.***
14. Adjust the oven racks to the middle position, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, then cover the loaves with greased plastic wrap and allow to rise 30-45 minutes.
15. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown and thermometer reads 200 degrees (mine took about 40 minutes).
16. Transfer pans to a cooling rack and let rest 5 minutes.
17. Gently remove bread from the loaf pans, return them to the cooling rack, and let rest about 2 hours before slicing. (If you can wait that long!)
Be sure the loaves are completely cool before wrapping to store.
(I have wrapped them in 2-3 layers of plastic wrap, then a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil to freeze them. Then, when I'm ready for one, I take it out of the freezer, and place it (still wrapped) in the fridge or on the counter to thaw overnight. Works great!)
This gives you an idea of what the 8-grain hot cereal mix looks like.
After mixing it with the boiling water and letting it rest for an hour, it should look something like this:
Some people don't test the temperature of their bread, and you may not like to. You certainly don't have to. I do like to check mine though. It makes it much less stressful. You don't have to worry about cutting into a golden brown loaf of bread, only to have it heavy and gooey inside. If a thermometer reads at 200 degrees, you know it's done!
Doesn't that just look delicious!!?
I wish I had something other than the camera on my phone, so I could do it a little more justice! :)
Now, I told you before that I have made some as cinnamon-raisin loaves. It makes wonderful cinnamon-raisin toast! When you are at step 10 (pressing it into a rectangle), just melt some butter and spread it over the rectangle (just enough to coat it), then sprinkle it heavily with a mixture of ground cinnamon and cane (or granulated) sugar. Next, sprinkle on the raisins!
When you begin to roll it into a log, be sure to keep it nice and tight, so it stays together after it's baked. :)